Email 101: Make Newsletters That Work

Your basic sales email and your basic email newsletter are two entirely different tools. While a sales email relies mostly on images, graphics and appealing copy to draw the reader in, the email newsletter relies on a more straightforward approach, often using more copy and less graphics to get the message across. When you make a newsletter, you have to be extra conscious of its purpose, as well as what your goals are in sending it. Here are three questions to ask yourself when you make newsletters:

What is my goal in sending my newsletter?

When you make a newsletter, you want it to do something. It might be to sell something in a more covert way than a sales email. You might need to reassure your recipients that your company is doing well and you'll continue to deliver top-notch products. Maybe you want it to tell recipients that you've overhauled your customer service strategy and you want them to know that you'll go above and beyond expectations from now on. Your HTML newsletter should have a single purpose. It's easy to say that you'd like it to accomplish three things, or even four, but cut it back to one. Make it a direct, focused message. If you jump around too much, trying to do too many things, you'll confuse your readers and lose sight of the message.

What types of visuals will I need?

While many newsletters go out without a single image or graphic, we recommend that you at least insert one or two visuals to go along with your text. The reasons? It's simple: you want your visual to break up the text and give the illusion of having less to read. Do your best to find at least one photo, even if it's just of your company office or a person featured in your newsletter. If you can't find an image, try a graphic. A graphic can go a long way to breaking up the text and giving the reader something to focus on besides the amount of text in your newsletter. Make newsletters as visual as you can without completely diluting your overall message.

Can I fall back on landing pages if I have too much to say?

Landing pages, pages on your Website that expand upon whatever is in your email or newsletter, can go a great distance in getting your emails read. Landing pages give the reader a choice of reading a condensed, truncated version of your newsletter, or an expanded, unabridged version that they can find on your Website. Landing pages can do all sorts of things most emails can't. They can land customers on a page that not only gives more information on a topic, but also upsells the customer into buying a product right then and there. They can also simply tell an expanded story on what recipients will find in their email inbox, but the bottom line is they give email recipients a choice to read on about topics they find interesting without having to sit through paragraphs upon paragraphs of text, especially when there are so many emails the average reader must sift through on a daily basis. For this reason alone, we recommend setting up a framework of landing pages where the reader can find the whole story instead of the smaller version found in their inbox.

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