What makes a good newsletter? Periodical email broadcasts have for too long been approached as a glorified (cheap) form of direct snail mail. Throw in a few clickbait titles, some enticing (misleading?) images and two or three lines of pumped up copy per section, “select all” and hit send. This approach has gradually led to bad opening rates with poor engagement ratios (reply, click, forward,…). Fortunately over the past few years, a new breed of passionate newsletter craftsmen has emerged, re-exploring the format to transform it into a proper platform. A recent piece by NiemanLab gives us a few tips for a successful newsletter strategy.
Here are the main takeaways.
1° it’s all about timing
Thinking about launching a newsletter commenting a successful Netflix TV series? Schedule it on the day following the airing of the latest episode, to maximize engagement rates. A project for a newsletter sharing tips to unwind after a hard day’s work, send it so that it reaches your subscribers’ inbox on their way back home.
2° you’re in a relationship
Email is personal. Notifications usually pop up on smartphone screens, the most intimate piece of digital real estate. So when you manage to get someone signed up to your mailing list, consider that you’re in a relationship. Treat this channel accordingly. You don’t want to lose your date’s confidence by being too pushy. Trust is hard to win but easy to lose.
3° make it personal, not creepy
If a reader subscribes to your newsletter, it means than he/she adheres to your brand’s ethos and tone of voice. Stay consistent with your initial promise, don’t try to over personal, otherwise it might sound kind of creepy: readers crave for personalized offers, not for insidious stalking.
4° if you’re serious about newsletters, don’t be shy, show it
The Skimm is a pure player. Their website is all about signing up people to their newsletter, with some social proof / context to package the offer. Period. And you know what? It works. The community is 7 million readers strong and counting!
5° don’t be redundant
If you also operate a website or an app, don’t share exactly the same content in your newsletter. Give it a sense of exclusivity, fill it with insiders’ tips, hidden gems and little secrets that will enthuse your readers and prompt them to share your message. Your audience will grow faster if your readers hit the forward button.
And if you want to monetize all the hard work invested into your email craft, give us a call, we’re here to help.