Writing great e-newsletters
e-communications are a powerful part of the modern marketing mix and if you are not already sending out regular e-news to your stakeholders, I would strongly recommend you begin.
Regular, engaging e-communications can lead to excellent open rates, but more importantly they can lead to click through rates - people will take action as they read the e-newsletter. In this blog I will offer some top tips for writing a great e-newsletter and let you know how to evaluate if you're on the right track.
Before you start writing
There's a couple of things to consider before you begin drafting your e-newsletters. In fact, I use this approach when creating any content - here's the four things I always consider:
1. What is the objective?
2. Who is the audience?
3. Why will people be interested?
4. What are the calls to action?
Once you have outlined these 4 things, writing your e-newsletter will be a lot easier.
Getting your email opened
e-newsletters only become effective marketing when they are opened. A couple of ways to improve open rates...
1. Let people know why they should open the e-newsletter - I usually write my subject line after I have created the e-newsletter content, so I know what value I am offering to my readers
2. Avoid generic words like 'newsletter' in your subject line
3. Personalise the 'from' address of your e-newsletter - people like to open emails from people. Also address people by their first name if you can, to personalise even more
4. Keep your e-subscriber list up-to-date and segment them where you can, so people are only hearing about news relevant to them
5. Keep it short and sweet, especially as so many people will be reading on a mobile device
Getting click throughs
It is really important to let readers know what actions they can take once they open your e-newsletter - if you don't say, they won't know!
1. What are your calls to action? Be explicit and explain why the action needs to be taken (what's the reason to 'believe'?)
2. Don't include too many calls to action and order them in priority - the most important at the top of the e-newsletter
3. Never, ever use the words 'click here' (this also applies to website content). Instead, hyperlink the call to action in full, and remember to use alt-text so readers know where the link goes to
4. Again, keep it short and sweet - if you write 100 words for a piece of news, that's fine - the aim of the game is to get people to take an action (i.e. read the rest of the story on your website)
5. Use great imagery - it makes such a difference to the look of your e-newsletter, but you can also hyperlink images as well, increasing the chance of click throughs
Evaluating your success
It's important to monitor how well your e-communications are performing and keep improving your approach. Here is what to measure...
1. Your open rate
2. Your click through rate
3. Your bounce rate
4. Your unsubscribe rate
5. Post-click actions (i.e. the journey someone takes around your website if they arrive via an e-newsletter)
Creating e-communications should be fun and simple. Many platforms offer templates so you can retain brand consistency and access really useful analytics.
If you need any support getting your e-communications off the ground, or simply want a chat about things you could freshen up, just get in touch.