I recently featured my 2015 Marketing Brainstorming Calendar to aid in brainstorming. While deciding this week’s blog topic, ideas about writers’ block, blogging, content marketing, newsletters all danced around in my head, but I kept going back to the calendar, and for all of January the task of building a newsletter had been at the forefront of my mind.
Let’s assume you’ve been building a permission-based list of clients or followers who want to hear from you. Here are the Top 10 Email Newsletter Essentials to consider:
Frequency: How often can you create new content and build a compelling email newsletter? Once per week? Every other week? Once a month? Keeping inline with intentional marketing, once per month should be the longest time you go between newsletters, while once per week or every other week is optimal. Aim to deliver relevant, timely content vs. filling inboxes with junk.
Consistent and clear branding: Be sure to create a header that is identifiable with your brand and website. Likewise, keep your voice consistent with you brand and website copy. Have a concise purpose and vision of what you are communicating to avoid going astray or off-brand. Create or license beautiful images reflective of your brand.
Depending on your products or services, decide upon a consistent layout for your newsletter. Many sites (MailChimp, Constant Contact, Campaign Monitor, etc.) offer endless layout possibilities to preview. Special offers can have fun, new designs.
Include these consistent elements in each newsletter: the same header/logo at the top for readers to identify you, possibly including navigation bar from you website; Social Media links, Footer & CAN-SPAM links.
Per email, decide on strategy, goals and objectives. Increase revenue? Educate? Generate leads? Increase traffic? Build brand awareness? All of the above?
Testing: Whatever layout you chose, always test for mobile. Do quick checks against various email clients and browsers. And, if you’re using an email service, be sure to check your copy against spam filters for words that may get your newsletter tossed into the junk folder.
Keep it brief. Assume that readers may not have 5 minutes to read. They may not even have 3! Instead of including full articles, drive readers to you site to learn more. This goes for subject lines, too.
Include a clear Call to Action per newsletter or module.
Whether you decide to personalize your emails or not, do make them customer-focused. Why do they need you products or services? How you help them achieve whatever goal they may have with your products or services? How can they connect to your brand or products?
Just Do It. While it may be scary and while you may strive for perfection, just jump in. You’ll learn along the way that some things - images, messages, products, etc. work better than others. You’ll make mistakes. I once spelled Axl Rose’s name wrong in a blast to thousands of people. Yup. Take that, ego!