Email newsletter is one of the fastest growing communication/marketing tools today. In addition to being a dynamic, affordable marketing tool, they are also one of the best ways to promote a web site and give you and your clients an excuse to capture valuable data to use for other marketing campaigns.
However, email newsletters aren’t just printed newsletters delivered electronically. They must be written using a different style for a unique reading environment. These top 10 points will help you publish a successful and valuable email newsletter.
1. Remember that your reader is reading light, not matter (ink).
When reading light we blink less often and we’re unable to adjust text size by moving the document closer or farther from our eyes. This causes more eyestrain than reading the printed page.
2. Readers often scan, not read.
Remember that because of this potential eyestrain, your reader will more likely scan a page, looking for key words or phrases to get the information he/she needs without reading every word. A Sun Microsystems study determined that 79 percent of people who visit Web pages, for example, don’t read them…they scan them. Read the article How to Write Good Web Content: The Bite, the Snack, and the Meal.
3. Remember that you only have a few seconds to capture your reader’s attention.
Wow your reader with valuable information that doesn’t have a lot of introductory material. If you have no clue what to write that will capture readers’ attention, start by looking at other newsletters and web sites that grabbed your attention and kept you reading for more. What strategies did they use? Did they use questions or stories to spice up their writing? Make a list of what attracted you — and then use those same strategies in your newsletters.
4. Write short.
Short means about 50 percent less than you write for a printed newsletter. Each article should be about two page-downs at the most with a maximum sentence length of 15 to 20 words, maximum paragraph length of five sentences, and a maximum article length of four paragraphs. Remember…these are maximums!
5. Remember to write in a conversational tone.
Newsletters are written with “friendly authority”. Let your personality show through and readers will more likely invest their time reading what you have to say.
6. Remember to use lots of bullet points and numbered lists.
Lists are easy to scan and they help the reader absorb each item one at a time.
7. Remember to limit each article to a single concept.
Add resources such as web sites where longer articles or more information can be found.
8. Remember that email newsletters are easily forwarded and shared.
Never write anything that you wouldn’t want the whole world (including your competition) to read. Your readers can forward your newsletter to a friend, or share it in social media. They can post your newsletter on Facebook or put a link to it from Twitter.
9. Remember that email newsletters only cost you your time.
Ok, this is not necessarily true if you are using an email management system where you pay based on the size of your list. But nonetheless, it is important to send your newsletter out consistently and reap the marketing rewards of regular contact. Email newsletters are one of today’s most economical and successful marketing tools. Use it!
10. Remember that newsletters are considered a news source.
Unlike other direct mail pieces, newsletters enjoy the same status as newspapers and other news media. Respect this privilege. Be sure your information is accurate and newsworthy. Enjoy the marketing advantage while maintaining integrity to your readers.