How to Create an Effective Email Newsletter
Keep your audience engagedNow that you’ve built an online audience, your work isn’t done. It takes regular communication and proactive engagement to keep your tribe. It’s easy to become out of touch with your audience unless you take steps to keep yourself in front of them on a regular basis. Here is how to create an effective email newsletter to serve as a simple and cost-effective way to keep your audience interested and engaged with you.
1) Do Some ResearchFirst, you must know your audience. Where do they go for information? What is a typical “persona” for your average reader? How often do they want to hear from you? By finding the answers to these questions before you hit “send” on your first email newsletter, you’ll greatly increase the odds that it will actually be read and forwarded. This step is quintessential for any form of marketing or business for that matter.9 Ways to Get an Email Response from Busy People
2) Avoid the FluffAfter you understand to whom you are writing, the second rule for an effective email newsletter is to provide content that is of real value to your readers. If you throw together haphazard articles just to fulfill a word count goal, your audience will see through it immediately and unsubscribe. Just as an engaged audience can be very loyal and become raving fans, readers who feel that you’ve wasted their time can become instant detractors. Make your content count.
3) Make it Short & SweetEqually important to creating worthwhile content, is creating just the right amount. Digital attention spans are short; keep your content brief, to the point, and given in small doses. Consider a two-part series on an interesting topic, for example. This will not only increase the likelihood that your readers will consume the entire article, but it will also make them want to read the next installment.
4) Don’t Use Click-baitClick-bait is the sneaky tactic of writing a headline to draw your reader in when, in reality, the article has little or nothing to do with the title. Readers hate click-bait. Make sure you are being honest about the content of your newsletter and not wasting your audience’s time with misleading headlines. Make friends, not enemies.
5) Paint a PictureThere is nothing worse than an email or marketing newsletter with miles of plain text and zero imagery. Attract the eye of your reader with applicable images and infographics. Vary the font size of your headlines. Use callout quotes. Take advantage of opportunities to break up the text blocks and add visual appeal.
6) Stay MobileMany readers consume digital content on their mobile device while they are sitting in a meeting, on their commute, or waiting in line at the grocery store. If you want to keep and increase readership, make it as easy as possible to click on your newsletter and view it in its original format on a mobile device. The minute you make your reader struggle with scroll bars to see your content, you’ve already lost them.
7) Make it ClickOnce you’ve provided engaging content in your email newsletter to hook your readers, don’t be afraid to ask them to click to see more. You don’t have to give it all away inside your email; an effective email advertising campaign can easily be nestled inside newsletter content and linked to a landing page, a piece of collateral, or a call to action.
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ConclusionAfter you’ve launched your newsletter, track your progress over a few editions to see how your audience is responding. Switch up one approach at a time (visuals one week, subject matter the next, for example) to see how it impacts your readership. With a little art and a little science, you’ll keep your current tribe engaged and start attracting new members.
Eric Steiner graduated with an MFA in professional and creative writing from Western Connecticut State University in 2014. He's worked on a number of professional writing projects with clients such as Pearson Education, WatchMojo.com, and Michael Mailer Films. Giving brands a voice is his passion.