Did you know that your customers love newsletters? Recent polls have shown that 90 percent of consumers prefer to receive company updates from email newsletters. But that doesn’t mean that you can phone in your next email. If you want to build a strong relationship with your subscribers and ensure that they look forward to your messages, you have to keep brushing up on email newsletter best practices. Now that summer is drawing to a close, it’s time to take your newsletter back to school. Follow these tips to create compelling newsletters for the fall season and beyond.
Make sure your newsletter is scannable
This newsletter design best practice should be at the top of your mind all year long. But if you’ve slipped up, and have accidentally been creating overly long messages or cramming text and photos together in your emails, now is the time to hit reset on your design process. The holiday season is a major revenue driver — and it’s right around the corner. You don’t want to turn off readers before you even have a chance to launch your promotional campaigns in the winter. So, start creating newsletters that are easy to scan.
- Break up content into small blocks of three or four sentences to make it easier for subscribers to mentally process information.
- Create bulleted or numbered lists when appropriate (i.e., when listing tips, writing out steps for a how-to or presenting brief company updates).
- Use headlines for each section, so readers can quickly get the gist of the email before they dig in.
- Don’t skimp on the whitespace. Give your readers’ eyes a break by making sure there is plenty of blank space surrounding text, images and graphics.
Remember, you could have great content with tons of useful tips and information, but if it’s all buried in a wall of text, it’s likely to be ignored. Check out this email from Tasting Table to see how the company balances whitespace, images and text:
Create a fall-themed how-to, checklist or guide
The goal of a newsletter — and really all content — should always be to add value to the lives of your readers. If your content isn’t going to entertain, inform or solve a problem, there’s no real reason for anyone to click on your messages. Of course, it isn’t always easy to come up with compelling ideas, but the good news is that you have a built-in theme and jumping off point with seasonal newsletters.
Think about all the ways that your business is uniquely equipped to help subscribers prepare for the season. A clothing retailer could celebrate the return of sweater weather with a fall trend report, a plumber or contractor might provide tips on weatherproofing homes, and a landscaper could offer autumn pruning and gardening advice. Consider what your readers want this time of year and create educational content that will help them satisfy that need.
Have fun with copy
Want to add some flair to your newsletter copy? Get punny. With seasonal content, there are so many opportunities to weave in puns, emojis and fun phrases. Subject lines and headlines are the best places to try out your clever fall wordplay. In this example from Petco, cute, fall-themed headlines are used to present holiday pet tips:
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The early bird gets the email clicks, so start creating your newsletters well before they need to be sent. Doing so will give you ample time to review messages before they go out, enabling you to check for any typos and perfect your email layout. It will also make life a little less stressful. You have so much to do to keep your business running smoothly, and you shouldn’t have to scramble to get your emails out on time.
Be mindful of upcoming events, promotions and other important dates that you want to mention in your newsletter. For the fall, that might include Veterans Day, Halloween, the beginning of basketball and football seasons, and Thanksgiving. After you’ve created your newsletter, use VerticalResponse’s Email Automation to schedule it.
Newsletters are a great way to keep in touch with your target customers, boost website traffic and highlight the benefits of using your products and services. Make sure your subscribers are enjoying your messages by referring to these newsletter best practices all year long.
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© 2018, Amber Humphrey. All rights reserved.