What content should I put in my email newsletter?

Email newsletters are an excellent way to stay in touch with your customers. You can tell them about your latest specials, services, new products, new team, latest discounts and more. They also give your customers an easy way to reach you in return, either to enquire, request a quote, or buy your product. The possibilities are endless, but that makes it difficult to know where to start.

There are many different types of emails that you could send. If you’re fresh out of ideas, have a look at our article “8 Informational Emails you can Send”, as well as “4 Transactional Emails you can Send”. While these articles offer some great ideas, they still don’t answer the fundamental question – what content should be in every email you send?

1. Branding

Your customer should know immediately who the email is from so you can build the awareness of your brand. Your branding could reflect in the send name (i.e. sent from ABC Company), the send email address ([email protected]) and the subject line (ABC Company Newsletter: June 2018). More importantly, your logo should appear in the newsletter, and it will probably be designed using your company colours and fonts. Brand consistency is key. If you are sending useful content, people will learn to spot your email and will set aside time to read it.

2. Feature Content

Whether you’re running a special or sharing a great article, each newsletter should have a focus, and this should be displayed prominently at the top of the page. This is often referred to as “above the fold”. (This term was coined by newspapers when the most important news was printed in the top half of the front page so as to be visible when the paper was folded.) In email terms, this is often the section that’s visible in your reader’s preview pane. The most important information goes here so even if they don’t read further, they can take the action you want them to take.

This content should offer your readers some value, whether in the form of a discount, an article, a checklist, or a tip. If it’s not valuable, it will be ignored.

A Note about Feature Content:
Clients often tell me they don’t know what to feature because everything in their newsletter is important. While I understand their point, if everything is important and given the same visual weight, then everything becomes noise and readers aren’t directed to a focal point. People skim newsletters in seconds. If your newsletter has no focal point, your response will likely be poor as readers don’t know where to look, so they just don’t. If you’re struggling to pick a feature, spend a little more time on your email strategy so the objective of each newsletter you send is clear. Once your objective is clear, picking a feature should be easy.

3. The Sales Pitch

It’s why we’re all here isn’t it? Whatever your reason for sending, ultimately you are also trying to make more sales. Once you have given your readers something valuable in the feature above, you can tell them about the thing you’re trying to sell. It might be a new product offering, or a summary of your catalogue, or links to other product lines on your website. This is a place to showcase what you offer so make it appealing, just try not to let it dominate the feature above. After all, you want to offer value first, and sell second. That’s the strategy that will keep your subscribers reading week after week.

4. Contact Details

This seems like a no-brainer but time and again I see newsletters that don’t have clear contact details. If you want readers to contact you, make it EASY for them to do so. I don’t believe a website link is the answer here. Assume they are extremely busy and don’t have time to go to your website. List your email address and website link at the very least and make them large enough to see easily. You can also add your phone number and your social media links. Include your office hours and time zone if you service an international market.

5. The Legal Stuff

It’s almost impossible to send a newsletter these days without an unsubscribe link, particularly if you’re using an online service to do so. Even so, if you have the option to leave the unsubscribe link off, don’t even go there. Make sure people can remove themselves from your database if they want to. Don’t hide the link, or make it tiny, or in a colour that makes it difficult to read. If someone wants to unsubscribe and you make them work for it, you will make an enemy and they will report you for spam. In some countries you are also required to add your physical or postal address.

6. Subscribe Link

Please also include a subscribe link! If you’re sending great content, then more people will want to get in on the action! Your readers can forward your email to their friends or colleagues, and you need to make it easy for them to join your list. After all, that’s the beauty of email – your list can grow exponentially without any more effort from you.

7. Other Links

You can also include an “Update Profile” link, or “Forward to a Friend” link. Social sharing links are also great to increase your reach, so readers can share your email to their social networks.

There are exceptions to every rule and it’s entirely up to you which of these you want to implement, but if you’re at a loss as to where to begin, you can’t go far wrong with this list.

Good luck with your email marketing campaign! If you need any help, please contact us.

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