Be Your Writer

How To Write A Newsletter That Doesn’t End Up In The Trash

I have always dreaded opening my digital mail. There’s just too many of them every single day and somehow it has been an exhausting routine to delete emails I will never read. And that’s to a point that the emails piled up to a thousand. And then, it was too stressful to even begin sorting through. 

So I decided to browse them by batch every morning and afternoon. I separated the emails into labels and most business newsletters ended up deleted without even getting opened. They are generally unappealing and it was so painful to open them. Sometimes I even roll my eyes and say “I don’t need an update from you!” while checking them off to the bin. 

You see, the number of daily emails that are being sent and received worldwide continues to increase. In the past years, we’ve seen over hundred of business emails sent and received by an average person each day

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Credit: SME Digest 

But of course, there are some that make the cut and even got me to spend some money on their products and services. 

And that now begs the question: “How do you write a captivating email newsletter for your business that translates to clicks and sales?”

There are a lot of things to consider here but there are actual ways to help you stand out from the hundreds of emails that flood into a person’s personal mail. But before we dive right into that, let’s first define what a newsletter is. 

What is an email newsletter?

Despite the popularity of social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Tik Tok, email remains to be one of the most effective marketing tools until today. 

In 2017, the average open rate for marketing email was around 24% and that was across all industries. The average click-through rate, on the other hand, was at 4% which was 11% of all opened emails. That is around four visits to your site for every 100 sent emails. 

Defining a newsletter in terms of its purpose, it is like a notification bell about your business wherein you send out a list of updates about your products and services. It helps build awareness about your brand. These newsletters are not meant for a hard sell. In fact, they are framed in a rather interesting way like a friend sending you a meme from time to time to update you with what’s new. 

But aside from just being an update, it is used to encourage people to actually click it and take them to their website to create traffic and even make a purchase. 

In fact, studies show that email generated the highest ROI (return of investment) for marketers. Translating into money language, for every dollar spent there is a generated $38 in ROI in email marketing. Not to mention that email is still the most effective delivery channel so you are more likely to acquire website visitors and buyers here than social media pages. 

It’s safe to say that business newsletters are still the life force of a marketing campaign. 

 Get them to click: What makes a captivating newsletter?

So the million dollar question is how do you create newsletter content that is captivating enough to get clicks and not get just ditched? 

It’s definitely not an easy job so we’ll try to lend a bit of advice and tips, tried and tested across industries, that will hopefully turn around your business newsletters from a “I don’t need an update from you!” to “Oh! I have been waiting for their updates. I wonder what they have in store for me today!”

What are the key elements present in successful newsletters? 

Instead of looking at elements like dissecting the parts of newsletters, a better spin is to understand what are the key concepts employed by these successful email newsletters. This way, we get to build guidelines based on these concepts. 

IT’S INTERESTING.

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Remember this iconic line by Rachel Green(e) (debatable for another time) during the trivia game episode? Yes, that is exactly how you want your readers to react when they see your email. It should entertain them, educate them, and delight them. If you don’t get past interesting then you’re going to get ignored. 

How do you do that?

1. Keep the subject line creative and catchy

In order for people to click your email, they have to be interested enough, curious enough to do so. Here are some tips:

  • Keep it short and sweet. Most emails are opened via mobile and if it’s too long, it can’t make an impact. 
  • Try not to make false promises. People HATE clickbaits. 
  • You’re not a trailer of a really bad movie that already told the story in a 30-second video. Don’t tell them what’s inside. 
  • Nothing beats perfect timing. Take a cue from Easter Boston who sent an email at 6:45 PM on a Wednesday night that said, “Where to Drink Beer Right Now.”
  • Create a sense of urgency. Usually the word “Sale” and “50% off” can do just the trick. 

2. Use trending topics or events

What’s trending will always be interesting. Personally, I click advertisements that use memes from shows that were recently popular. For example, Vision’s moving speech about grief that people have turned into a very funny meme just like this one. 

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Credit: Junkee

A business using memes to their marketing advantage? I’m always curious HOW. 

3. Tease on social media

If there’s any platform that most people use it would be the social media applications we all use alternatingly everyday like we’re multitasking some serious business. This is where teasers would be most effective because it will be seen by a wide range of audience.

4. It’s all about aesthetics

It’s 2021. You will get cancelled for having bad designs. But if you’re doing bad creative enough then you might still get a shot. 

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How do you do that?

5. Know who you’re writing for

Here, you have to analyze your subscriber demographics. What industry are they in? What are they interested in? That way you can curate content that would engage them. The best way to figure that out is simple: ASK. Do a survey so that you get the pulse of your audience. 

6. Choose your focus

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Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Most newsletters try to do a lot all at once and it always brings more harm than good. Stick to a focus so that readers would also know what to expect every time your email pops in their inbox. 

IT’S VALUABLE. 

Interesting and relevant can get you clicks and traffic. But ultimately for me as a consumer, if a business does not provide me any valuable information or if it’s not useful to me then a barrier definitely shoots up. 

How do you do that?

7. Incorporate third-party content or collaborate

Your newsletters do not always have to be about YOU. You can try incorporating your content with people you feel strongly represent the brand reputation that you would like to build. In this age of influencers and celebrities, people regard their opinion about products and services more reliable and valuable than any other reviews. 

Just a note, don’t compromise your brand just for the clicks. It’s not worth it. 

8. Be concise

You might be raising an eyebrow asking how being concise translates to being valuable. The answer is simple. If your content is too long, it’s not going to engage people to read therefore rendering any of it useless. 

That’s it folks!

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