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The 5 Do’s and Don’ts for an Effective Newsletter

Newsletters are an effective way for businesses to update current clients or prospective clients on the goings on with their business. It is a way to relate on a personal level, provide updated industry trends and other essential updates that could get lost on social media feeds.

But, there are many newsletters out there – so what makes yours different? What keeps your audience from hitting the “unsubscribe” button?

Let’s talk about some of the do’s and don’ts of modern day newsletters:

The Do’s:

1. DO Consider Your Audience

Do you know who your ideal customer is? Do you know the demographics of your audience? Once you have this information you will want to think about what customers would want to hear from you about your business. Instead of focusing just on your most recent promotion, draw them in with a topic that would be of interest to them. Do some research and spend some time on creating relevant content. Providing high-quality content to your audience will keep them from unsubscribing.

Another way to know what information is interesting to your audience is by tracking subscribers actions on the back end of your newsletter platform. You can see subscriber’s past actions and preferences and let that information guide you as you develop future content. If an email results in more people unsubscribing, check the content to understand why.

2. DO Write a Concise, Honest & Compelling Subject Line

The subject line of your newsletter is like the headline on a news website: the goal is to get people to read the content. You do not want to be deceitful by writing a misleading clickbait subject, but you will want to write something interesting and informative.

3. DO Focus on Quality Over Quantity

If you are able to draw in a client to open an email, the last thing you want to happen is for them to quickly close it, or get frustrated with the content that they unsubscribe. Short, snappy content beats long articles any day. Think about the kind of content you enjoy on the internet. The key to a successful newsletter is providing high-value content in a compact space.

4. DO Optimize for Mobile

Optimizing your email for mobile devices is crucial in this modern age. Most newsletter builders will give you the option to preview your email on various formats to ensure it appears correctly with every screen size and email service provider.

5. DO Include Calls to Action (CTA)

When a subscriber opens your newsletter a way to keep them engaged is to let them immediately know what action to take next. Whether it’s reading an additional blog post or visiting your website, include a bold CTA button that links them to their next destination.

The Don’ts:

1. DON’T Make Newsletters Too Long

People are often pressed for time, so they won’t engage with long-form content. Keep your email newsletter sharp and to the point. If you want to provide an update on a longer form blog, consider including a portion of the blog with a call to action on the end to “read more” which will help your audience from being overwhelmed with lengthy content but also bring them to your website for more information and will keep them engaged longer.

2. DON’T Use Large Images

Too large of images can extend the time it takes a user to download your newsletter, which can prevent them from reading the content you worked hard on. The key is providing attention grabbing images that are the appropriate size.

The most popular screen resolution worldwide—across both mobile and all platforms—is 360×640. If you are stretching your images to a width of 1000px and larger, that’s actually not such a good idea. The ideal image size for email is still a 600px width.

3. DON’T Use a PDF as Your Email

Email marketing is a such a powerful tool, yet so many businesses aren’t using it to their advantage. Some businesses try to by-pass subscribing to a newsletter service by sending a PDF attachment to their contacts. This does not come across as professional and can also lead to the majority of your emails ending up in spam and junk folders.

4. DON’T Send Without Testing First.

Before you click “send” on your newsletter, make sure you test it across multiple devices. Oftentimes, the email appears in the inbox much differently than designed, and email providers may block certain elements entirely. You should also verify formatting issues, broken links, and typos. Many email platforms have a “test” option available.

5. DON’T Ignore the Metrics.

After every newsletter campaign, it is a good idea to analyze the metrics provided by your email platform. This will show you where you need to improve next time and what worked so you can do more of the same. Most email platforms provide a full suite of analytics like:

  • Open rate
  • Click-through rate
  • Delivery rate
  • Bounce rate

Let’s Elevate Your Newsletter Together!

Webster Digital Marketing can assist you in implementing the best practices for sending newsletters for your company. Contact us today to learn more.