10 Tips for Creating Amazing Email Marketing Newsletters

An email marketing newsletter that is sent as part of an overall campaign will usually have specific aims and objectives – and these are measurable after the campaign has been sent. But an email newsletter will have completely different aims and objectives and can often be harder to create. You will need to try and squeeze in a variety of content from a variety of departments and it will be sent to a large group of people. Newsletters are often sent to build brand awareness or continue brand relationships, and as such do not have a definitive call to action.

If you’re a novice email marketing newsletter sender, or a newsletter know it all, make sure you answer these 10 questions before sending:

1. Do we need a newsletter?

Do your research – are your main competitors sending email newsletters, if so, what type of content do they include? If you have a blog, then perfect, you can send your latest blog updates, but if not what exactly are you planning to send?

Look at the business goals – if your business goals don’t match up with the benefits of a newsletter, then perhaps a newsletter isn’t for you. If you want more brand awareness and a heightened relationship, then this kind of correspondence is for you.

2. What kind of newsletter should we send?

Newsletters, because of the wealth of information included, can often appear cluttered – your blog posts appear next to your latest press releases, when normally a separate email would be sent for each department. Try and find a common theme in your newsletter, such as the latest industry news or the launch of a new competition or product.

3. How much promotional information should we include?

Of course when you’re emailing your contact list, you want to promote your products, and not just send an email for the sake of it. But how much promotional content can you get away with as part of an email newsletter? Around 10% is your answer.

Leave the serious sales emails for another time, and instead include a small section that tells the contacts about your latest offer for example, and remember to include a call to action. Remember: the contact will tune out if you’re only sending self-promotional content.

4. Should we tell our subscribers what they’ll get?

Yes, always yes. Tell your subscribers about the type of content they will receive, and how often on your sign up page. Some marketers disagree with this and think it puts subscribers off – but better to turn away a few potential contacts than to receive a high number of ISP complaints when the content is wrong and annoying.

5. What kind of subject line should we use?

With your email newsletters, you can afford to use creative and slightly off the cuff subject lines. Contacts will come to expect your newsletter and should eventually open them regardless of the subject line because your content is so great. If not, try using a creative subject line to encourage an open. Take Innocent Drinks for example, their weekly newsletters arrive every Friday, and do not promote their products at all. Here are a few examples of their recent subject lines:

innocent subject lines


6. What should our call to action be?

Because you are including lots of different content in your newsletter, you will have multiple call to actions, such as, ‘View now’, ’Read more’ or ’Download it here’, for example. Make one article/post the main subject of the newsletter and make the associated call to action the most important. Make sure it stands out from the rest of the email, and the users know what they should be doing.

7. How should we design our newsletter?

Simply. A newsletter can look clunky and overcrowded, simply due to the nature of the beast, but this doesn’t mean you should ignore all design best practices completely. Stay on brand, make sure your copy is short, snappy and concise, and white space is important to ensure the newsletter feels spacious.

8. What about our images?

Images are not displayed immediately within emails, unless the user chooses to download them. This is why Alt text is so important. If the user doesn’t want to download the images, they would still be able to understand the context of the email – your alt text will be displayed instead of the image so that the user knows what would appear instead of a blank box.

9. How do we allow people to unsubscribe?

It’s the law to include an unsubscribe link in your email marketing campaigns. Make sure this is included and don’t make your contacts hunt high and low for the link – it needs to be easily located, and is usually placed in the footer of the email.

10. Shall we send our email now?

Not yet, you’ll need to test it first. Make sure your template is tested across all main email clients and mobile devices. You can also test other parts of your campaign to see what will work for your company – such as the placement or messaging on your call to action, the type of content that works best, and the length of your subject line.

Do you have any other email newsletter tips? Let us know below or tweet us @Wired_Marketing.

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