An email newsletter can help boost your blog or business in several ways. First of all, it feels more personal to your audience than an RSS feed or notifications of new content. Secondly, an email newsletter gives you a chance to share things you might not want broadcast all over your blog, your website or your social media channels, like personal announcements, exclusive promos or even humor.
A newsletter also gives you the chance to share links and graphics in a more creative way. Here are five pointers to get you started:
The title is very important: Not only will it need to be something that jumps out from potentially hundreds of other titles in a person’s inbox, but you also want to avoid (when possible) certain words and symbols that some email programs might interpret as spammy. Some examples: writing in all caps, using a lot of dollar signs or exclamation points, and using words like “free” or “open immediately” or “click now.”
Spammy title: “Small Business Owners: DOUBLE Your Revenue This Year!!”
Better title: “Want to Know How I Doubled My Business Income Last Year?”
Be consistent. Don’t get excited, send out one newsletter and then quit. Choose your frequency and then try to stick to a regular schedule because people quickly become accustomed. Try to keep the tone and look of your newsletter consistent as well; readers will come to know and appreciate your unique voice.
Be social. Indicate somewhere in your newsletter that readers are welcome to reply or contact you directly. Sign the newsletter with your own name. You’ll seem more personal and approachable. You won’t be just “that blogger” or “that business owner.” Your tone can be casual and friendly instead of strictly-business. If your mail program allows, include social sharing buttons (Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc.) with every newsletter and readers can easily share content right from the inbox.
Content is king. Your newsletter should inspire, educate or entertain. Perhaps you can do all three at once! Don’t just send any old content out to check it off your list. Readers will sniff out stale content right away, click delete and perhaps not even look at the next one. Even if it’s just an engaging infographic or a two-sentence sale bulletin, make sure the content is useful. Ask yourself “will the reader be glad they opened this email?” Avoid wordiness. You don’t even need an intro. Get right to the heart of your content. This is not an in-depth blog post or a lengthy tutorial. Readers should be able to scan your content quickly and then click to read more in their browser, if so inclined. Are you selling or marketing? That’s fine, but don’t go overboard with salesman language. It still pays to deliver helpful or entertaining content along with your pitch.
Preview or send to yourself. It helps to see how your newsletter looks to other, so either e-mail it to yourself, or utilize your program’s preview feature. Do a trial run to a few trusted friends and colleagues and get feedback before sending your first official newsletter.
Do you write a regular newsletter or is this one of your future goals?