Email newsletters are a great way to boost traffic to your blog posts and grow a loyal readership. However, you better do email newsletters the right way or you risk having the recipients hit the unsubscribe button without looking back. There is a lot to creating excellent email newsletters and big companies who send them out have teams of writers, designers, marketers and computer programmers collaborating on the newsletter. This can be overwhelming for the one man or one woman blogger, but there are some tried and true methods you can use to quickly create email newsletters that make readers want to return to your blog.
Make It Look Professional By Using a Template
Unless you’re a coding ninja, save your time and sanity by using an email newsletter template. There are several free sources for these templates including MailChimp, CampaignMonitor and PatternHead. There are so many templates with so many different color, layout and theme choices that there is no need to personally customize and design your own newsletter in most cases. Plus, using a template ensures your newsletter will look professional and without misplaced lines of code, which is the most important factor.
Make It Look Not Like Spam
There are a couple key ways to make sure your emails don’t look like spam. First, only send an email newsletter when you really have something important to say. You never want to bombard your readers with meaningless emails and even if you think you have important things to say in daily emails, you still should send emails at most once every few days. Secondly, make it easy for a user to unsubscribe. Spam artists are notorious for not allowing users to unsubscribe or burying that option deep in an email where it’s hard to find. Although, this may sound tempting, mimicking spammers will only serve to decrease your readership.
Email Marketing 101: Getting Readers From Their Inbox To Your Blog
Marketing is a highly refined skill and it’s what will get readers to click on the links in your email newsletter that will take them over to your blog. While you can earn advanced degrees in fields of marketing, here are some of the basics of email marketing to get you started:
- Don’t give out all your information in the newsletter, give snippets: If you send out a nice long email with some great content and helpful information your readers will appreciate it and may thank you, but they have no reason to visit your blog again. Rather, display several information “teasers” that when clicked, takes your reader to the full article on your blog.
- Make your headlines and teasers outrageously interesting: Headlines and teasers are only a few words to a few sentences long at most. You only have a small window to grab a reader’s attention so you must make the most of it. Spend time crafting teasers that your reader’s can’t ignore. Some common teaser formats that work include any numbered lists, “top” or “best rated” lists or negatives, such as “the worst (product names) you should avoid.” These formats tend to spark interest most of the time, but anything that really relates to your readers on a substantial level or anything that’s truly creative will result in clicks to your blog.
- Use awesome clickable images: Pictures really are worth a thousand words sometimes. A great didactic, creative or humorous image can result in more return readers to your blog than you’d probably expect. Filling your newsletter with a few well-placed images and your readers are guaranteed to pay more attention to your email. However, do not use too many images, since users without the highest internet speeds will dislike this and do not rely on images alone, since some of your emails will undoubtedly be flagged as junk mail. These images will not load unless a user un-flags the email. In this scenario your headlines and teasers will be the end all be all of your newsletter.
- When all else fails give your readers incentive: Nothing encourages return readership to your blog like giving something away for free or offering something at a steep discount. Put forth a sense of urgency by saying the first “X” number of readers to visit after receiving this email can claim their free “ABC” product.
Track Visits After Sending Out Email Newsletters to Learn Your Readers
Pay careful attention to spikes in visitors shortly after you send out email newsletters. Inevitably, some letters will gain more visitors than others. Realizing which topics your niche readership favors the most will allow you to cater to them in the future, ensuring long term success for your blog.