How to Create an Engaging Newsletter that Converts

Irek Klimczak in

Blog/How to Create an Engaging Newsletter that Converts

With 74% of email marketers using it, newsletters are the most popular type of email communication. If done well, it might be the backbone of your email marketing strategy and one of the top lead nurturing tools available. Let the following tips show you how to create a profit-making newsletter your subscribers will be waiting for.

Creating an engaging newsletter

If you want your newsletter to achieve strategic goals, you need to make sure that it appeals to your subscribers. These three tips will help start you off on the right foot.

1. Determine target audience

Recognizing your target audience might be the single most important thing. How can you meet your subscribers’ expectations, if you don’t know who they are? You need to determine target audience if you want to achieve certain business goals with your email marketing. Define and assess KPIs to see if you’re headed in the right direction.

Develop subscriber personas – detailed representations of your ideal subscribers. Talk to your customers, social media fans, and ask questions on Quora. The more questions people ask, the more insights you gain into their needs and wants.

If you already run email marketing campaigns, send short surveys to the people on your list. It’s always good to extend and refine knowledge.

2. Make it a part of your email communication

Successful email marketers carefully plan their email marketing communication. Figure out what type of email you want to send at each stage of subscription and make sure you know exactly why you want to send it. Think about the big picture – your newsletter should complement other actions (e.g. drip-campaigns, follow-ups, automated and event-triggered emails).

Develop an email marketing funnel describing individual stages of subscription. It will help you indicate the true purpose of your email marketing campaigns and create the right content to satisfy subscribers’ demands.

email_funnel

Click to enlarge image

3. Content

Remember that a newsletter is a long-term initiative. This means that you should find ways to diversify content and keep your audience engaged. Here are a few ideas that will help you spice up your emails and slowly turn subscribers into loyal customers.

Practical advice

Your subscribers receive a ton of emails everyday – this is the main reason for clicking the unsubscribe link. If you want to hold a prominent position in their inbox, you need to send them relevant information.

Focus on practical advice that will help them solve their problems. Try different types of content (e.g. blog post, case study, video, or a checklist). Just make sure it’s easy to understand and actionable.

Recent blogs

If you run a company blog, you can use published content and from time to time send a newsletter presenting a selection of the most relevant blog posts.

GetResponse_Monthly_Newsbreak

GetResponse Monthly Newsbreak

 

Trello

Newsletter form Trello with a selection of blog posts

Product reviews

Especially in the early days of subscription you can send newsletters covering basic information on your products. Later on you could go into details and present their benefits in form of case studies and product reviews. Research shows that online product reviews might be as convincing as personal recommendation.

Something exclusive for subscribers

Give people a good reason to subscribe. If you promise to deliver exclusive offers and content they will not find anywhere else, it might be a powerful incentive to fill in the web form and click the subscription confirmation link.

KIND

Newsletter from Kind with an exclusive offer

Elements you should optimize for conversion

When you develop your email marketing strategy and know the primary reason to send the newsletter, you are ready to design your newsletter template. If you use a professional email marketing platform, you will be able to create a great-looking template in minutes. There are a few things you have to remember when designing your emails.

1. Responsive template

If you want your newsletter to effectively achieve certain business goals (e.g. increase sales, brand awareness, or customer lifetime value), you need to make sure that it looks great on every device. More and more people check emails on their mobile device, so your job is to send messages that are easy to navigate on desktop, smartphones, and tablets.

2. The envelope

The envelope consists of a sender, subject line, and preheader – the elements visible to your audience before opening the message. These elements have a huge impact on whether or not your email gets opened. Use them right and you’ll see an increase in your emails impact.

Sender

The sender’s name and address should build trust. Remember that your audience gets used to the sender, so choose a name and stick with it.

Subject line

A good subject line can work a miracle. And here’s my definition of a good subject line:

  • it should be relevant to the content
  • create positive anticipation
  • tempt the subscriber to read further

Preheader

Some email clients display a few lines of text next to the subject line. You could include in the preheader one of the following:

  • snippet text
  • call to action
  • link to the online version of the email
  • request to add you email address to subscriber’s address book

3. Header

This is the part of the email you can see in the preview pane of your email client. The header should look great, be informative (people should recognize the purpose of the email right away), and stay consistent with your branding.

Teavana

Animated header from Teavana

4. Clear call-to-action

A call to action is by far the most important element of your newsletter. If you have an email marketing strategy, you don’t want subscribers to open your emails – you want them to follow the call to action, e.g.

  • download the e-book
  • shop now
  • use promo code

Design your newsletters with a particular call to action in mind (one call to action proves to be more effective than several CTAs that might confuse the user). All the elements of your email should direct subscribers towards the CTA.

I hope you’ll find these tips useful. How do you engage your audience? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

 

Guest post by Irek Klimczak, Content Marketing Expert at GetResponse. He is passionate about creating valuable and engaging content for all customers. You can find @irekklimczak on Twitter, he’s always eager to advise on email marketing strategies that bring results.

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