10 Best Practices for Writing a Newsletter That Converts - NoRiskSEO.com

10 Best Practices for Writing a Newsletter That Converts

Is your email newsletter worth the time you put into it? With the right approach, your newsletter can provide great ROI and drive conversions — but there’s an art to writing an effective one. Read on for 10 best practices that will help you create a high-converting newsletter.

Know Your Audience

Before you sit down to write your newsletter, think about who is going to end up reading it. Aim to appeal to your core audience, the people who really “get” your brand. You don’t need to appeal to the whole world or even your whole subscriber list. Tailoring your newsletter to a niche audience will help you produce more relevant and focused content, and eventually, it will earn you more devoted readers and customers.

Give Every Newsletter a Purpose

Don’t send a newsletter just for the sake of sending it. This common mistake is a sure way to end up with tired, uninspired content that your audience isn’t excited about, either. Instead, figure out what you want to achieve with every newsletter you send out. Maybe you want to drive a certain amount of traffic to your site, for example, or maybe you just want to build rapport with your audience by making them laugh. The goal you choose will guide your writing and help you create stronger content.

Make It Worth Your Readers’ Time

If you want your newsletter to convert, it has to contain content your audience wants to read in the first place. Think of the newsletters you look forward to opening — they’re probably helpful, entertaining, or both. Hold your own newsletter to the same standard. If you’re not sure what kind of content to include in your newsletter, a few ideas include:

  • News and announcements related to your business or industry
  • Articles
  • Curated content from around the web
  • Notes from the CEO and others at your company
  • Infographics
  • Videos
  • Columns from industry experts
  • Case studies featuring your product or service
  • Coupons, freebies, and promotions

Get Your Voice Right

Use a writing voice that’s genuine and in line with your brand’s image. Don’t try to force yourself to sound formal or businesslike if that’s not how you normally write. A little personality can go a long way towards building connections with readers.

Use Visuals

People are visual, so using images, GIFs, and videos in your newsletters is a great way to command more of their attention. A word of caution, though: sometimes this type of content doesn’t load correctly in certain email clients. Use text to get your main message across, and supplement it with visual content.

Pay Attention to the Packaging

Your sender name and subject line are the “packaging” of your newsletter: they’re what subscribers see first, and they can make a big difference in how eager people are to open your email. Consider using your company’s name instead of your own in the sender field so that your subscribers instantly recognize where the email is coming from. For your subject line, be short but specific. Don’t just write something generic like “October Newsletter” in this field — instead, use the space to highlight what’s actually in the newsletter in a way that makes people want to click.

newsletter-content

Your sender name and subject line can make or break your newsletter. Source

Include CTAs

If you want readers to take a particular action after reading your newsletter, ask them to! Including a CTA button in a contrasting color to your email’s background is a good way to accomplish this. It’s easier to tap a button than a link for mobile users, and a button is more eye-catching as well. Just don’t ask too much of your audience at once — limit yourself to a single CTA per section of your newsletter, or readers might get overwhelmed and take no action at all.

kayak-newsletter-example

This email from Kayak includes a CTA button to drive viewers to their site.

Get Your Timing Right

Ask yourself how often you can reliably produce good content for your newsletter. Daily? Weekly? Monthly? It’s better to send a great newsletter once a month than a mediocre one every week. Also, consider how often your subscribers want to hear from you — receiving too many unwanted emails is a top cause of unsubscribes (or, worse, getting marked as spam). Giving subscribers an email settings panel where they can opt out of frequent updates can help mitigate this issue.

consumer-reports-example

Sending too many emails is the top reason brands get marked as spam. Source

Segment and Personalize

Personalizing your marketing emails is a tried-and-true way of making those emails work harder for you — in fact, it could improve conversions by 10%. And whether or not you choose to tailor your emails at the individual level, you should definitely be tweaking your newsletter’s content at the macro level for different segments of your list.

A/B Test Your Emails

Email marketing has long relied on the technique of A/B testing, and it’s something you should be doing with your newsletters. First, decide on one feature you want to test, like the color of your CTA button. Divide your email list into two groups and send each group a different version of your newsletter. Then look at the data for each group. The higher-performing version becomes your standard for the future, at least until you find something that works even better. Rinse and repeat.

Wrapping Up

Sending out a regular email newsletter can be a very effective way to grow your following and increase your conversions. The keys to writing a good newsletter are knowing what you want to achieve, being genuine, and producing content that your subscribers look forward to reading. With all these elements in place, you’ll most likely find that your newsletter becomes a valuable tool for driving conversions.

What’s your best piece of advice for writing a high-performing email newsletter?

By Amanda Disilvestro on September 26, 2018

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