Six critical elements you need to consider for your newsletter

Compiling an email newsletter that is eye-catching, succinct and relevant to your subscriber is no easy feat. In fact, it’s a fine art that likely involves many hours of champion/challenger testing, A/B split testing, subscriber surveys and a host of other tactics to help ensure successful inbox delivery.

Although somewhat time consuming, these are processes that you absolutely have to implement if you’re serious about optimizing your email newsletter.

Aside from those, we’ve looked at a few other critical elements that you need to keep at the forefront of your mind when developing your campaign. If you can stick to these, it’ll make the testing process that much easier.

  • SPAM, SPAM Scores and Double Opt-In
  • First and foremost you need to get up to date and familiar with anti-spam laws in your country. Spamming is intolerable and even if you’re doing it unintentionally it is possibly the worst thing you can do for your online and sender reputation. Make sure you have your subscriber’s explicit permission before you send any emails; the best way to do this is still with a double opt-in process. Also, before you hit ‘send’, check the spam score of your newsletter and amend it if necessary. Most good ESP’s automatically do a spam check and will tell you where you need to make changes to your campaign in order to make it compliant.

  • Are you giving your subscribers what they want?
  • Check the content of your newsletter, is it relevant and interesting? Have you asked your subscribers (either through an email preference center or survey) what their interests are and what they expect from you? If not, it’s a good idea to do this, especially if you have a number of different email newsletters to offer. Rather send one email a month that is packed with interesting news, articles, tips, offers, relevant links, promotions and ideas than an email every week that can get stale fast. You want to leave your subscribers wanting more and eager for your next offering, not yawning when they see your name pop up in their inbox.

  • If you aren’t integrating your newsletter with your social media then where have you been hiding?
  • Your email signature and newsletters should have clear and simple links to your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles. Avoid asking people to simply ‘like’ or ‘follow’ you; take it one step further and explain how they’ll benefit from doing so. For example, your social network pages might be the first place you mention your new blog post, competition, special offers or promotions.

    Likewise, you should be directing people back to your newsletter sign up form with tweets and links on your social pages. Don’t be shy to offer incentives in return for people’s email addresses and follows. If you have the potential to double your database simply by offering an instantly redeemable discount or voucher, then go for it.

  • You are not a sheep, and neither is your subscriber.
  • A little respect, appreciation and attention go a long way towards building a loyal and lasting online relationship with your customers. You can get the ball rolling by making sure that your email messages are personalised. Start by using their name in salutations and be open about who and where the email is coming from. Rest assured that people are generally sceptical when faced with an email that has a from address, especially if they have a question they need to have answered quickly. You can take the personalization further once you have enough data to segment according to demographics, purchase history, buying behaviour etc.

  • Acknowledge conversions with triggered emails
  • If someone takes the time to sign up to your newsletter, download a report, register for RSS feeds, requests further information or makes any other conversion, then it’s important for you to acknowledge it and thank them. This can be done with a simple automated email that’s triggered by a certain action. It’s easy enough to set up but it will go a long way towards making you look more legit and trustworthy in your subscriber’s eyes. It also helps build brand awareness for your company as each interaction that you have with your subscriber helps them remember and get to know you better.

  • No compromise – privacy statements and unsubscribe links
  • You absolutely have to include privacy statements and unsubscribe links in your newsletters; in fact they should be embedded in your newsletter template. Keep your privacy statement simple and easy to understand. Basically the only thing your subscribers care about is that you aren’t going to share or sell their email address to anyone else, so put their minds at ease. The same goes for unsubscribe links, which should be easy to find and not sized to a 3.5 type hyperlink.

    If customers can’t unsubscribe gracefully from your newsletters then they’ll probably just report you for spam. The former option is unfortunate but the latter can take months to bounce back from. Being black listed for spam simply isn’t worth it.



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