You’ve done it.
You’ve set up a gorgeous website that’s steadily picking up subscribers for your exciting new email marketing campaign.
Suddenly, reality sets in.
You need content, plenty of it, and you need it to be stellar.
After all, this is your main dynamic link to your prospects, customers, and clients, and it’s vital that every glimpse they receive of your business is impressive, fresh, and engaging.
Where do you go from here?
How do you make certain that your subscribers not only read your newsletters but also respond to your calls to action and continue on to your site?
Here are five dos and don’ts for your newsletter content.
To make the most of your email marketing newsletter, DO:
- DO keep it short and sweet.
Just for a moment, think of an email newsletter as a marketing phone call.
Is it polite to punish someone kind enough to take the call by keeping him tied up for five minutes listening to your spiel?
Be respectful of your subscribers’ schedules. If it can’t be read on the fly, it’s probably too long.
Try encapsulating one of your blog posts into one- or two-sentence-long teasers, with a link to your blog at the bottom.
Not only will the readability encourage clients to consistently read your emails, the teaser nature may help generate more blog traffic for your website.
Remember, in this email-saturated age, any second your newsletter can buy you some focused attention is a blessing.
Keep it short and sweet, and your consideration of your subscribers’ valuable time will be rewarded.
- DO use your logo and business name clearly and frequently.
In your email address, subject line, and throughout your newsletter, make sure to keep your name, brand, and logo prominent.
First, no one wants to open a suspicious email.
Even if they requested your emails – and make sure they did before you send any – if they can’t tell at a glance who the sender is, you’ll be labeled SPAM faster than you can say “mystery meat.”
Second, it’s just good advertising sense. Even if they don’t open your emails, using your name in the address or title will at least keep your business name in their minds.
- DO sound professional.
In this age of text abbreviations, it can be tempting to allow Facebook punctuation to creep into business correspondence.
Even if everyone understands what “smh,” “ikr,” “lol,” and “tbh” means – and everyone doesn’t – NEVER use them for professional content. Exclamation points should be stricken from your email newsletter keyboard.
Do your best even to avoid parentheses; a simple dash placed between spaces can often perform the same function – and it comes across much classier.
Also, make sure to carefully proofread any communication that goes into cyberspace.
Buzzfeed is full of hysterical examples of poor souls who failed to double-check their work and are now famous across the globe for their spelling gaffes.
- DO use seasonal information.
One of the best ways to decide what to include in your newsletters can be to choose seasonal information specifically for that time of year.
If it’s summer and sellers are busy trying to keep two lawns mowed, address the problem in your newsletter. Chances are high that subscribers will be anxious to read your expert opinion on the matter.
- DO test your results.
Unfortunately, there’s no exact scientific formula for successful email newsletters.
Determining what suits your audience takes time, tweaking, and testing.
One great way to determine which content type appeals most to your clients is to try several different formats and then poll your subscribers. After all, everyone likes being asked their opinions.
Go to the people and let them help you plan your content scheme, and you might just stumble across some great ideas you could never have on your own.
Following these guidelines can help you plot your course as you plan your email content strategy.
At the same time, it’s just as important that you make sure you DON’T commit certain email blunders as it is to do all the right things.
Here are five things you definitely want to avoid.
- DON’T overwhelm your subscribers.
If you bombard your clients with marketing emails very often, many clients will simply unsubscribe.
In order to stay under the radar so that people don’t feel you’re overloading their email accounts, aim to keep your emails infrequent enough to be noteworthy, yet often enough to be memorable.
Also, make sure you don’t overwhelm clients with sales pitches.
Aim to keep about 80% of your email content informational and only 20% marketing.
- DON’T depend on your instincts.
Even though it’s tempting to think that everyone thinks like you, it’s probably not likely.
Even if it’s not true for you personally, depend on the data that’s been collected about what people like to read.
Also, don’t be afraid to check out the strategies of your competition, especially if they are very successful.
Try to figure out what sets them apart, and then put your own spin on it.
- DON’T make it impossibly difficult to unsubscribe.
No one likes to feel forced. If someone wants to unsubscribe, the last thing you want to do is to alienate them further by making it difficult.
Even if you wish they’d stay, at least let them leave with a good taste in their mouths.
- DON’T copy and paste from Microsoft Word.
Although you may love the formatting options available in Word, make sure you wait until you are in your email application before you begin these modifications.
Many weird glitches can manifest themselves when you try to cut and paste from Word, so make sure you use plain text until you are almost ready to send.
- DON’T be too predictable.
Who says every email has to be a carbon copy of the one before?
Keep it interesting. Sometimes, try an interview format.
The next time, try using a single high-quality, meaningful graphic with almost no text except a link.
Pay attention to your website traffic so you can determine which newsletters afford the most conversions.
By implementing each of these tips, you will be well on your way to achieving your email marketing objectives.
Don’t be alarmed if something isn’t working; use it as an opportunity to discover what resonates with your clientele.
Remember the old song from the movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, “The Roses of Success”? It went,
Every shiny dream that fades and dies
Generates the steam for two more tries.
There’s magic in the wake of a fiasco;
It gives you that chance to second guess.
Then up from the ashes, up from the ashes grow the roses of success.
Use these tips and your own lessons learned to enjoy the sweet smell of email success.