It’s 7:30 AM, John is in his cubicle at work, coffee in hand bleary-eyed. He looks down at the pile of work sitting on his desk that is way past the deadline. John had promised himself yesterday, and he had promised himself he was going to come into work today like a wrecking ball and get it all done. Still, the John sitting in the cubicle at 7:30 in the morning doesn’t share the optimism that 5:27 in the afternoon John had, convincing himself he didn’t have to work past 5:30.
Procrastination is the name of the game, what could he do that would pass the time, but also not get him fired.
So in a tradition as old as time, he fires up the company email, surely there must be something to read in there, he clicks the little envelope and refreshes his inbox. One unread message, the weekly company newsletter. Bingo.
Twenty-two seconds later, he abruptly closes the email program, he takes one look at the pile of work he needs to do, sighs, and starts working.
What happened? I hear you ask.
John was shocked into work by one of the most common and avoidable crimes that any company could commit.
The Boring Newsletter.
Fast forward to 2019.
The email newsletter has evolved from its corporate route. Email newsletter marketing is one of the most significant lead generating marketing techniques used across the planet.
With the adaptation of email marketing, comes fierce competition. Not only are you competing against marketers in your own field and niches, you now have to compete with the human races’ ever-dwindling attention span. If your email is not the perfect level of engagement, you will never convert readers. With the average attention span predicted at around 8 seconds, your window of opportunity to captivate your reader is exceedingly tight.
I know what some of you are thinking, that in today’s world, a world that is crammed full of constant over the top stimuli. In a world where shocking and mind-numbing content is fired at you from all angles, creating a newsletter that people are actually going to read from start to finish sounds impossible!
Well, we have you covered. In this article, we are going to show you some simple steps and tricks. Using the tools we are going to give you, you will be able to create a newsletter that everyone will be discussing around the water cooler.
- Figure out your target audience and what you hope to accomplish with your newsletter.
- Our perfect formula is 50% Educational 25% Promotional 25% Character.
- Make your subject lines like hooks for the reader.
- Choose your leading CTA.
- Perfect your landing page.
- Make sure readers can unsubscribe – !!!!
- Run regular audits on success rates.
- Perfect your content.
- Designed Well
Figure out your target audience and what you hope to accomplish with your newsletter.
In this new fierce and competitive online world, having a well researched and strong target audience if extremely important. With a well-designated target audience, you will find the road to new clients a lot easier to travel. If you are clueless about who to target, follow these steps.
Who are your current customers?
I know it sounds straightforward, but it works. Analyzing the data you have on your returning clients can help you profile your target audience. Start with demographic, are your users mainly from the USA or the United Kingdom. Are the bulk of them in the 24-28 range or 45+.
After you have looked at the demographic, laser in on things like shared interests, who spends the most, who returns the most often.
Use the competition.
A great way to find out your targeted audience is to do a little bit of scouting. Go to your biggest competitors, if they are more successful than you, copy their targeted audience, then improve on what they are doing. Or choose to target a new audience that your competitors aren’t targeting. Perhaps you can break into some of that rare un-mined gold.
Reverse-Engineer your product.
Go back to the design board a little bit. Think about the early stages of your product, who were you picturing as your average user when you designed the product/service.
Compile the research.
After you have done the above, combine your findings. The more overlapping factors, the better. So if the age 24-26 category comes up in all of the above, you know your best-targeted audience is in that age bracket.
The perfect formula
When I write any marketing emails or any advertisement, I tend to follow this formula.
Half of your email marketing writing should be educational newsletters relevant to your product, services, or company. It should be timely and informative.
About one-quarter of your email newsletter should be promotional, which includes your Call To Action, your sales pitch, prices, etc.
We all know that if you go in too pushy with the promo, most readers will just click X.
The other two are pretty explanatory and common knowledge. But this rule is an important one.
Too often, email newsletters come loaded with promotion and sales pitch, and they have lots of information.
But they don’t get results.
That’s because they lack character. If you want me to answer an email, be it from a previous purchase or a cold-call email in my inbox, it needs to be engaging.
I want to feel some of the writer’s personality in there. It could be slightly funny, moving, or just written with care. The second your writing becomes stale or boring; you lose a good chunk of your readers.
Make your subject lines hook for the reader.
Another common mistake that is one of the simplest ones to fix.
