Statistics show that newsletters are a great vehicle to promote existing content, establish and spread brand awareness, promote a new product or service, announce a special deal or event, and guarantee that you will reach at least a segment of your target audience.

But when you have more work to do than hours in each day, you don’t have time to chase every marketing idea that comes your way in hopes of engaging your target audience.

Part of deciding whether or not email newsletters are worth it for your business depends on some basic questions:

  • Do you have time to create a newsletter on a regular basis (weekly, monthly, quarterly)?
  • Do you have the ability to create and proof enough copy to include in a newsletter?
  • Will the newsletter help you reach your business goals?

If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” you may want to consider other options like creating content for your business blog, utilizing social media or online advertising, or utilizing other types of email campaigns.

What are email newsletters used for?

  • Educational information about your business or industry
  • Event announcements / reminders
  • Product educational information
  • Surveys
  • Promotions
  • Other

Tips for Creating an Effective Email Newsletter

Some newsletters come across as cluttered and unorganized, sending readers in all different directions. Here are some tips to help draw your subscribers towards the goal of your newsletter (take a survey, inquire about a service, take advantage of a special offer, etc.):

  1. Pick a theme or topic and stick with it. For example, this month we are focusing on email marketing, so our email newsletter might include relevant blog posts and a short bit about our email marketing services. We could also create a survey with a couple of email marketing questions for readers or promote a special offer for email marketing services.
  2. Create one call-to-action. You undoubtedly have a purpose for your newsletter that aligns with your business goals. (If not, stop at this step and determine what the goals for your newsletter are.) Focus your readers to the desired outcome by creating one call-to-action.
  3. Limit Self Promotion. The “Enough about me, let’s talk about me” approach doesn’t work well with readers. Many email marketing experts recommend keeping your newsletter content to 80% or more educational and 20% or less promotional.
  4. Email subject lines should entice (but not trick) subscribers. With a steady stream of emails flowing into your inbox, it only makes sense that many will never get clicked based on the split second decision you make after reading the subject lines. To increase the odds of getting your email opened, craft a compelling, and honest, description of what’s in your newsletter. Gimmicky subject lines will typically only warrant an eye-roll and deletion, or your subject line may even trigger a spam filter and never make it into the inbox! Click here for more on email spam triggers.
  5. Keep your email design clean and simple. Beware of over cluttering! Much like a cluttered website makes it hard to focus and find the information you are looking for, an overloaded email newsletter can have the same effect, making it difficult for the reader to find your ever-important call-to-action.
  6. Include an easy-to-find unsubscribe link or button. As mentioned in our previous post, some newsletter recipients will mark unwanted emails as “spam” instead of using the unsubscribe button even if they opted in to receive your newsletter.  Unfortunately, this action will be reflected in your email campaign statistics as “abuse,” and if your abuse rate is too high, you will get penalized. By including an unsubscribe button or link in your newsletter, you reduce the risk that readers will opt out via spam button.
  7. Monitor your campaign statistics. After each newsletter goes out, check out your stats to see what your open rate was, what links were clicked the most, and other data so that you can improve upon your newsletter in the future.

Click here for additional email tips.

Do you lack the time or energy involved in creating an effective email strategy for your small business? At OpenVine, we specialize in email marketing, along with other targeted internet marketing solutions to help small businesses expand their online reach and generate more leads. Contact us today to find out how we can help your business grow.

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