Email Marketing email-newsletter-featured

Published on June 5th, 2013 | by Amanda Day

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Secrets of a Successful Email Newsletter

Have you heard? Less is more especially when it comes to your email marketing newsletter. If you’re looking for easy ways to improve your existing newsletter (or start one from scratch) then look no further. Here are some quick tips to make your email newsletters stand out in the busy inbox and get your subscribers talking (and buying).

#1 – Manage Expectations

Whether folks are signing up for your emails online or at your place of business, let them know what value they can expect from you in your newsletters. That may be bi-weekly discounts on certain items, or invites to high-tech events. Whatever it is, let them know the frequency and the general content they can expect to receive upfront. When there are no surprises, your readers may be less likely to unsubscribe from your emails. We have an infographic with details here.

email newsletter

#2 – Be a Welcome Friend

Your email inbox is like your front door. The more someone knocks – the more you want to pretend you’re not home! Let’s be honest, no one wants to be the annoying (albeit well-meaning) neighbor that drops by a little too often. Stick with the mailing frequency you promised at the time someone subscribed, and if you plan to change it and mail more often, let them know so they can decide if they want to stay on your list. By providing valuable content and mailing when you’re expected too, you’ll be welcome in your subscribers inboxes.

#3 – Rock Your Subject Line

You have about 50 (give or take) characters to nail your subject line. Your subject line should be a clear, concise reflection of what’s in your email. It should also be attention-getting to stand out. If you’re offering a great promotion (ex. “Save $20 on Your Next Massage”), then don’t waste any time getting to the good stuff! Put it right in your subject line so folks have a good reason to open your message and get the details.

When it comes to email marketing etiquette, avoid ALL CAPITAL LETTERS, or too many exclamation points!!! as they both indicate yelling, and that’s the last thing you want to do to a customer. We’ve got a helpful infographic with more email marketing dos and don’ts here.

#4- Create Clear Calls-to-Action

What’s the goal of your email newsletter? Remember you’ve got about 3-5 seconds to command someone’s attention once they open your email, so be realistic about how much content you share. Sticking to one or two key pieces of information is a good idea. If you have more than that, always make sure the most important two things are near the top. If you have a lot more than that, consider breaking your email into a few shorter emails.

And, by using call-to-action buttons in your content, you make it clear for your reader to know what you want them to do and navigate from the email to your website. If you’re advertising an event, for example, you may want to use a “Register Now” button near the top of your email and again near the bottom for increased chances of click throughs.

#5 – Offer Something of Value

Are you offering the same discounts in your email that you offer on your website? If so, this is the perfect opportunity to change your game and offer unique deals to email subscribers, just for being on your email list! It creates a greater incentive for your readers to stay on your list and to share your newsletters with their friends.

One great example is The Soup Company. They offer the chance to win a free soup with every email – which shares the soup menu for that day at the restaurant nearest you. (Very convenient!)

The Soup Company

#6 – Keep it Concise

Remember that less is truly more. Consider your own email habits – Do you read every word? Probably not! Focus on the key points and content that your readers want. A good rule of thumb is not to share more than you can fit on one page in an office document. (Keep in mind that also includes pictures and some white space to make it easier to read.)

As visual creatures, people love images. Enhance your email with quality photos (clear, well-cropped) and colorful buttons. Let the readers’ eyes do the rest! A well-balanced email is about 80 percent text and 20 percent pictures.

#7 – Make it Sharable

Great offers are worth sharing with friends. Make it super easy for your readers to share their emails by adding a “Forward to a Friend” link to your email and social media sharing buttons. so they can share your content with their social networks. Getting your message in front of new people has never been easier.

#8 – Test it!

All it takes is one typo or a broken link to mess up a great newsletter.  Don’t let it happen to you. Test your email before you send it.  Test it on at least two or three email accounts and see how it looks. Have at least one co-worker proofread it for you, and make sure all your links work and go to the right place. For more tips on testing, check out “Email Testing 1, 2,3 – How to Get an A+.

While it can be tempting to share a lot of information with email subscribers, keep in mind that your email is one of many in the inbox and your readers appreciate brevity as much as they appreciate a good deal! If you can offer both, you’re well on your way to newsletter success!

What tips would you add to this list? Share away in the comments.

© 2013, VerticalResponse Blog. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

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About the Author

Amanda Day

is a Marketing Coach at VerticalResponse.



3 Responses to Secrets of a Successful Email Newsletter

  1. Jason Bragg says:

    Great advice, thanks Jason

  2. Maxwell says:

    Test it! then you will know whether it works or not!

  3. Bill Haskitt says:

    And what is unique that applies to only newsletters? This is all generally best practices for any email

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