Newsletters - Getting Better Results

By: Phil McCumskey

Okay, so you’ve written your latest newsletter and e-mailed it to your large base of subscribers. Now you sit back and wait to see the feedback you receive. And that’s when reality kicks in. Your ‘open’ rate is low, very low. For every 500 subscribers, only 8 have opened the newsletter and fewer have then clicked onto your website. Nope, this is just not working!

Interest Your Subscriber

Ideally you’d like around 80% of your subscribers to at least open the newsletter and take a look. I mean, they are subscribers after all! So what can you do about this particular problem? Here are a few things to consider:

1. Check

Is your e-mail getting through? Run a check with your Internet Service Provider to ensure that your e-mail newsletter is actually getting through to the majority of your subscribers.

2. Subject Line

Spend some time on your subject line. This is critical. Make sure it grabs the attention of your subscribers and encourages them to open the newsletter. I mean how far do you think you’re going to get if you merely refer to it as “Issue 6 – June"? That’s not going to do the trick. Get creative. Try to think of a subject line that’s so interesting your subscribers feel they have to open your mail then and there and read on further.

3. Offer Advice

A newsletter is not only a means to advertise and sell your products or services. If this is the main reason for yours then you’ll be disappointed. Once again get creative. Include articles that offer your subscribers good advice or helpful tips. You can even ask them to respond to a particular question or topic and see what kind of response is generated. A newsletter needs to add value. As an example, if you sell corporate personalized-label wines, include some tips or advice on building client relationships and corporate gift giving.

4. Customize

Try and customize your mailing lists. Add value by targeting your products to particular subscribers – they may be corporate gift buyers, individuals, groups, clubs etc. Make them feel that your newsletter is aimed at them exclusively.

The Professionals

Amazon.com is a great example of how best to do this. They customize information based on their customers’ interests. They’re aware of what each and every customer was looking for when they last visited their website and they also keep a record of every item purchased. In this way they learn what their customers prefer and can offer them products and content that meets with their approval.

So why not apply the same thinking to your subscriber mailing list. Ask your subscribers to tell you what topics they’re interested in… what advice or helpful tips they’d like you to include. By doing this, you’ll make them feel very special and almost guarantee that they’ll open and read your newsletter each time it’s sent to them.

What To Include

When designing your newsletter bear in mind the amount of time you can expect your reader to spend reading it. Most people today are busy and in a hurry.

Here’s a 3 tips on what to include:

1. News

Recent information about your company and products that you feel your subscribers would be interested in. For instance, why not include a link to an upcoming tradeshow at which your company will be an exhibitor or alert them to an event that your company will be sponsoring.

2. Articles

Always include an article that relates to your products or services, but make sure the focus of the article is on helping or assisting your subscribers. Over time you can develop a resource library that contains other valuable articles and at the same time, provide a link so that your subscribers can easily access these.

3. Testimonials

A testimonial is still one of the strongest marketing tools around. So, quote an example of a client who’s had great results from using your products or services. Normally subscribers relate well to this kind of information and it gives your company added credibility. Once again, provide a link for additional product or service testimonials.

A Final Word

When writing articles keep them between 600-800 words and section them into easy-to-read blocks each with a bold headline. This allows your subscribers to skim quickly through the content and stop at places of particular interest to them.

If you follow just some of the steps suggested above, your newsletters will become more impactful, generate more interest and, most importantly, will be opened and read by many more of your subscribers.


Writing
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Writing