Is your email newsletter looking tired and dated, using the same old content, templates, and headers? With businesses now relying more heavily on digital communications, a fresh new look is a great way to re-energize your reader’s interest.
It’s not an easy task to cut through the extreme amount of email traffic out there. In fact, 9 of 10 marketers today use email to distribute content, so the competition for attention is fierce. But at the same time, in the past 12 months, marketers have noted a 78% increase in email engagement, so interest remains high.
Email marketing continues to be a reliable standard:
- It’s Preferred by Consumers: In general, 7 out of every 10 US consumers prefer to receive marketing communications through email over every other channel.
- It’s Budget-Friendly: Email marketing’s ROI is 38 to 1, so it’s still a great value.
Let’s take a look at how you can ensure that your business’s eNewsletter is fresh and drawing the eye of your customers.
Assess Your Current Newsletter
To begin, look at your newsletter in its present state, reviewing the data to assess what has worked and what hasn’t. And remember that your newsletter involves more than just the content. It’s also your subscriber list, your click-through metrics, and overall reader engagement.
- Does your newsletter reflect where your business is and where it’s going?
- Which past topics had the best click-throughs?
- What is your competition doing? What are they lacking and do their gaps represent opportunities for you?
- Is the format friendly on all platforms? On average, 49% of emails today are read over mobile devices so it’s crucial your format is flexible so your email looks professional everywhere.
Begin with Simplicity
If your newsletter has been around for years then you’ve likely built up a lot of content and messaging. The first step to refreshing your email newsletter is keeping what works, but then wiping the rest of the slate clean. Bulky newsletters full of text might have worked in the early days of email marketing, but today’s audiences are savvier and look for snappier content.
A great way to do this is to limit your Calls-to-Action. CTAs are used so marketers can direct readers to further content or sales. They are a gauge to show engagement with the reader, showing that the content encouraged them to take the next step. Target and limit your CTAs to give your audience concrete directions to relevant products and web pages.
Similarly, your content should also give the reader a clear path. It should follow a theme, and not be a menagerie of multiple topics. Keep it simple and concise—know what you want to communicate and create your content in a cohesive format targeting that communication goal. This makes the reading experience more enjoyable, understandable, and straightforward.
Charm Them with Content
Even with a simple, clear plan in place, your content must be strong if it’s to avoid going straight to the trash. Great writing is vital to success, so it’s important to make sure it has real value and provides helpful information, as well as uses short, concise sentences and clear words.
You can also try out different types of content, such as case studies, top ten lists, stories, spotlights, and interviews. Try on different tones such as fun, inviting, or wise.
Incorporating user-generated content can be a great refresher. Ask customers for feedback that you can feature. By keeping it casual, relatable, and fun, you’ll find your consumers can relate to you easily and you’ll be perceived as authentic and trustworthy, driving a connection between you and your brand. Whether it’s updates, new products, or sales, just make sure each edition of your newsletter is content that’s worth reading.
The physical layout and graphic design of your email newsletter are also important. Experiment with text layout, graphic and logo placement, as well as color and font choices. Some of the latest design trends for 2020 include the use of bright colors, interactivity in illustrations and reveals, clean and simplistic layouts (yes, again with the simplicity!), and incorporating video.
Check out this example from Litmus:
Using an original template and bright color blocking, it creates an easy to read piece for their customers. For more examples, check out more examples from HubSpot. Whatever you decide to change, be sure your newsletter meets web accessibility standards so users get the same experience whether they are on mobile devices or larger screens.
Small Can Equal Big
Sometimes, just a few little changes can make a huge difference in engagement. These items may seem obvious, but they are important to creating a positive experience for your readers:
- Subject Line: Change up your subject lines to draw readers in, making them personal (emails with a personalized subject line have a 50% higher open rate), asking an open-ended question, or drawing your reader in with some intrigue.
- Social Media Links: Drive engagement by providing social media icons for readers to get in touch. This is also a great source of click-through information.
- Timing: Your audience signed up for your newsletter for a reason: they want to hear from you. In fact, 61% of email subscribers prefer promotional emails at least once per week. So if you have a mix of promotional and informational communications, you’ll be in good shape. But carefully consider the frequency, as well as the day and time. Try sending emails during the morning commute, at lunchtime, or in the evenings. Over time, you’ll learn when your audience is most receptive to your newsletter.
Building a Better Email Newsletter
Refreshing your communications is one of the best ways to keep in touch with your audience and reinvigorate your marketing efforts. Just make sure that you are tracking the metrics behind every marketing email you send. Tracking which emails get clicks, and which of them becomes a transaction, can give you a stronger idea of what makes your newsletter more effective.
Follow these guidelines and your email newsletter will start going from your reader’s trash folder to their priority inbox!