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Tips for Creating Email Newsletters

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1. Decide on the aim of your email newsletter. Is it to drive traffic to your website, improve customer loyalty, generate additional sales, or generate advertising revenue? Keep your goal in mind when designing the newsletter.

2. Decide on the frequency of your newsletters and stick to it. Sending newsletters monthly tends to work best but weekly updates can also work well when they contain valuable information. Send the newsletter out on the same day each week or month to prevent the impression that one is sent out when things are quiet.

3. The headline is very important. “This month’s newsletter” doesn’t entice recipients into opening it. Asking a question can be a good way of creating intrigue.

4. HTML emails actually tend to work better than text-only emails. Research shows that people have a close relationship with their inboxes and as a consequence value email designs even more than actual website designs. As an alternative you could always ask recipients to choose which format to receive when signing up to your email newsletter.

5. Use first names in the email if possible. Research shows that over 80% of people have mistakenly labeled an incoming email as spam because they didn’t recognise the company or forgot that they subscribed to their mailing list. By using their first name at the start of the email or even in the subject line, this reminds the recipient that the email is valid.

6. Don’t talk about yourself. Phrases such as “in the last month we’ve added a new section on…” or “we’ve been making excellent progress recently, resulting in our move into new offices…” should be avoided. Your customers want to hear about how you can help them, not how they’re helping you.

7. Email newsletters can be a valuable research tool as well as having the advantage of showing that you care about your customers. Ask for feedback, product or service suggestions, or even run a poll to see what your customers really think.

8. Customer interviews work well, particularly when done in a question and answer style. You could even introduce a customer of the month award.

9. Don’t waffle. People have short attention spans online so get straight to the point – an introductory paragraph is not necessary.

10. Generate click-throughs by having corresponding URLs for each topic that you mention. This won’t always be possible but if there’s a relevant URL make sure you include it.

11. Include images and add links to these images so they are clickable. People try to click on everything, especially images.

12. Special offers work well. Special offers can also have a viral aspect to them if you ask recipients to forward the email to friends who may be interested in the offer. However, never use the word free in the subject line if you want to avoid being censored by the spam filters.

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