Today’s web users have shorter attention spans than ever. This means that, no matter how much valuable information you’ve packed into your awesome e-newsletter, you have to catch your audience’s eye to keep them reading. Below are seven tips to take into consideration if you want to make sure your online digest is well-read and you want to make your e-newsletter even more awesome than it is right now.
1. Ask First
One of the biggest factors contributing to whether someone will open an email is if he or she trusts the sender, according to a 2005 study. For that reason, it is important to have your contacts’ permission prior to sending them your newsletter. You can have them sign up in person — at your shop or at trade events, for example — or online. Ideally, you should remind them of where they signed up when you send your first letter so they can place you and, consequently, trust you.
2. A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words
Your awesome e-newsletter will most likely rely heavily on text to convey your message. You should, however, include at least one headlining image to draw your readers in and drive home the point you’re trying to make.
For example, let’s say the Dover Downs Hotel & Casino was advertising their fleet of $100 slot machines through their email newsletter. One way to get their subscribers to read more would be to headline their newsletter with, “Do You Want to Win This?” above an image showing a stack of bills that equals the risky slots’ grand-prize amount. They could include more information about the game — and the site’s multitude of other attractions, including concerts — later in the text, but an eye-catching image would surely inspire more readers to keep scrolling.
3. Keep It Simple
If your newsletter looks overwhelming, your readership won’t delve into it. To avoid this problem, choose a newsletter layout that’s simple and clean. Justify your paragraphs so they are evenly sized or organize each short-yet-informational story into tables to make skimming simple and reading enjoyable. Once you have your newsletter designed, look at it on a mobile device, tablet and PC to ensure it’s easy on the eyes everywhere.
4. Stay True to Your Original Objective
It’s easy to let your mind wander while writing a newsletter, because you want to fill it with as much information as you can. This, however, is a turn-off to online readers. Make a list of the things you want to share before writing and put only those things into your newsletter. This way, your important points won’t be forgotten or bogged down by random thoughts you had while writing.
5. Include a Call to Action
Sure, a newsletter is a great way to get the word out about your recent happenings. However, one of the best ways to gauge engagement is to include a call to action. After you have compiled the list of objectives you have for your newsletter, see if any of them require your reader to do anything.
For example, if your goal is to get more people to read your latest post about summer fashion trends, include a photo and a link with a prompt like, “Is your closet summer-ready? Click here to find out what will be hot this year.” This way, interested parties can easily find the link you have referenced, and you can easily see how many people were enticed to click it.
6. Test Before You Hit Send
There are programs that make sure your newsletter’s links work and pictures show up across several platforms, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go over everything at least once before sending it to your entire list of contacts. Send a copy to yourself — or employ a colleague’s fresh set of eyes — to make sure images show up, links work and everything looks and sounds right. You can’t take a mass e-mail back once you have sent it, so make sure your letter is ready to go when you press send.
7. Don’t Hide the Unsubscribe Button
As painful as it may be to lose a follower, you’re not gaining anything by sending your newsletters to people who don’t want to read them. Don’t camouflage your “unsubscribe” button in small text or text that’s not visibly hyperlinked. Recipients of your emails will appreciate the ease with which they are able to unsubscribe, so there won’t be any hard feelings against you or your brand. Furthermore, after they realize how simple the process is, they might be open to signing up again in the future.
While it is a continuous challenge to grasp and keep the attention of web surfers and online readers, these suggestions might provide the advantage you’ve been looking for!
How do you engage your subscribers with your awesome e-newsletter? Tell us in the comments section below.