Email newsletters are a great way to stay in touch with your customers and supporters. But getting them out on a regular basis, full of irresistible articles that engage your audience — well, that’s often quite another story!
Actually, email newsletters don’t have to be a burden. Here are five easy tips that can help you fill your newsletter with great content and keep your audience looking for more:
1. KEEP IT SHORT!
Think about the newsletters you receive — how many long articles do you ever read? Most likely, you skim through looking for something interesting, and if there’s an item you want to know more about, you can follow a link for more information. Remember that your audience has very little time to read, and may be reading your newsletter on a smartphone or tablet while waiting in line or riding the bus. That’s good news for you — you don’t have to write a term paper for each article! A brief paragraph is typically fine, with a link to a blog post or other article for more details if necessary.
2. ESTABLISH REGULAR FEATURES:
No need to reinvent the wheel with each newsletter! Set up a regular format to follow with each issue, and the newsletter practically writes itself. For example, start each issue with a quick introductory greeting from the newsletter editor or company president; followed by a customer/client/volunteer/employee of the week/month; feature a product or service in every issue; and end with an announcement or upcoming event. There, that’s not too difficult, is it?
3. USE PHOTOS!
Photos or graphics grab attention and make your newsletter look interesting. If you’re getting images from the internet, make sure that they are copyright free or public domain! There are lots of excellent sources for free images, a few of which we noted in a recent blog article. Because newsletter images are likely to be small, photos taken with phones aren’t usually a problem. However, if the photos are dark or need color correction, there are many free apps available that can crop and improve images, and even add special effects and text.
4. WRITE COMPELLING HEADLINES:
The truth is, most of your audience isn’t going to read your newsletter articles! In fact, according to copyblogger.com, 8 out of 10 people will read a headline, but only 2 of 10 will read the rest of the article. So if you’re wondering about where to focus your creative energy, shoot for the headlines. Upworthy.com and other newsy sites are good places to look for inspiration, but remember — think about your audience, and what will grab their attention — university faculty aren’t necessarily going to be intrigued by the same headlines as high school volunteers.
5. CALL TO ACTION:
Your email newsletter should be more than just a collection of information — it’s a valuable marketing tool. Make sure it’s engaging your readers! Ways to encourage your audience to connect with your organization include special offers or coupons, surveys, contests, donation buttons, or even things as simple as links back to your website or social media.