Consider your audience and when they will most likely be available to read the newsletter. Avoid sending emails on Monday mornings or late Friday afternoon.
2. Optimise for the preview pane
A large percentage of people only read email in their preview pane, meaning the top 200-300 pixels of your message is what people are going to see first. If including a banner, make sure there is also room to see the titles of lead articles.
3. Text-only e-newsletters
Most email apps and inbox providers now default to graphics switched off. Design newsletters so they are equally appealing with and without graphics.
4. Test test test
Test before sending to a variety of accounts: Outlook, Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, BlackBerry or iPhone devices.
5. Subject line
Open-rates live or die by an engaging subject line. The subject header is a hook into the content. Pick an engaging subject line, based on one of your lead news items. Avoid simply titling your newsletter. “Joe Blogs Ltd Newsletter November”. Once you have decided on your subject line, be consistent with all future emails.
Be consistent. Decide on a standard number of articles and a standard format for writing articles and stick to it. E-newsletters don’t need to be long: between 3 and 5 articles per newsletter can be highly effective.
7. Be brief
Keep each item to a maximum of 150 words, ideally less. Consider each news item a “taster”: for the full article, the recipient will need to click on a link. Write a headline and lead-in paragraph, then link to your website or social media channels for the full text.
- Consider your ‘From’ address – what will the email address be?
- Include a ‘Forward to a Friend’ option
- Include link to privacy information on your website
- The newsletter template should includes links to your website and all social media channels
- Include an ‘unsubscribe’ link
Did you know?
- Over 80% of consumers prefer email as the main method of communication with companies (Inbox Report, Merkle 2009)
- Average open rates for emails in databases with 5-499 contacts in Australia is 34.2% (Vision 6)
- Sending emails at 8am generates average open rates of 51.4%. Sending at 9am decreases the average to 33% (Aweber Delivery Results CBM Consumer Pulse study)