e-Newsletters have to work hard to be noticed, but they can still produce leads.
So you already have a blog and a website. But you’re not getting the readership or the leads that you’d hoped for. An e-newsletter may spark some more interest. It won’t take a tremendous amount of work since you can repurpose some of your existing content (and add some new material), and if you do it right, it may prompt potential customers into exploring your wares. Hoiwever, you have to get noticed. An announcement of an e-newsletter in your customers’ inbox can look like just another piece of junk mail, waiting to be deleted. Make sure yours doesn’t.
1. Create a compelling subject line.
As you know from your vast experience in mass-deleting emails, it probably takes you about a second and a half to decide whether or not to keep a message. Your subject line is the most critical sentence or sentence fragment in the entire newsletter. Try your best to keep your readers’ fingers off of the Delete key.
Here’s a subject line whose attached e-newsletter will soon be in the Recycle Bin: Valued Customer! Here is the August newsletter from [company name].
Exclamation points in business correspondence should be used sparingly, if ever. This subject line looks impersonal and terribly uninteresting. You don’t have to be clever or funny (if you try to be, test the line on a couple of friends). Be inviting and intriguing. Try something like this instead: 7 Easy Ways to Save Time and Money This Back-to-School Season.
2. Write a teaser paragraph or two upfront.
Don’t just launch into the first article. You captured their interest with the subject line but you could still lose them fast. Tell the readers what they can expect in the issue and how it will help them. Add a graphic, boldface or italicize some key words or phrases and use aesthetically-pleasing colours. Draw their eye to your words.
If you’re a retail outlet trying to drum up some local business during August, you could do something like this:
Few phrases bring as much joy and dread to a parent in August as Back to School Sale. It’s the prelude to a 9-month reprieve from day care worries and teenage drama, but it also means endless shopping trips to equip the youngsters for their classroom days.
We can simplify this chore for you. In our August issue, you’ll find helpful tips that have appeared in our blog like:
- 5 Ways to Reduce Your Back-to-School Shopping Bill
- Tips From a Tech Expert on Keeping Your Child’s Tablet or Smartphone Secure
- 3 Inexpensive, Capable Alternatives to the iPhone
- Dress the Kids Stylishly, for Less: Local Thrift Stores Gear Up For Back-to-School
- 6 Tips for Finding That Safe, Affordable Used Car for Your Teen
3. Link, link, link.
Send them back to your blog or your website as much as you can, since that’s where your readers will be able to make comments and interact with you. Start a thread called What Did We Miss in Our Newsletter? and ask for feedback.
4. Set yourself goals.
Do you have goals for your e-newsletters, some way you’d like the readers to respond (get them into the store, showcase your online storefront, highlight a particular product line)? Make sure to include a call to action and display it prominently:
Find the word “vexed” in this newsletter and get a 25 percent-off coupon to [store name].
Click here to get a sneak preview of our September specials.
How are you using your [product name]? Tell us here and win a free gift the next time you come in.
5. Get professional help if necessary.
If your time is short and your budget allows, employ a professional e-newsletter service for production and distribution. Using our integrated partner MailChimp, you’ll not only get expert help with your e-newsletter mechanics, but you’ll be able to analyze your campaigns and see who opens your emails and what links they click.
E-newsletters are a terrific way to drive traffic back to your website and blog, build customer relationships, cement loyalty, and find leads. Nimble can be a valuable ally as you build new channels for communication and information-sharing.
Follow Richard Young on Twitter here: Richard_Y