Let’s Start with a Subject Line
We readers of your newsletter want a subject that grabs our attention. Be careful here. Think of all the spam you receive. You want to avoid a subject line that reminds you of those messages, i.e., Free Bahamas Tips! Act Fast!
Tease your content. Do not pull a “bait and switch” and have completely unrelated subject/content.
Content: They Say it’s King
Yes, content rules all. The rule of thumb here is write something relevant to your audience. If you have a blog, I suggest looking to it for content. Newsletters are a great way to get your content out to your audience. Share enough of the post to give them a taste and a link to the article on your website. It’s a great way to drive traffic to your website, and if your audience likes what they read, they may just snoop around to see what else you have been up to over the last few weeks.
If you are not blogging, write about current topics that might interest your readers. Need ideas? Consider what you have been reading over the past few weeks. What’s grabbed YOUR interest? Will your audience be interested also? Do you have a unique perspective to share on this topic?
Keep It Short & Simple
When reading online, no one wants to read huge blocks of text. Get to the facts. Tell the story. Avoid unnecessary details. Being thrifty with your words will pay off.
Consider Your Mailing Schedule
As we have said, once a month is a pretty good schedule to be on…but what day of the week should you mail? What time of day?
It depends on your audience and what device they use to read your newsletter. Generally, mid-week (Tuesday-Thursday) around 10:00 AM or 1:00 PM is best. People with desk jobs will often take a break from work and read personal emails around this time. Of course, if your target market are not desk job types, this will change their behavior.
Another “game changer” is the popularity of mobile devices. People reading newsletters on their mobile device tend to buck all trends that have been discovered over the years and, more often than not, read late at night.
One final word of advice: experiment with different subject lines, types of content, and mailing schedule. Watch your results in your back end analytics. You will learn quickly what is or isn’t working. Many newsletter services offer something called an A/B Split Testing. You can send variations on your newsletter to different segments of your list and you can analyze what works in a side-by-side comparison. Some services will even break it down further. You can A/B Split test with 40% of your list and the final 60% will receive the most popular version of the newsletter.
To Sum It Up
Intriguing subject lines, quality content that is to the point, sent at a time your audience is open to reading your news are all you need to create a great newsletter. Get out there and start writing!