I know, I know there are thousands of posts out there about how to put together a good email newsletter. So, why are there so many poor ones? In my opinion, if you can keep these top five pointers in mind, your newsletter will improve and your readers will thank you.
- Be short and sweet. Unless your newsletter consists of one, extensive research article, articles should be a maximum of four paragraphs. No one wants to read more than that about your new CEO, upcoming events, spring sales, or the like. Also, readers have a short attention span, so five articles should be your max. When it comes to newsletter articles, short is sweet.
- Sound human. Your readers are real people who will be more engaged if they think you're a real person too. Leave the jargon and acronyms behind and write in your true voice. Sometimes reading your stories out loud is the best way to judge the human factor.
- Add value. We get so many marketing emails in our inboxes that we're getting less inclined to read company material. An excellent way to keep subscribers engaged is to add value with a relevant, compelling industry article, links to other articles on the web, or a thoughtful opinion piece.
- Include a call to action. When you send a company communique, you want the readers to respond, right? So, give them something to do. Give them a link to click, a contest to enter, a special discount to take advantage of. You've got there attention, don't waste it.
- Use an opt-in list. Don't buy lists, that crazy phase is over. Purchased lists are terrible, not targeted and, ultimately, unsuccessful. Take the time and make the effort to build a quality list. It will pay off in the long run.
If you want to read some examples of well-written newsletters, subscribe to:
- Underwire: Full Support for Non-Techies
- MarketingProfs Newsletter
- JentleHands Monthly Newsletter (it's also beautifully designed)
Oh yes, one last thing. Make sure you've got a prominent newsletter sign-up box on your website.