If you are like us, you have probably received thousands of emails over the years. You know yourself what subject lines have made you open emails, and what has made you ignore them.
It hard to get people to subscribe to a mailing list, what’s even harder is getting them to open the emails you send to them.
If you send emails with boring and often very similar subject lines, week in week out, you will soon lose the interest of your audience.
Spend some time getting creative with your subject lines, and you will see massive results very quickly.
“Best 5 coffee brands” – Boring
“The 5 most intense coffee brands on the planet” – Much Better.
Make sure you also avoid spammy words, don’t plaster words like “Free” or “Limited offer” or “Reminder to act now.”
Never use excessive punctuation either; no one will open an email with $$$$ in the title.
Make it personal. If you have followed our previous steps to identify a target audience, you know the tone of voice and age range you most want to aim for. Write subject lines that will hook that audience.
And finally, make sure your subject line lives up to its promise. The subject should correspond entirely with the content in the email.
Choose your leading CTA.
Your newsletter is obviously going to contain multiple calls to action. But you have to prioritize here, make sure your leading CTA gets the most coverage and prominence.
One of your CTA’s has to be the boss here, usually the thing that you most want the users to click on in your newsletter. It could be to click to check out a new video or a new product.
Make it very clear that this is the best thing they can get out of the newsletter.
The rest of your CTA’s can be there for if the user has a bit more time on their hands, so although they need to be well thought out, focus on your lead.
Perfect your landing page.
When you have figured out the aims of your newsletter, you have researched your target audience, and you have picked your CTA.
The next step is making sure when they click on your links, they are brought to a landing page that is well designed.
If you aren’t a pro at website design, hire a freelancer. The cost of hiring a professional will pay you back 100 fold if it leads to a higher success rate when it comes to subscriptions.
Use websites like Fiverr or Freelancer, we like to choose up and coming freelancers on those platforms. They are usually cheap compared to top-rated gigs. Plus you get to help out someone on their journey, often they are much more likely to re-edit and go the extra step for you.
On this page, you have to sell yourself even better, this is the last hurdle to getting a new subscriber.
You need to get specific, tell them what you are going to provide them in your newsletters.
Make sure readers can unsubscribe.
This could be one of the most important tips we can give.
The most detestable newsletter on the planet is the one we can’t opt-out of. Stopping your readers from opting out of your newsletters is suicide. All you are going to get here is an angry customer base that is much more likely to publicly out you through their respective channels as a newsletter to stay away from.
So make it loud make it proud make it clear, make it extremely easy to unsubscribe, it usually has a calming effect on users if they know straight away they have the option.
Run regular audits.
A massive part to play in your success is regular audits of how your email newsletter is performing.
Email audits look at what is working and what is not working in your email marketing newsletters.
Some things to look at are things like:
- How many people opened the email.
- How many of them then clicked through(CTR)
- Is the right audience being targeted?
- What is the current trend in the market?
Often people will spend a lot of time, money, and effort in creating their email marketing. Unfortunately, a lot of them go on to let things coast, without regular auditing.
We advise against this, regular audits keep your emails fresh and up to date. When a new trend emerges, you will know about it from your audits, you can adapt and take control. Regular audits are the best way to make sure you are ahead of the competition.
Perfect your content.
Your click-through rates and your success rate are often going to rely on how strong your content is. Relevance is king, paired with visuals and infographics.
People nowadays need everything to be condensed. They need to find what they are looking for or expect to see exceptionally quickly.
This means your content needs to be relevant. It needs to inform and teach and provide as much as it can in condensed form.
Your email design needs to be perfect. It does not matter how good your content or your research is, if your email looks terrible, people won’t give it the time of day.
When designing your email, make sure they don’t break the following design rules.
- Don’t be too flashy
- Email is too large
- Missing CTA buttons or bad links.
- Imagery that is skewed or lousy quality.
- Mobile-Friendly – Very Important!
I hope you have found the tips and tricks shared above helpful. Writing an email newsletter is an important skill to have and is often deceptively hard.
Learning to create the right email newsletter can bring huge amounts of traffic to your site, products, and services.
So don’t be the new-age culprit of the Boring Company Email crime.
Let me close with a few finishing tips for you guys.
- Keep Content Snappy
- Make Your Content Valuable
- Test Test Test
We hope you get the results you want from your newsletters! Thanks for reading everyone!