Email Newsletter Writing 101.

how to build a successful email newsletter

Writing an email newsletter can be difficult

One of the most important truths about writing content for an email newsletter is ensuring that the content you are writing is interesting for the person reading it – your subscriber. Subscribers sign up to email newsletters to read information about topics they find interesting, or for product information on products of interest to them. A survey done by DMA substantiated that the key to a high email marketing open rate is a direct result of targeted messaging. If you are working with a large database, consider tailoring your content, subject line and offers to suit the profiles and needs of your subscribers. Joe, who signed up to your subscription offer for "How to Cut your Tax bill" may not be interested at all in Investments advice – he’s trying to save a quick buck, not wait long-term for some savings! It is not always guaranteed that your newsletter will be delivered...

Hire a Professional.

Get your newsletter created by a professional. Bringing in a professional reduces the possibility of your newsletter content receiving a high spam rating due to bad coding and silly mistakes such as your HTML code not matching the plain text version of your newsletter, and using CSS style sheets which don’t render correctly in many email clients. There needs to be a good ratio of text vs. images in your email newsletter. Newsletters with just one image design and no text should be avoided (SPAM trigger). Keeping an eye on images verse text also helps to keep the size of your newsletters in check. It can be extremely frustrating when you have a slow internet line, you’re waiting for an important work email to come through but there seems to be another email taking its time to download. When that email finally comes through, your company name is going to be at the focal point of your subscriber’s irritation.  

General Newsletter Tips:

  • Your subject line should deliver a clear message.
  • Ensure your email newsletter is short and sweet, with links below stories directing recipients to your website to read the full excerpt.
  • In this fast paced world, everyone is pressed for time; it’s a good idea to land the message of your newsletter in the first 2 lines. Hook your subscriber so they want to continue reading. If you need to include a number of different articles, it is a good idea to display Headlines at the top of your newsletter so your subscribers can see which articles they want to read at a glance. (Link the headline to the extract!)
  • Take care when personalising the name of the recipient in your newsletters such as “Dear John”. This is fantastic when your database is well maintained. What you DON’T want, however, is for John to receive an email addressed to Dear Smith, John or even worse, Dear [email protected]
  • Subscribers to your newsletters want to feel important, collect more information about your subscribers using Landing Pages so you can personalise your newsletters even more and break down your distribution lists into varying areas of interest. (Note: if you link to a landing page, ensure the link goes directly to the landing page and you don’t leave your subscribers wandering around your website for a few seconds only to go off and give the dog a biscuit because they can’t find the right page.)
  • Spelling and grammar is a key part of communication and poorly written newsletters reflect badly on your company. If you don’t pay attention to the wording in your email newsletter, are you really going to pay attention to their investments?
  • Don’t hide your call to action at the bottom of your email newsletter; your subscribers might never see it! In fact a better idea is to add more than one call to action, thus giving your receiver plenty of chances and prompts to click through to your website.

Final Newsletter Checks

Are your contact details on your newsletter? All too often, companies leave off vital bits of information such as their phone number, email address, website link or physical address. Give your subscribers different means to contact you. Proof read your newsletter, get your friends to proof read your email newsletter, don’t leave any links unchecked! Test your newsletter in different browsers, emails and mobile phones before sending it out. What works and looks well in one browser or email client, can look an absolute mess in another. If you haven’t hired a professional, this could happen to you. In many cases, the company only finds out weeks down the line that their newsletter was not displaying properly in some email clients. Add a Share button which allows your subscribers to post your article to facebook, twitter, or email it to a friend. They are going to want to share your fabulous articles! And lastly, when is the best time for email marketing?…. Send your email newsletter out on Wednesday at lunchtime.