The majority of people prefer receiving communication from companies through email (73% according to the DMA research), that’s why newsletters remain the essence of online marketing for most businesses. If done right, they effectively turn subscribers into satisfied customers and are a reliable source of revenue for your business.
This article will provide you with some useful information to help you create great newsletters.
If you feel like you need a general overview of email marketing first, here’s an extensive article that will provide you with context for your newsletters:
If you want to optimize your email campaigns for higher opens, clicks, and conversions, you’ll find the following article very useful:
What is a newsletter?
An email newsletter (or e-newsletter, online newsletter) is an email message sent to subscribers on a regular schedule. Newsletters are used along the customer journey, assisting subscribers with relevant content that helps them perform actions you expect them to perform.
You can use newsletters to keep in touch with your subscribers, prospects, and customers along the customer journey. Well planned email newsletters provide subscribers with relevant information and help them in the decision-making process. Also, they help you achieve business goals.
What is the average newsletter open rate and click-through rate?
The average newsletter results according to Email Marketing Benchmarks are as follows:
Open rate: 20.92%
Click−through rate: 3.07%
Click−to−open rate: 14.65%
Bear in mind that these numbers can vary depending on the type of industry you’re in, your audience, or the nature of your communication.
As a general rule, it’s best to compare your results to other companies within the same vertical. You’ll find this data in the report I’ve mentioned above.
How do I create a newsletter?
In order to create an effective email newsletter you need to, first and foremost, take the following factors into consideration:
- Goal: what do you expect your subscribers to do after they receive the newsletter?
- Content: what content do they need to follow the CTA?
- Design: how to communicate the message effectively?
The most important factor is the goal of your newsletter. That’s simply because the goal of the newsletter will help you choose the most compelling call to action. And I firmly believe that you should always start designing your newsletters with choosing the right CTA.
You don’t need a team of graphic designers in order to create outstanding email newsletter.
Tools like GetResponse come with hundreds of free newsletter templates, which you can use as your own and edit them to your liking.
What should I include in a newsletter?
The basic elements of a newsletter are:
- The subject line and preheader: subscribers read the subject line and preheader of your newsletter to decide whether to open or ignore it.
- Header: the header appears in the preview pane. Use it to introduce your offer or encourage subscribers to read further.
- Body: make sure the content is aligned with the goal of your newsletter
- CTA: the call to action is the most important element of your email newsletter. Make it prominent and crystal clear.
Newsletter ideas with examples
As you already know, the most important thing is to set a goal for your newsletter. That’s why we would like to present the newsletter ideas from the goal perspective. It’s so much easier to come up with awesome newsletter content ideas when you’ve set the right goal.
Goal: Product presentation – show (and sell) the product
The following email newsletter ideas will come in handy if you want to introduce your product to your subscribers. Such emails are crucial during the evaluation stage, when your prospect gather information that allows them to make a decision whether to buy your product or not.
Remember that it’s not only about explaining what makes your products different from those of your competitors. Often, it’s about educating your prospects on the subject matter and helping them recognize if they need such products at all.
1. New product announcement: plan an email marketing campaign that will spark a feeling of anticipation among your subscribers. You can announce the key ideas of a product that is yet to come and use the feedback in the development process.
This email form Texas Beard Co. uses a gif to present the new product. They say “a picture is worth a thousand words”, I guess that a well-thought-out gif is worth at least a few pictures.
2. Featured feature: an email focusing one particular feature of the product, e.g. Email Newsletter templates in GetResponse.
The primary goal of this email from Fridababy is to introduce the new product. The email skillfully presents the features of the product and urges subscribers to go shopping. The design is simple. It balances product pictures with great copy and encapsulates the brand spirit.
3. Interview with an expert: create an email with a short interview with people responsible for the product. Let them share the idea behind it. You can provide a video and an excerpt with a link to a blog post with the full transcript.
4. Ask me anything: you can send an email inviting your subscribers to participate in a AMA session focused around the upcoming product.
5. Unexpected ways to use the product: show users how they can go beyond the obvious with your product.
6. Behind the scenes: product development might be quite an adventure. Start creating content during the development process and use it to engage your subscribers.
7. A poll or survey: if you want to know what your subscribers think about your new or existing products, you can ask them directly simply by sending a survey.
8. Special event invitations: are you planning a special event during which you will show the prototype of your product. Run an email exclusive campaign inviting subscribers to take part.
9. Email course: does using your product require knowledge and skills. An email course is a great way to educate your prospects and customers so that they can use the product to their full potential.
10. Case studies: a case study presents real-life examples of your product providing a solution to a problem.
11. Customer reviews: opinions of other customers provide social proof for you marketing communication. Make sure to include them in your email cycles.
12. Industry news: provide broader context for the problems that your products solve with relevant industry news.
Goal: drive traffic from email
13. Tweet of the week: let your subscribers know what’s happening in your social media channels. Show why it’s worth to follow.
14. Contests and giveaways: don’t leave your subscribers behind, inform them about the cool things in social media.
This email form Crayola drives traffic from email in order to drive social media engagement. Remember that you can use social media to build your email list, but it might also be a good idea to invite your subscribers to your social media profiles.
15. Webinars: organize webinars related to your products. Such online events are a great way to build your email list and a chance to interact and gather feedback from attendees.
Goal: increase sales
16. Promotional email: a promotional email has always been one of the pillars of email marketing.
17. Time-limited promo: promotions tend to drive engagement. Introduce time-limit in order to create the sense of urgency and convince subscribers that now is the best time to buy.
The following email from Secret Escapes introduces a 24-hour sale. There is a counter at the top in order to remind subscribers that time is running out.
18. Holiday offer: use the 2019 Retail Calendar to plan and execute high-impact marketing campaigns.
The primary goal of this email from KIND is to use the national holiday to drive sales. The design is dominated by creative product pictures. In order to boost sales, there’s also an incentive – free delivery on order over a certain amount.
19. Cross-sell: use your ecommerce data to offer your customers complimentary products. Create content that explains why it’s a good idea to buy recommended products.
In this newsletter Ooni uses 2 CTAs: subscribers can download a chapter of their Cooking with Fire cookbook and buy one of the two ovens. The cookbook is a great example of complimentary content that drives product sales. People who know how to make a great pizza are obviously more likely to buy a pizza oven for the grilling season.
20. Up-sell: explain the differences between versions of your products and services. Show the benefits of and encourage subscribers to buy the higher versions.
21. Real-time marketing: think of ways to use a current craze to fuel your marketing. Email allows you to quickly jump on the bandwagon and create a newsletter that will use the power of synergy.
The following email from Shake Shack promotes a line of custom products designed for the fans during the final season of Game of Thrones.
22. Event announcement: plan a series of newsletters informing about your upcoming event. E.g. you can introduce speakers, attendees, present the venue, and run ticket sales campaigns.
A minimalistic email from The Conference informing about the upcoming event.
Goal: content distribution
23. Blog posts: if you run a blog, use email as distribution platform.
24. Top lists: depending on the number of blogs you publish, you can send an email with a list of the few most popular.
25. Roundup newsletter: a weekly/monthly/quarterly newsletter presenting most important facts relevant to your subscribers’ needs and preferences.
26. Holiday newsletter: you can come up with holiday-related content that your subscribers will find useful.
Goal: scale your business
27. Job postings: use your email list as a source of talent for your company. It’s very likely that you’ll find great employees among people who are genuinely interested in your brand.
Ss Brewtech informs about new career opportunities via this newsletter.
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