The best e-mail marketing newsletter content is consistently varied, original, and useful. When writing, ask yourself: how does this information help solve a problem in your customers’ lives? Is your format and tone expressing the most important information in a way that’s scannable and interesting? Can someone look at it and pick out the pitch and call to action in 20 seconds or less? Most importantly, are you sending the best message at the best time to the right customer?
Here’s some tips to ensure the contents of your email are doing the best work for your email campaign.
Getting Started: Where to Find Content
- Your first instinct is that people sign up to email lists for discounts and deals. Yes, true, that is the driving, first reason. You should even offer an incentive such as free shipping or a percent off for sign-up. But coupons aren’t enough to keep subscribers for the long term.
- Ask around: what’s the buzz about your brand? What are customers’ concerns that keep them from buying, what do they want after they buy, why do they buy again?
- Check out the chatter on your social media. You look involved and responsive if you draft email newsletter articles that address customers’ concerns, interests, and trends in a timely manner.
- Check up with support staff, admins, and even board meeting notes to let your customers know what’s going on behind the scenes.
- Keep up with industry news. As a business insider, your reaction to, and opinions of, news and events in your industry are interesting to your readers.
Next Step: Best Practices for Formatting
- Keep paragraphs short, 200 words or less. Get to the point and use bold, italics, colored text, and other styling elements to call out important elements.
- Graphics can break up text, but they may be blocked or not load properly. Make sure your email newsletter looks professional and attractive without graphics.
- Use topic headings, bulleted lists, tables, and other HTML or CSS to break up the text.
- Put a call to action in each text block. Underline links, and consider coloring them a bright, eye-catching color like red or orange.
Advanced Skills: How to Personalize Content
Personalized content is more interesting to readers, which therefore leads to higher conversion rates. Consider having two or more mailing lists for subscribers with different interests; you may find that some subscribers would prefer to subscribe to one type of news but are turned off by the full package.
Some possible email list subtypes:
- News and tech; for nonprofits, news of issues that relate to your cause
- Product release or version update alerts
- Weekly or monthly blog digest
- Calendar of events
- Coupons and deals
All sublists are opportunities to connect with your customer; while the contents are limited, that doesn’t mean you can’t use the bottom of the email to include a donation button, links to social media, reminders of the other lists, an occasional advertisement of a new product, or anything else you want to tell your readers.