6 Keys to Creating an Engaging Email Marketing Newsletter

newsletterEmail newsletters are one of the most commonly used marketing tactics by organizations of all sizes.

A highly efficient and scalable marketing tool, its popularity among businesses shows no signs of slowing down as 67% of businesses plan to increase their usage of the tactic this year. When done right, newsletters can be great vehicles for engaging with your target market and establishing yourself as an industry thought leader. Here are 6 easy tips to help you create a click-through behemoth.

1. Etiquette

It goes without saying that spamming is bad. Sending your newsletter to as many people as possible may seem like a great idea to increase your reach, but there’s no better way to feed the junk mail monster than by sending your newsletter to those who haven’t explicitly asked for it. Spamming might get you a few opens in the short-term, but over a longer period it will hurt both your subscription and open rates. Remember – a small, engaged audience is immensely more valuable than a large, apathetic one.

2. Study Your Target Audience

This applies on several levels. Of course it’s important to target your newsletter to specific customer groups, but making an effort to understand these groups’ daily habits is crucial too. When are they most likely to open and read their daily email? How do they structure their workdays? What is the nature of their relationship with what you offer? Ultimately, a lot has been written on the mythical best time to send your email but really there is no one best time – only a best time for your audience.

3. Leverage Your Existing Content

Chances are you’re already producing great content for your startup or small business using a blog, website, or social media tool. Your newsletter is a great opportunity to leverage the hard work you’ve already put in. Link people to your blog posts that are relevant to the topic of your current newsletter, pull great content from your social media tools, and offer opportunities to download your existing marketing content, such as brochures, fact sheets, or case studies.

4. Design for Success

Never underestimate the power of great design. There’s nothing worse than an ugly or boring newsletter. Luckily for those of us who aren’t coding wizards, free or inexpensive newsletter management tools like Constant Contact and MailChimp have great free templates. When designing your newsletter, remember to stay on brand and integrate photographs and other rich media like YouTube videos. A recent campaign for one of our customers averaged almost a 10% increase in opens and click-through rates following a newsletter redesign that incorporated YouTube videos as content.

5. Conciseness + Consistency

At the end of the day your newsletter is another marketing tool competing for your customers’ attention, so keeping things concise, to the point, and consistent is key. Let your audience know exactly what they’re in for by taking the time to read your content. Research has shown that shorter subject lines get more opens, but longer subject lines result in more click-throughs. Find a happy medium between the two. Click-throughs are more important to create engagement, but they won’t happen if no one opens your email.

Most newsletters have open rates between only 13% and 23%, so to grab and maintain your viewers attention, be clever with your subject line and content. Don’t title your monthly newsletter “Widgets-R-Us Monthly Newsletter”. It’s just poor marketing communications. It’s dull, feels like a sales pitch, and won’t start many conversations. Instead, use impactful keywords, intuitive calls-to-action, or lead with your best content.

Follow these 6 tips to increase your newsletter’s open and click-through rates and ensure that your target audience no longer dreads receiving boring emails. Email marketing can be a great first step to closing more B2B sales. If you’re new to email marketing and would like to learn more, subscribe to our monthly startup and small business newsletter.

6 Keys to Creating an Engaging Email Marketing Newsletter