Five Ways to Create a Better Email Newsletter

Last week, I shared seven tips that make it to the top of my email marketing checklist. But before you even get to the point where you’re editing your subject line and testing your links, you need to have something useful and relevant to send out. This is especially true when writing and distributing email newsletters.

Email newsletters are unlike any other type of email marketing because they are usually content-heavy and typically predictable in style, content and formatting. And the competition is fierce. Just think about the number of emails you have sitting in your inbox begging for your attention every day.

Here are five ways to shift paths from the standard run-of-the-mill email newsletter and make yours the one that rises to the top of the email heap.

Give Readers What They Want

The email newsletters I read consistently are the ones that give me something I can’t get anywhere else. It can be unique content, new tips or just links to resources I otherwise would not have known about.

In my own email newsletters, I offer a free download in every issue, and the links to these PDFs get the most clicks across the board in every single one of my newsletters.

Talk to Your Readers

Do you start each newsletter with a short letter or blurb from you? This is a great way to introduce your content, point out items of interest and hit your readers at a personal level. It doesn’t have to be long or in-depth, but an informal note can go a long way in engaging your audience.

Set a Theme

The general topic of your newsletter is probably very broad, such as graphics or web design. Each issue should have a drill-down focus — Photoshop tips or CSS best practices, for example — to make it more interesting and less scattered. This is a great way to beat writer’s block, too, if you struggle to come up with content for each issue.

Throw in Some Variety

Very few people have time or care to read a long email newsletter with article after article of content. Mix it up with different types of content (articles, resource links, short blurbs, etc.), pull quotes, photos, etc. This is easy with an HTML newsletter, but you can also boost the interest factor by using some of these options with plain text emails, too.

Be Clear on Your Call to Action

What do you want your readers to do after reading your newsletter? If you want them to download a giveaway, sign up for a special offer, submit a guest article, or click on a specific link, spell it out clearly more than once to get your readers to act.

Your Turn

Have you done anything recently in an attempt to boost the reader interest of your email newsletter? What has worked for you?

Image credit: KayPat

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  • http://www.madmacreations.com TMacFarlane

    Cannot stress how important the “Call to Action” is. Similarly, I cannot count how many blank stares I’ve gotten from the client when asked “What is your Call to Action?” From the Same clients!

    Nowadays, I come prepared with some (even if it has to be vague) Call to Action. I usually pitch it as a way of stating my understanding of the scope. “So you want your subscribers to click into your inventory….?” “So you want them to reply to this message?” My advice is to always be thinking about this– because, chances are very good that your client won’t be.