How to write an effective email newsletters

How to write an effective email newsletters

Do you write a newsletter for your site that keeps people coming back for more? If not, you’re missing out on the perfect opportunity to market your site or your product. When people sign up for a newsletter, they’re holding the door open for you.

Before you start, think through these things:

What is your goal in sending the newsletter? Do you want to market your site, or your product?

Who will be reading the newsletter? Do you have a list of people who have subscribed from your site?

Are they young, old, well to do, rural? Your attitude should depend on this.

What can you say in the newsletter to achieve your goal? How do you connect your readers to your product? (Whether the ‘product’ is your site or your sale.)

Writing a good newsletter – one that catches the reader’s attention and appeals to him in some way – isn’t a mysterious, difficult thing, but there are a few things to remember as you write.

First, forget the all caps and the exclamation points. Write in a friendly way; don’t sound like a salesman! People get enough of that all around them and become immune to it. Read your newsletter out loud, and if it sounds stilted or silly, it probably is. If it sounds like a carnival hawker, that’s the way it’s going to hit your readers’ ears.

Readers want to know what you’re talking about. Don’t weary them with puns and jokes that make them dig for the punch line. Get straight to the point of what you want to say. Make room for a special tip or secret that they won’t find easily anywhere else – even on your site. This keeps up the interest and keeps you from losing subscribers.

Link to your site and don’t be shy about it. If what you’re saying interests people, they’ll want more of it. How many times do people read a newsletter from top to bottom looking for a link to the meat the newsletter promised, and give up? Don’t let it happen.

Don’t give it all away, though, and don’t fill your newsletter with nothing but links. Give the reader a taste of what they will find on your site. The idea is to whet the appetite, not satisfy it.

Use a part of an article or a catchy blurb to interest the reader, then give them the URL in a clickable form so they can go read the rest of it. Write it with the ‘http://’ part. Just writing won’t make a clickable link. Make it as easy as you can for your reader to get from your newsletter to your site.

Don’t send your newsletter in HTML format, unless your reader specifies it. HTML email takes longer to download, and not all email programs read them properly. If you have something to say, there’s no need to show off your HTML skills. You run the risk of alienating a portion of your audience.

Break up the text into paragraphs of two or three sentences. Long, run on paragraphs are hard to read and most readers will lose interest quickly. Your job is to keep them interested in what you have to say.

There are many long, long newsletters out there, and some of them do quite well. Most of them are narrow in scope, and the readers are keenly interested in the topic, but the most very long newsletter loses the reader’s interest quickly. It’s better to err on the side of brevity.

Do sign off (or in) with something friendly, even off-topic, but timely. Write your views about sports, news or personal (but not too) topics. Never write anything that could possibly be construed to be an insult or demeaning in any way to anyone – gender, race, religion, and politics included!

It’s the law, and it’s practical, to make the subscribe/unsubscribe directions easy to find and include it in every newsletter. Also include things like “Feel free to send/forward this newsletter to a friend.” If you want to encourage return email, include a clickable return address, thus:

Spell check, proofread and edit thoroughly! Let it cool for a day and read it again. Be meticulous in grammar. If you can, have someone else proofread it. It’s hard to catch your own mistakes.

When you’re satisfied that you’ve done your best, hit the ‘send’ button and go have a cup of coffee. You’ve just impressed hundreds or even thousands of people. Isn’t the internet wonderful?

When you’re satisfied

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