How to get the best results from your newsletters

Posted By axonnmedia on 12th October 2020

Newsletters are a popular and effective marketing tool, but so often they embody untapped potential. They are the perfect example of an area that will a little bit of attention can drive audience engagement and new leads. 

So, from solid newsletter copywriting to small measures that will have a big impact, here’s how to turbocharge this part of your content marketing strategy.

Set a schedule and stick to it

Decide how regularly you intend to send out your newsletter, then pick a time and day accordingly. This will help to build anticipation amongst your readers who will then be able to build your newsletter into their routine.

The regularity and timing of your newsletter will depend on the type of business you are trying to promote. It could be that you send your newsletter out once a week on a Friday, knowing your audience is likely to enjoy it with a coffee in the afternoon. Perhaps it will go out on the first Monday morning of the month. That’s fine too. You just need to set a schedule and ensure your marketing team does what’s necessary to meet this deadline each and every time.

Optimise your subject lines

A clear and concise subject line can be the difference between an opened newsletter and a neglected one languishing in people’s inboxes. Don’t consider it as an afterthought, but a vital part of your newsletter strategy that requires crafting and careful testing to produce maximum effect.

Among the things to consider is how much of your subject line shows up in your reader’s inbox, which will vary depending on whether they’re using a desktop or mobile device. If it’s too long it will be cut short and not only look less professional, but also have reduced impact. Be sure to use active phrases that encourage users to open your newsletter and carry out the actions you advise inside.

Personalise your content

Personalisation used to be a way for organisations to stand out from the crowd, but now it’s become so widespread you’ll actually find yourself behind your competitors if you’re not getting in on the trend.

There’s a variety of ways to ensure your newsletters are personal to your readers. These begin with using a program to ensure they are addressed personally to the person opening the newsletter from their inbox. A more comprehensive solution includes segmenting your audience lists so versions of the newsletter are aimed at specific interests you have identified through data collection. This can be incredibly effective when it comes to generating leads.

Harness the power of strong newsletter copywriting

While there are lots of techniques you can use to bolster your newsletter, its real heart is the copywriting and without engaging text you won’t keep readers’ attention or see them coming back again and again.

The best way to do this is to have clear goals for what your newsletter wants to achieve and make sure your writing is constantly keeping them in mind. Is your newsletter designed to entertain, inform or promote products? These aims are all wildly different and will affect the tone, style and wording of copy within your newsletter. Great newsletters that achieve these goals get shared with others, leading to new subscribers – the email equivalent of word of mouth.

Make it easier for new subscribers to sign up

If you know that people within your industry are forwarding your newsletter to others they think could benefit from it, then it would be a lost opportunity not to address these secondhand readers directly.

Adding a section at the bottom of your newsletter that offers a button for these readers to sign up themselves is an easy way to increase your email lists. Making things simple and recognising where new interest is coming from could see your reach growing exponentially. It also makes these potential customers feel seen and welcomed into the fold, which is a powerful way to build brand loyalty.

Include clear calls to action

It’s not just new users you’re encouraging to act but the rest of your audience too. Clear calls to action (CTAs) should always be included to funnel your readers on to the next stage in the buyer journey, otherwise you’ll be letting untapped potential slip away.

You CTA may vary depending on your aims and doesn’t always need to be right at the bottom of your newsletter. Test different CTAs, links and buttons to see how they convert, as well as varying positions, such as part-way through the text or even at the top of your message. This is the only way to see what truly works best. Common CTAs direct readers to blog posts, social profiles and product pages where they might purchase an item you’ve mentioned in your newsletter.

Practice symbiotic marketing

As well as using your newsletter to direct your audience to your other marketing assets, the elements should be promoting your newsletter. It’s a symbiotic relationship that ensures nobody misses out on getting the full experience from your brand.

Don’t shy away from adding links to your newsletter sign-up page on social media profiles, blog posts and landing pages. It’s a great way for those who you have managed to engage to continue a relationship with your organisation, even if they have no need to purchase products or services at the present time.

Make unsubscribing easy

While it may feel counterintuitive, it’s really important to make it easy for those who no longer wish to receive your newsletter to unsubscribe. If the process is long and complicated, it won’t change their mind, just leave them with a frustrating view of your company.

Instead, turn the unsubscribe process into a one or two-click process and don’t patronise people with a follow-up email suggesting they’ve made a mistake. This will only make your brand look desperate and confirm the desire to stop content was correct. If you’re seeing a lot of users unsubscribe then it may be time to carry out an audit of your newsletter to identify which elements may be putting them off.