Newsletters are pretty tricky.
There’s always the question of maintaining the perfect balance of value and marketing, plus getting people to engage is always difficult in the beginning.
That’s why we created this quick guide.
Today, we’ll take a look at how to create engaging newsletters that people will actually read, based on our own experience with them!
Might Not Be The Newsletter, Could Be Your Mailing List
If you’re reading this article because you just did an audit, don’t go to your newsletters first.
Instead, take a quick look at the mailing list attached to your newsletter as that might be the culprit as to why people aren’t reading your newsletter.
Look at the general profile of the people on your mailing list.
Do you think that the content you’re sending out matches their profile?
If not then it’s not the newsletter to blame it’s your mailing list.
Before you go on your quest in creating better newsletters, you need to take a step back and create a better mailing list first.
Create Better Content
This is a no-brainer, but it is critical in creating engaging newsletters.
We’re not discussing topics here.
That’s still dependent on who you’re mailing your newsletter to.
We’re talking about the content itself.
Here are some questions to ask yourself before you start writing that ideal newsletter.
- What tone appeals the most to my audience?
- How long should the content be?
- What mood am I trying to bring about every time I reach out to people?
- Should I follow a specific structure each time?
You see, none of these questions even deal with the topic, but rather the nitty-gritty of your newsletter itself.
Here’s the thing.
When you tell someone you should be creating better content for their newsletters, they automatically think that it should be fun. I’m not totally against that, but how about if you have an audience that’s older and won’t get your memes or if you’re writing to a formal sector?
That’s your consideration because writing tonalities and structure will vary because of things like that.
And while we’re on the topic of content, I want to talk about value.
Everyone creates newsletters.
What do they talk about almost all of the time?
Now, we’re not saying that you shouldn’t include a sales pitch in your newsletter.
But, stop talking about yourself or anything about your company, and start providing people with value.
Think about it.
Would you read a newsletter from someone else’s family? Now, how about if there was a section there that talked about how you can make better decisions in your business or career?
That’s worth the read.
A lot of people often get into the habit of talking about the cool stuff that their organization offers, but that always bites them in the end. People don’t want to know about the stuff you’re doing, they want to know why they should still keep receiving email blasts from you, and that comes from showing them that you can add value to their lives,
So what kind of value should you be giving out?
- Tips about the industry
- Tools and worksheets
- Articles that can make their processes easier
- Stories that will help motivate them
This list is in by no means complete as there’s so much stuff that you can still add to it.
Look at your customer profile and try to provide them with something that you feel like they need to be better at what they’re doing.
Keep It Short
Want to keep something engaging.
Keep it short.
For email, you would want to keep it to 250 words – maybe 300, tops – if you seriously feel like you have a great piece of content.
Nobody wants to read anything long, especially if it’s just the first newsletter that you will be sending out.
The shorter your newsletter, the more likely it is for your reader to read it to the end and maybe even act on your CTA.
Long newsletters can get tedious to read, especially if they’re in an inbox of a busy reader.
Event/News Jacking Works
That’s one of the best pieces of advice that we’ve used at BAMF and we think that will help any email marketer trying to make it.
Your content has to resonate and you need to be in the same headspace as your reader.
This means being able to follow the trends and talk about them in your newsletter while giving value at the same time.
Is something big going on in the industry? Mention it.
Is there a popular TV show they could be watching? Mention it.
Even simple things like mentioning current events make you relatable to your prospect so you need to make sure that you mention it.
Sometimes It Helps To Stick to Text
Have you seen BAMF newsletters?
They’re predominantly all text.
We realized earlier on that sometimes you don’t need to create media-filled masterpieces to get people to engage.
Sometimes all you need is content with value and formatted the right way.
It makes things more personal.
Don’t forget to market your newsletter and connect your other marketing campaigns together.
You can do this via cross-marketing.
Use your socials to promote the fact that your organization puts out newsletters on a weekly basis and then you can even get your readers to follow you on other outlets or join your mastermind group in the email.
Doing this increases the buzz around your newsletter and allows you to create more engagement through that generated interest.
Where did you last check your email?
If you’re like the majority of us, it’s usually on your phone before you get to it on your computer.
And, growth marketers have to account for that.
A lot of readers will be screening their emails on their phones before they fully read them on a larger device, so this means you have to optimize for smaller devices.
This means you need:
- Legible fonts
- Better margins
- Images that don’t take up the entire email
- Smaller paragraphs
(And, as we mentioned earlier, shorter emails.)
While you’re at it with these tips, make sure you’re doing everything that you can to improve your email deliverability.
This can range from proper email hygiene, cross segmentation, better reputations with ISPs, etc.
Now, I won’t go through this in so much detail but I’ll leave a link to that article here:
Takeaways on How to Create Engaging Newsletters
You won’t always get it right in the beginning.
And, there’s nothing wrong with that.
What’s critical is that you provide value first and then figure out everything else later.
What good is a clickable subject line if people drop out because you don’t have anything that’s worth their time to bring to the table?