You’ve got your subscription buttons in place and autoresponders ready to do their thing. You may even have a newsletter you’re already sending to potential clients. Whether your intention is to create a brand new mailing from the ground up, or to improve one that is already in place, this information will help you write newsletters that convince readers to take action.
Your newsletter strategy should center around the experience of the reader. Through providing emotional and cognitive value, you can create mailings for your website that people actually want to read.
1. Pre-Plan Your Newsletters for Sustainability
Your readers, from the time they first subscribe, want to read something of value. From the time they sign up to several months down the road, your newsletter should be viewed as something of value. When creating a plan, make sure you are clear and focused about what you will provide and that you have enough information to provide on a regular basis in a way that is effective in reaching your marketing goals. This self-assessment should leave you with a general idea of what your new or improved mailings are going to contain.
Questions to ask yourself:
- What is the main focus of my website’s newsletter?
- What does my target audience expect from this newsletter?
- Can I realistically provide the value they are looking for?
- Where will I acquire information for my email content?
- How will I deliver my intended message?
- How often will I send out new emails?
- Who are my top competitors? What are they doing right? What are they doing wrong?
- How can I incorporate this understanding into my new or revised campaign?
Now, when planning your newsletter campaign for success, you need to set your standards way up. Are they already high? Good – set them even higher. The 2015 Email Metrics Benchmark Study from SilverPop concluded that, when it comes to email marketing, “average is the new low.” Email marketing is extremely competitive today, and businesses and organizations should be comparing themselves with the best in order to really get anywhere. Focusing on competing with campaigns you consider average will not likely help you reach substantial goals.
2. Set the Stage for Calls to Action with About 7 Pieces of Information
Humans have a limited capacity for processing information. Because of the way the human mind works, it is beneficial to keep the information preceding any calls to action in your newsletter from five to nine parts. Even if these points are not entirely separate from one another, it will be more likely that your audience will remember what they read and be engaged by the information when it is broken up into parts that are easy to process. So, whatever message you have to convey in your emails, remember to use “the magical number seven, plus or minus two.”
3. Like your Website, your Newsletters Should be Mobile Friendly
By removing unnecessary forms and keeping load times to a minimum in any way you can, you will cater to the upwards of 65% of readers who open their email from a smartphone. According to the US Consumer Device Preference Report that references data collected from Movable Ink’s Agile Email Marketing Platform between October 1st and December 31st of 2013, more people opened emails from an iPhone than from a desktop computer and also spent the most time with emails open. When writing newsletters for your website, you can ensure conversions with mobile-optimized themes and content.
4. Make Considerations Based On Your Target Audience
Once you know who your target audience is, you should be understanding the behaviors of that group. This way, you can target your message with methods that are already proven to work in your niche. Nearly all demographics and consumer behavior is already being studied by someone. Seek out reports that are in alignment with your market, and use your finds to integrate the most appropriate tactics into your strategy.
Free Market Research Resources for Email Newsletters:
- SilverPop – By providing SilverPop (an IBM company) with your email address, you can access hundreds of studies for free. Their research includes information found related to email marketing, marketing automation, social, mobile, campaign automation, lead and contact storing, web and behavioral, transactional email, behavioral marketing, web forms and landing pages, and reporting and analytics.
- MailChimp – This is the industry standard email platform, and they have access to tons of information from their B2B clients’ campaigns. Download the latest findings and reports on the MailChimp Research page.
- MarketingSherpa – A research institute that specializes in tracking what works with practical case studies, research, and training for marketers, MarketingSherpa can provide you with free reports and paid trainings.
These resources can and will help you make the most of your campaigns if you apply the information strategically.
5. Consider Aesthetics and Attitude of Your Newsletters
One aspect of content marketing that should never be overlooked is the feeling of the content. This should be considered in every newsletter strategy. The design and wording you use will have an impact on readers. Decide on an emotion or range of emotions before you write a campaign. Keep in mind the language, fonts, colors, and images you use, noting that each of these plays a role in the inner response of readers. Emotions are the bread and butter of conversions, so utilize every resource you have to help ensure that you’re making the right choices.
(Lead image source: Judith E. Bell)