If you’re going to invest the time to create and curate an email newsletter to send to subscribers that want to hear from you, then read this list of best practices. These essential concepts will get your content read and shared.
Let’s break down an email into chunks.
The first bit of text a subscriber sees in their inbox.
- 45-51 characters is the average length of a subject line but even shorter is better
- be specific, especially if there’s a benefit to the reader
- create urgency but avoid spammy or promotional speak (!, all-caps, percent off)
- avoid these three words — Help, Percent off, and Reminder
- timely — if you send a monthly basketball newsletter, having ‘Your March Madness Basketball Stats’ in the subject line (when it’s March), will let people know it’s current
- when in doubt, A/B test subject lines and see which one delivers a higher open rate
Content is key to grabbing a subscriber’s attention and holding their interest. Readers take 3-4 seconds to figure out whether they want to read the email in its entirety so you need to make sure your newsletter has info that the subscriber has signed up for. This will decrease the likelihood that your email will be ignored or trashed.
Keep all relevant content ‘above the fold’. This means anything the reader sees at first glance when they open your email and don’t have to scroll down is your Boardwalk of real estate. Have social share buttons visible, your call-to-action visible and that catchy content that makes people want to read more.
Start regularly checking the stats for your engagement rate. What are people most interested in? Use these numbers to your advantage. Which recipients aren’t even opening up your emails?
Make it super simple for subscribers to opt out. There’s nothing more infuriating then to unsubscribe from a newsletter and then get taken to a page where you must login again to manage your preferences or get taken to a survey to answer why you’re leaving. And then receive a couple follow-up emails stating you’ve unsubscribed — ugh!
Are people opening your email — no? Work on your Subject Line. Work on the consistency and frequency of your email newsletter. Provide a way to easily unsubscribe.
Are people clicking your links? — no? Work on collecting more relevant content. Add images. Does your letter work on mobile? View your analytics’ history and see what links received the most clicks.
Are people sharing your content? — no? Provide social share buttons or be blunt and just encourage your readers to share.
And ummm, do you mind sharing this post?