Would you like to know how to write engaging newsletters? So engaging that your readers can’t wait to get them? That your open rates are sky-high, everybody is clicking on your links, and you have more and more subscribers and paying customers?
Of course you would! Especially given that email marketing has a higher ROI – on average 122% – than every other digital marketing channel, according to a study conducted by eMarketer.
Let’s break it down into steps to make it short, actionable and clear:
1. Know what your audience wants to read and what is their problem
This should be clear to you after you have created your email marketing strategy and done exercise 1 (p.5) from the DIY Marketing Guide (you can download yours for free here!).
Nobody has time to read things that are not relevant to them and that do not solve a particular problem they have.
The newsletter should show how it will solve one of your reader’s pain point clearly:
2. Make it relevant by segmenting your list
Depending on both your audience’s interests and the subscription form they used to join your email list (presumably you’ll have a few reflecting interest in slightly different topics – e.g. I have subscription forms from different freebies – e.g. DIY Marketing Guide and Digital Content Strategy Template – I would start the email sequence for each group of subscribers with a different welcome email – reflecting the signup form they subscribed from – and tweak the following emails in the sequence a bit to make them either more general-advice oriented or strategy-oriented.) Also – customise your emails depending on the open rate – if you have any particularly active users (you can preview it in your tool’s statistics) you should reward them for reading your newsletters regularly e.g. with a special discount offer for your product/service.
3. P E R S O N A L I S E!
Let’s make it clear: if you’re sending them an email, you are on their territory. You are invading their inbox. *Their personal space*.
We don’t like when strangers invade our personal space.
Don’t be a stranger.
You don’t invite strangers you don’t know into your house, do you?
Same with newsletters. If you’re hiding behind your corporate image and the person receiving the emails does not feel like they have been written especially for them, forget about great results. And if your readers don’t feel that the emails have been written by YOU – an identifiable, personable human being – not a soulless corporate robot just lurking to grab their money – you won’t get results either.
How to get personal?
According to Marketing Dive, adding personalisation ( adding the recipient’s first name to your email subject line and greeting in the email body can boost open rate by 50% and click-through rate (how many people click on the links in your emails) by 58% ! This means up to 58% more traffic to your website from your mailing list! So – go to your email marketing tool (here on the example of Mailer Lite) and personalise the subject line and greeting as shown below:
4. Make your content personal – tell a S T O R Y!
The best emails start with a personal story that engages the reader (you should include the first line of the story in the teaser text – see the screenshot above on the right – this is the short ‘preview’ text that you see in your mailbox. Make it really compelling and irresistible – keep an element of mystery that will be solved only if the recipient opens the email – don’t let the whole cat out of the bag! E.g. Melissa Harman has ‘something super special to share with me’ – who would resist that?!
After the teaser text, continue the story in the email body – move smoothly from the personal bit to the (logically linked) business bit, just like Carrie Green did below (moving from her own baby-announcement – which is *of course* super-interesting to most women – to announcing a webinar that will talk about how to prepare for having a baby and building a business – was a really smart move to catch the audience’s interest first and then convert them into webinar participants by offering them participation in something that is *obviously* related to their main interests: business and…babies 😉 This link between the content and the product/service is called (after Dan Norris, the author of a great book on Content Marketing – Content Machine) the Monetisation Logic:
The same strategy was applied by Melissa Harman:
Mark that both email examples include personal photos of the sender! This definitely drives engagement and has an impact on the click-through rate – the readers feel like they ‘know you’ better, so they are more likely to click on your links!
5. Make sure you have a clear Call to Action (CTA) in every email
That you are asking your readers clearly to *do* something (e.g. sign up for a webinar, download a freebie, continue reading on your blog etc.): here: join Carrie Green and Nikki Elledge Brown (on the webinar).Note how smart it was of Carrie to put the call to action next to her…baby bump!
Obviously, *nothing* attracts the readers’ attention more than the exposed cute baby bump! Of course, I get it – you may not have this eye magnet handy (especially if you are a guy) but hey, there are other ways how you can attract your readers’ attention to your call to action… by putting it on a nice button with a CTA / CTA banner next to your smiley, happy picture of your face (like Melissa did).
How to write engaging newsletters – last but not least…
- Don’t write too much – the newsletter should be a *teaser*, if you want your readers to read something longer – take them to your blog;
- The best newsletters are readable at a glance – if you can skim through them in 5 seconds and know what the reader’s intention was – GOOD!
- Every newsletter needs to have a clear purpose – made even more clear by the call to action!
Good luck! 😉