It’s All About the Reader, Not You
As you are creating your e-mail newsletter, ensure that the content is relevant and interesting to your audience. Avoid e-mail newsletters that are focused on the company, such as congratulations to a recently promoted employee, new hires, new clients, etc. as readers will not find this information interesting.
If company related information is included in the e-mail newsletter, it should be relegated to a short sidebar as opposed to the primary real-estate of the e-mail newsletter. However, if there is more to the story that may be of benefit to your readers/guests, then it may warrant a full-blown article in the heart of the e-mail newsletter.
Think About the Competition
Compare your e-mail newsletter against other newsletter in your inbox. Create a ‘subject line’ that will entice your customer to click on your e-mail newsletter as opposed to the other newsletters vying for your guests’ attention. Why would someone read your e-mail first? Why would they read it at all? If you can address these questions and come up with honest reasons justifying the readers’ interest in your e-mail, you’re on the right track.
Include a Table of Contents
Studies show that most people spend just a few seconds deciding whether to read an e-mail. By including a table of contents at the top, the reader can easily see everything your e-mail newsletter has to offer, and decide whether to read it. If the first story doesn’t engage/ appeal to them, the last one might, so ensure your table of contents is as descriptive as possible. More descriptive, benefit-oriented headlines work better than general ones with less to offer the reader.
Headlines Aren’t Enough
Include the headline and the first sentence or two from the article. This is better than a headline alone. A better strategy is to write some original copy about each article that entices the reader to click-through and read more. “Teaser” copy works very well here. Don’t give away the key points of the article, but let people know what they’ll learn if they read it.
This is a newer approach. A recent Forrester Research report stated that video in e-mail is increasing CTR’s significantly – in some cases, double or triple what the same e-mail received without video.
Have a Goal
E-mail marketing has proven to be an effective marketing channel, however, many companies still neglect to assign bottom line, quantitative goals to their e-mail marketing efforts. Many e-mail newsletters are primarily used for branding and to drive awareness, but that doesn’t mean you can’t develop quantitative goals.
Open and click-through rates are good, but the closer you can tie your goals to the business mission, the better. Think in terms of lead generation, sales, and other conversion metrics. Even metrics such as how much time people coming from e-mail newsletters spend on the site versus visitors from other sources can be useful and justify your efforts.
Overall, the success of your email newsletter depends on the content, format and delivery. When utilized effectively, these simple tips can significantly help to increase conversions.
Sources: Jeanne Jennings, ClickZ, Quick Tips for Successful E-mail Newsletters