5 Ways to Make Your Email Newsletters Count
If you're looking for the most effective way to reach your audience, the stats show that email newsletters are your best bet. According to Adestra, 74% of marketers believe email marketing delivers the best ROI of any marketing tactic. And there are even companies built completely around sending email newsletters, like The Hustle.
But with so many emails in people's inboxes every day, how can you be sure that your small business email newsletter is the one they look at? Here are some tips for creating more effective email newsletters that people actually want to read.
1. Balance Your Content
When you walk into a store and the salesperson's all over you before you've had a chance to look, you're likely to feel hassled and walk away fast, right? That's exactly how newsletter subscribers feel when you go straight for the hard sell in the very first newsletter.
To avoid this happening, balance the mix of content in your email newsletter so it's not all promotional. In fact, many businesses swear by the 80/20 rule, where only 20% of the content you send (or share on social media) is promotional.
That means out of every 100 newsletters you send, only 20 should be overtly promotional. There is one exception, though. Newsletters from e-commerce businesses and deals and coupons sites are all about promotion — but then, that's what subscribers have signed up for.
In most other cases, promotion won't be the main focus of most of your email newsletters. Instead, ensure your email newsletters are:
- Informative (e.g., by sharing industry trends)
- Educational (e.g, by helping subscribers meet their goals with your product or service)
- Entertaining (e.g., by tapping into the latest memes)
With this approach, subscribers will be confident they've made the right decision in subscribing to your email newsletter. They'll also look forward to reading them whenever those newsletters reach their inbox.
2. Make Sure They're Relevant
Another important way to make your email newsletters count is to ensure they're relevant to people's needs. That means using email list segmentation so you're always sending the right emails to the right people.
There are a couple of ways to handle this:
- When people sign up for your newsletter, you can give them a couple of options for the updates they want to get.
- You can also ask a single question in your welcome email that helps you decide which set of emails they should get. For example, you could ask whether they'd describe their business as small or large — the answer could affect the content you send.
- You can also follow Amazon's example. They don't send a single email to everyone based on every product they sell. Instead, they send emails relevant to what people have looked at on their site. That makes it more likely that recipients will open the emails. You can use cookie-based digital remarketing to put that in place.
3. Choose the Right Content
While you'll likely include the latest post from your blog, you can make your newsletters more appealing simply by sharing industry news. To keep track of what's hot, you can:
- Search Google to see what's new on the day you create your email newsletter
- Set up a daily Google Alert to get that information in your inbox
- Use the pro version of BuzzSumo to see what's been trending recently
After you make a selection, introduce each item briefly to say why you've included it. Not only is this quick, but it provides timely information that makes subscribers respect your expertise. It's up to you how many items you include. Some newsletters have as few as three curated stories, others as many as 10. See how far down the newsletter you're getting clicks and adjust to suit.
4. Show What's In It For Them
What about the 20% of emails where you're getting more promotional? Even with these, there's a way to make your email newsletter more successful. That's to put yourself in your subscribers' shoes, and think about what they actually want.
Remember, they don't want a hard sell, but they are interested in information that's helpful. For example, you might want people to sign up for your free webinar so you can sell a service, but in your email copy, you should focus on benefits and outcomes like:
- What they'll learn
- Which expert will be providing advice
- The freebies you'll be giving away
5. Improve Timing and Quantity
As well as ensuring your email newsletter gets to the right people with the right content, getting the timing right is also crucial. Send your email newsletter at the wrong time, and you might as well not bother. If people don't open it immediately and it reaches the bottom of the inbox, they may never get back to it.
So, when should you send your email newsletter? According to CoSchedule's roundup, sending it midweek at 10 am is the ideal time.
In addition, offering multiple delivery options can help keep people subscribed who feel overwhelmed by the volume of email they receive. These days, you'll often see newsletter publishers offer subscribers the chance to opt down — from daily to weekly, or from weekly to monthly. That's something to consider if you send a lot of email newsletters.
The bottom line: Send the right content to the right subscribers at the right time. That's the best way to make your email newsletters count — and to make subscribers look forward to getting your emails.