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Understanding the anatomy of a great email newsletter

Newsletter blog post

Email newsletters are one of the most popular types of emails that marketers send to their customers.

And for good reason! Done properly, email newsletters are a powerful and cost effective way to promote your business, engage with customers, and generate sales.

But do you know what to include in your email newsletter to get the best results? If not, you could be missing out on valuable clicks and sales.

Read on to learn about the elements that combine to make an effective email newsletter.

Part A. Newsletter Details

For many marketers the ‘From Name’ and ‘Subject Line’ are mere formalities to be considered just before sending their email newsletter. However this is a mistake because it is this information that your customers first see in their inbox. And often, this is all they will see before deciding whether or not to open your email.

So give your email the best chance of being noticed and opened by following the below.

  1. From Name: Choose whatever is going to be most recognized by your customers. This may be your company name, your own name, or even a combination of both. Eg. Zoe at Vision6. Whatever you choose, try to be consistent so that your customers get used to seeing your From Name in their inbox.
  1. Subject Line: Generally speaking, shorter subject lines are best so try to be concise. Most people quickly skim subject lines though so you need to ensure it conveys the value towards opening your email. Plus try to be informative and personal. And don’t be afraid to use a bit of humor now and again.

Part B. Newsletter Elements

  1. Logo and brand: Help readers quickly recognize your brand by placing your logo at the very top of your email.
  1. Navigation: For email newsletters that contain many stories, help readers to quickly sum up the content by including an ‘In this issue’ section. Place it towards the top of your email and include internal links to each of your stories below.
  1. Scannable headings: Ensure the headings in your email newsletter can be quickly scanned by your readers. Use font size, color and padding to ensure headings stand out from the other newsletter content.
  1. Appealing imagery: Always ensure the images in your email newsletter are relevant to the content and enhance both the design and the call to action. Plus remember to include alt text in case the images don’t automatically display in the recipient’s inbox.
  1. Encourage interaction: The best email marketers know that email is not a one-way communication. If you’re doing it right, your readers will want to respond and reach out to you. So make sure it’s easy for them to do so by including ‘Contact us’ and ‘Feedback’ options.
  1. Social media: Similar to the above, make it easy for readers to share your content with their own networks by including social sharing options in your email. Plus remember to include links to your social network pages so that email subscribers can easily connect with you in other ways.
  1. View online: It’s a good idea to include a link to an online version of your email at the very top of your newsletter. This helps readers who may not be able to read your email correctly on their device, by displaying it in their web browser instead.
  1. Prominent call to action: Your call to action is arguably the most important part of your email newsletter. It should be obvious to see and easy to click. It’s ok to repeat your call to action in different parts of your email in both text and image formats.
  1. Engaging content: Only send content that your readers will find genuinely interesting, relevant and valuable. If you’re unsure, simply ask customers what sort of content they want to receive from you. Plus remember to check your email reports to see what content your customers are clicking on most and try to send more of that.
  1. Segment with color: The color of your email newsletter should be consistent with your company branding. Experiment with background colors and borders to break up the different sections of your newsletter content. And remember that white space is your friend when it comes to a more readable newsletter.
  1. Footer links: For compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, you must allow recipients to unsubscribe from your email newsletter. This is easily done by including an unsubscribe link in your email. Most important is to make this link easy to find. It is often placed at the bottom of your email along with an option for readers to update their preferences.

Hopefully this list helps you create an effective email newsletter for your business and I encourage you to test different elements to see what works best for you.

 

Zoe Beath

Zoe Beath
Head of Marketing, North America

Posted on in Uncategorized

Email Marketing- How often is too often?

The question of how often to email your customers is a tricky one.

Naturally, most businesses want to send their email newsletter as often as possible in hope of creating more sales. But this risks annoying customers to the point of unsubscribing.

On the other hand, if you fail to send your email newsletter often enough you risk being underexposed and customers will forget about you altogether.

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So how often should you send your email newsletter?

To answer this question, we first need to realize that email frequency must be properly aligned with the value on offer to your customers.

If you provide a ton of value to your customers, you’re in a great position to frequently send your email newsletter. But if there is less value on offer, it’s probably better to send your email less often.

The golden rule with email frequency is to always put your customer’s needs first.

If you have enough valuable content that is of genuine interest to your customers, then by all means send them a weekly (or even daily) email.

But if you find yourself struggling to provide valuable content just to keep up with your email schedule, then maybe you need to slow things down.

Look at what your data is telling you.

However often you choose to email your customers, be sure to keep a close eye on your email reports to measure their performance.

For example, if you start sending your email newsletter more often, pay close attention to any changes to your unsubscribe rate. If it starts to go up then it probably means you’re over-emailing. So you either need to increase the value offered in your email, or you need to send your email less often.

Ask subscribers what they want.

If you’re really not sure how often to email your customers, simply ask them.

You may decide to ask customers when they first subscribe to your email newsletter. Or you could even include a question on frequency in a dedicated customer survey.

Bottom Line: An email newsletter that is valuable and interesting to your customers can be sent more frequently without the risk to opens, clicks and unsubscribes. Therefore your ideal newsletter frequency is a matter of value for customers and how often they want to receive it from you.

 

blog_author_zoe

Posted by:

Zoe Beath
Head of Marketing (US)

Posted on in Email Marketing

5 Ways to Make your Holiday Emails Pop

It’s the most exciting time of year… Especially for marketers!

Love them or hate them, this is the prime time to up your email marketing game in to capitalize on that holiday revenue. Online sales are up every year, with email marketing playing a crucial role in generating that revenue. Unfortunately, that also means there will be more competition in the inbox over November and December.

So, I wanted to share my top 5 ways you can make your holiday emails really stand out.

 

 

By making the emails personal, using data to segment sends, finding awesome images and going all out with graphics and GIF’s, we can really start doing some great things in the inbox and get attention onto our emails.

As always, looking at your reports will give you a lot of insight into how to improve your holiday campaigns and if you want to see how your results stack up, be sure to check out our monthly Email Metrics Report.

 

Posted by:

Camille Gribbons
Designer

Posted on in Email Marketing, List Growth
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