How to Create a Long-Lasting and Engaging Email Newsletter
Email seems to get a bad press. Countless new communication apps proudly claim to be “email killers”, people complain about their overcrowded inboxes, and spam might narrowly beat out pop-ups as the worst part. boring of the web.
Yet email has been shown time and time again to be an incredibly effective method of communicating with an audience. Nearly 97% of companies surveyed use email marketing in one form or another another study about 44% of them said that emails directly lead to a conversion.
Email is certainly effective, but only if you do it right. Violate certain expectations and things might not go so well. Annoy your customers with email and you could end up on the wrong side of your customers and go straight to their spam folder.
This article will show you how to create a long-lasting and consistent email newsletter that drives results and consistently engages your subscribers.
Enjoy the SlideShare version of this article.
Ask permission first
In Seth Godin’s remarkably prescient 2000 book Marketing of authorizations it talks about the end of the consumer’s tolerance to being interrupted. While this might have been a revelation 15 years ago, today hopefully it should be gospel for online marketers.
That being said, only send emails to those who have given you explicit permission to do so, there is no faster way to be forever labeled as “spam” than to send unsolicited emails.
NEVER buy a mailing list! The number of opens is a measure of vanity and you will ruin your brand reputation if you send unsolicited mail.
An even bigger risk you run by sending your emails to a purchased list is having too high an unsubscribe rate. This could cause your IP address to be flagged and your newsletter to be automatically labeled as spam, even for email addresses you acquire organically.
Beyond giving your brand a bad name and possibly hampering your ability to send emails effectively, buying an email list just doesn’t make sense.
I mean, what’s the best case scenario? Someone who has never heard of you before sees this random email in their inbox, opens it and instead of being annoyed, they fall in love with you/your product/your brand?
That will never happen. Never.
If anything, email means the highest degree of clearance you can get. It’s one of the few online activities that remains relatively private for the most part.
Far from sending emails to those who have given you no permissions, emails should only be sent to those who have given you multiple levels of permissions.
Make your email the final step in engaging with your audience. Think of it as your inner circle. Viewing your email newsletter from this perspective should ensure that you don’t care so much about the quantity of subscribers as much as the quality.
Put yourself in front of your audience
You definitely need permission to send emails if you want them to be effective, but that doesn’t mean you should be shy about asking for permission.
Every time someone interacts with your brand or consumes some of your content, they’re essentially giving you a tiny bit of permission to keep their attention. Each interesting insight or useful message encourages someone to get closer to your surroundings.
Anytime someone might be suddenly inspired to grant you permission to send your message to their inbox, give them a simple and unobtrusive way to do so.
If your call to action for email signups is only in one place, you’re probably not aggressive enough. Each of your content pieces should include at least one form of CTA.
That certainly doesn’t mean an email sign-up lightbox spanning every page (it should happen, at most, once – the very first time someone visits your site), but it does mean at least a slight CTAs on every page.
For a great example of how to get in front of your audience in a subtle, understated yet effective way, look no further than the content marketing geniuses at Help the scout.
On each of their content pieces, there are three ways to sign up for their mailing list, but none of them really preclude enjoying the content itself (which, after all, is what will entice someone to sign up first).
Help Scout has a small sign up box that appears after you have scrolled down (i.e. engaged with their content), another sign up field at the bottom of each post and also has a link subscription at the top of the page which instantly gives you a subscription light box.
While using a direct signup form as a CTA works for Help Scout, it’s not your only option.
Especially if you think people might be new to your brand, then a dedicated page explaining what to expect from your newsletter might be a better alternative.
Convince and Convert does this particularly well. Not only do they have a page explaining their email newsletterthey even include an option to see a preview of a sample newsletter to give you a clear idea of what to expect.
Providing your audience with different ways to learn more about your offers will increase the likelihood that you will catch them when they are ready to sign up and help you expand your network organically.
Simplicity is the key
You might think that the best email newsletters with access to most resources can be flashy and full of striking images. The truth is, outside of the fashion industry, the best email newsletters are shockingly simple.
In fact, this no-frills approach yields fantastic results. TheSkimm’s Open Rate Would Be An Amazing 45% on averageup to 80% on some days.
Don’t let the lack of panache fool you though, the simplicity of these newsletters only works because it highlights the quality content they bring to the table.
While you shouldn’t expect to send out a newsletter every day, you should use your email newsletter to consistently connect your audience with the best content. This content doesn’t even have to be yours. There’s definitely room for curation too, as long as you provide great content in an easily digestible way.
This combination of simplicity and curation alongside original content will not only provide value, but (perhaps more importantly) it will allow you to maintain consistency and sustainability. content pacing.
In fact, the hallmark of an engaging and long-lasting email newsletter is that it will allow you to spend most of your time working on the content/curation itself and it won’t get in the way of the spread. of this valuable information when it arrives in your audience’s inbox.
While consistency is key, don’t just send an email without saying anything. It’s just wasting the permission you’ve worked so hard to get.
First and foremost, the email newsletter’s job is to reward your subscribers for actively engaging with you by giving them more value than they could get from you on any other platform.
A small, but instructive example of this (there are many, many ways to deliver value and a lot will depend on your customer and industry) is to use your email as a vehicle for easy discovery and sharing. great content.
The Skimm (and my newsletter too!) provides built-in share buttons so that if you see an article you like, you can easily and instantly share it.
Not only does this benefit the audience, but you also receive a mention out of the deal.
Building such win-win situations and consistently incorporating them into your emails will allow you to quickly accrue benefits and create a positive feedback cycle with your audience.
Reward and pleasure
The prerequisite for success with email newsletters is to consistently deliver value, but that’s just the beginning.
What separates the good from the great is going above and beyond for your followers.
I mentioned before that email should be the closest audience connection possible, which forces your business to focus on the extra effort for your biggest fans.
Whether it’s something as simple as a shout-out or access to exclusive content, any recognition from your followers is bound to go a long way.
I wrote an article for jump lead where i went 8 Ways to Reward and Delight Your Email Subscribers. If you’re serious about creating the best newsletter possible, this might be a valuable thing to read next.
If you take nothing else away from this article, I hope I have at least one point. Email is far from dead.
Email newsletters may seem old-fashioned, but the reason they’ve lasted so long is simple. It’s because they work.
Using this article as a guide, you should have no trouble creating a sustainable framework for a consistent and engaging email newsletter.