Newsletters still are and will continue to be a valuable marketing tool. However, just sending out mails won't do. There are a couple of things marketers need to pay attention to with every newsletter they send out. We have compiled a checklist with the most essential things to consider.
- Subject: Every email needs a subject line. Be creative to spike curiosity and do so using less than 56 characters.
- Preview: Most email clients show a preview text before the mail is opened. If there is no dedicated preview text, the client will just show the first couple of words from your email. Make users want to read your email in less that 140 characters.
- Images: Give your readers some eye candy by using 1-3 images in your newsletter. However, mind the image size. You do not want to make your email too large so it takes too long to load.
- Call-to-action: You have a reason as to why you write the newsletter. You might want to generate awareness for an offer or invite customers to an event. Hence you better use a call-to-action button that motivates readers to take action and actually look at your offer in more detail (e.g. on a dedicated landing page).
- Links: Insert links to your website and to your social media accounts so that customers can look at your offers and stay in touch with you on other channels as well. More important are of course links to whatever you are promoting with your newsletter.
- Personalization: Newsletters are more successful when they feature personalization tokens. That is why you should ask customers for their full name when they subscribe to your newsletter.
- Sender: A generic info@ address is a bit impersonal. Use a sender address with a full name to communicate on eye level with your readers.
- Unsubscribe link: Try not to get in trouble, so make it easy for customers to unsubscribe from your newsletter. After all, neither do you need recipients that have no interest in your newsletter nor do you want frustrated users complaining on social media about the difficulty they have getting off your email list.
- Plain text: Always pay attention that your newsletter can be received as plain text. Most marketing automation software solutions automatically generate plain text versions.
- Web version: Always test your newsletter to make sure it looks great on every device and browser. However, individual circumstances can always get in the way. Create a web version of your newsletter and link to in your mail.
- Nice extra: Social sharing options in your newsletter allow customers to share the complete newsletter or individual elements from it on social media. Whether this feature is of any use depends on your business. Social sharing might work well in the fashion industry, but less so in B2B marketing.
There are many ways to optimize a newsletter. This list only lays down the essentials that should have become the standard by now. No one is interested in receiving impersonal, overlong and barren all-text mails.
Marketing automation software can be a tremendous help in realizing your newsletter as the software will point out ways to optimize your newsletter. Moreover, the software remembers the links users click and feed that information into the CRM. Statistics are created in real-time so that you immediately know if your did a good job or have some optimization to do.