You just set up an email subscription sign-up form on your website. What should you do next? Email marketing can seem like an overwhelming concept for those just getting started, but it doesn’t have to be this way!
One of the most popular forms of email marketing is sharing a weekly or monthly newsletter. Let’s take a look at two of the most pressing decisions for beginners: what newsletter content should you create and how should you format it to achieve your goals?
Create compelling newsletters to keep readers engaged
Jetpack makes email subscriptions easy to deploy across any WordPress website. Even though the technical considerations practically take care of themselves, there’s still plenty of strategical work to be done, including what to share with your subscribers.
If you don’t have any email marketing experience, don’t worry. There are many resources available to assist you. Jetpack Site Stats, combined with insights from Google Analytics, can help you understand what content topics drive people to your website, and what gets them to stick around. By discovering what content your readers what to see more of, you can create an email newsletter that subscribers look forward to receiving.
Armed with insights from your analytics tools, you can move forward with the following industry-agnostic techniques for your email newsletter.
Even if you’re an authority in a particular field, a range of opinions tends to nurture discussions. Creating a well-rounded email newsletter can help subscribers see you as an industry resource.
For excellent examples of this concept in action, take a look at some curated email newsletters, like this one from Bizzaro Devs.
Like these newsletter content pros, strive to send your curated email newsletter on the same day each week or month to establish consistency.
Tell a story
Presumably, people subscribe to your email newsletter because they want to connect with your brand and the person (or people) behind it.
Web designer, Erin Flynn, does a great job with this. Erin begins most of her emails with a story that connects with and leads to the ultimate goal behind each edition of the newsletter. She then invites subscribers to read a new blog post, sign up for free informative webinars, or subscribe to her course membership website.
Telling a story is a concept that can (and probably should) apply to any of these other newsletter content techniques.
Play with your format
Proactive Content suggest that the jury is out when it comes to the ideal email length. So, it might be useful to ask yourself, “When was the last time I read through an entire email that was more than a paragraph or two?”
One way to ensure that you hold your subscribers’ attention is to format content in different ways.
The Denver Post publishes a newsletter of curated content every weekday. A thoughtful section that appears in each one is its “By the Numbers” section, which shares interesting news highlights in a numeric format:
If your email newsletters are beginning to look like a wall of text, consider switching up the format for your must-share pieces of content.
Experiment with content types
Focusing on numbers isn’t the only way to spice things up. If your readers don’t seem to be responding to text-based content, why not try some alternatives?
- Video: Being able to play videos directly in an email inbox isn’t a standard feature of most email marketing tools, but check out how digital marketers, Stepps, uses this medium in newsletter content:
- Audio: Breaking Down Your Business does a great job of notifying email subscribers whenever new podcast episodes are published and letting them know what they can expect from listening.
Promote your favorite products
If they’re relevant and might be useful to your audience, consider promoting your favorite products.
This can be a great way to make some extra money from all the hard work you’ve put into creating your newsletter content, as some brands will pay you to advertise their products on your site. You may even earn a commission with every successful sale.
Automate your blog post emails
If you’re regularly publishing blog entries, you can fold that into your email offerings by automatically sending newly-published posts through Jetpack Subscriptions‘ RSS-to-email feature. Readers will automatically be notified when a new post goes live, so they won’t miss out on any of your content.
Format your email newsletter
After you decide what to share in your email newsletter, think about the goal that you want to achieve and how to present it to your readers.
It’s important to establish a purpose behind each email and to build a “call to action” (CTA) that supports that purpose. Here are a few sample goals for your newsletter:
- Lead a subscriber to your latest video or blog post
- Invite a recent customer to leave a product review
- Get industry members to download a report
For the best results, set one major CTA per email. The hierarchy of information you create should build up to your CTA. One way to do this is to arrange your content in the following order:
- Attention-grabbing introduction or story
- The “meat” of the email
Great newsletters will connect with your readers
When it comes to creating newsletter content (and a structure around it), focus on your strengths and the interests of your subscribers. Communication is key: frequently encourage subscribers to reply with their thoughts. You might even consider sending out periodic surveys to gauge your readers’ interests and tailor your content accordingly.
What type of newsletter content keeps your readers engaged? Share what’s worked for you in the comments below!
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