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How To Write A Newsletter That Gets Your Customers To Subscribe

Email marketing is a killer. It works. It’s awesome. You need to do it. But if you want to harness the power of email, it’s essential to understand the psychology behind email marketing and the know-how to craft emails that get results.

Statistics don’t always tell the whole story. According to statistics, email marketing is effective. Statistics can’t predict whether your email marketing efforts will be practical, but they can help you figure out.

Sending a newsletter just because you feel obligated to send one every week or month is ineffective. You should start writing newsletters as a valuable marketing resource.

To create a successful email marketing campaign, it’s essential to understand the tricks of the trade.

Getting people to notice your emails, open your emails, click on the stuff in your emails, and respond to your emails is tricky.

Here’s the step-by-step formula you must follow to write great email newsletters:

9 Steps to Write a Newsletter

  1. Give people a reason to opt-in
  2. Stick to your goal
  3. Craft an enticing subject line
  4. Write a killer opening line
  5. Connect in the body
  6. Be consistent without annoying your subscribers
  7. Discuss relevant content
  8. Nail the closing
  9. Measure your results

Step 1 – Give people a reason to opt-in

Let’s go back for a moment. To get conversions in the first instance, you need to list active email subscribers.

The best way to get people to sign up for your email list is to give them a good reason. Saying “Sign up for our newsletter “isn’t appealing enough.

What can you do about this? Value. Pitch people with value. Make them feel special by offering them a signup incentive.

Customers who sign up for their newsletter will get 25% off their orders. It’s a no-brainer for customers to opt in.

But the value doesn’t stop there by saying that they offer special deals for their newsletter subscribers. It means they’ll get additional discounts in the future as a result.

Besides monetary discounts, consider other ways your company can offer additional value to potential newsletter subscribers.

It depends on your business and your industry, but be creative here. For example, an air carrier could offer priority boarding to passengers who sign up for its email newsletter.

You could offer free online seminars or ebooks to anyone who signs up for your newsletter. If your company holds events, you can offer discounted tickets or free entry for subscribers.

Just think outside the box. The more people subscribe, the greater your conversions will be.

Step 2: Stick to your goal

What do you want your newsletter to accomplish?

Before you start writing, ask yourself if this is something you want to write about. If you don’t know the answer to that, how will your subscribers be able to figure out what to do?

Here are some common objectives for email newsletters:

  • drive sales
  • increase social media presence
  • download an ebook
  • drive traffic to a landing page
  • promote a new product or service

There are tons of different goals your business might have. However, if you’re struggling, use these to start in the right direction.

Choose one and stick with it. Trying to cram too many things into one message is complicated, and it will confuse your audience.

The goal of this email is to increase click-throughs to improve their engagement rate. They don’t just write a long article about the pros and conso­lates of single vs. double opt-in landing pages; they give their subscribers an opt-in choice.

You’ll get different types of content depending on which CTA button you click. You can use a similar strategy in your newsletter, whether you want to be as direct or not.

Introduce your goal with the headline or opening statement. Next, discuss it in greater depth throughout the message by mentioning the subject once or twice. Finally, end with a solid call to action like the example above.

Emphasize it. Don’t make it ambiguous. After reading your email, the customer should know exactly what action to take next.

Step 3 – Craft an enticing subject line

You can’t get conversions from your email newsletters if no one opens them. Your subject line can either make or break your marketing campaign.

Once you understand how to increase open rates with various subject lines, you’ll be able to get higher conversions from your newsletter campaigns.

How can you entic­e people to open your newsletter, so they don’t unsubscribe from it? For starters, make sure your subject lines are not dull. Subject lines such as “March Newsletter” don’t give anyone a reason to click on your email.

Personalize your emails by using your customer’s name or email address. Personalized messages are more effective than generic ones.

One of the most common ways to personalize a subject line is by using the recipient’s name.

Another enticing way to encourage opens for your newsletter is a time-sensitive subject line. Create a sense of urgency. You don’t want to wait too long before marketing your product.

Your email newsletters contain valuable information that needs to be read immediately. Breaking news is something that your subscribers would want to know right away.

When addressing a common issue or problem, it often helps address it directly.

For example, you could promise that the content of your email can help people solve a problem and provide them with helpful information to improve their lives.

You’ll want to make sure that your email subjects intrigue people enough that they can’t help but open them.

You’ll want to pique their curiosity and leave an information gap that can be filled only by clicking.

For instance, a B2B company might use a subject line such as “How to Double Your Sales in Just 30 Minutes.”

One of my highest open rates came from an email I sent asking for people’s help. I genuinely needed and wanted the response of my readers.

When I asked for readers’ help, it created an information gap between my request and the point of my request. The result was an insane level of open rates. Why did I need help?

Buffer knows that its audience wants to hear about social media tips. That’s why they use subject lines like this one:

Throwing in some powerful words that stimulate readers and appeal to their emotions can also have a tremendous impact.

Use these terms when coming up with the subject line for your newsletter.

Here are just some of the power words you can use:

  • amazing
  • mind-blowing
  • jaw-dropping
  • blissful

According to studies, time-sensitive words in the subject line with the highest impact on open rates are:

  • urgent
  • breaking
  • important
  • alert

How to Get More Emails Opened

The first half of the battle is getting prospects to open your emails.

The research found that small businesses with 1-10 employees tend to receive an average open rate of 35.2%, whereas medium businesses with 26-200 employees tend to receive an open rate of 31.9%.

Step 4 – Write a killer opening line

Now that you’ve got readers to open your email message, you need to draw them deeper with an incredible first sentence.

It’s probably more important than you may think.

Because you might learn something new.

Because the subject line isn’t always the first thing that people see!

Yes, I know you’ve been told that the subject lines are the most important elements of emails. As I explained above, the line has a more significant impact on whether or not an email gets opened than the subject line.

But is that all? The from the line and the subject?

No. The first line of the email is important too.

Today, most email browsers display a portion of the message directly in the email browser. You don’t have to open the email to read a small section of it.

Depending on the length of the subject line (and the browser’s viewport), the body of the email has two or three times as much visibility!

It’s not just desktop email programs that do this, though. Don’t forget about mobile devices!

Most mobile email apps show the opening line.

So, what do you write in your opening line?

I like addressing each reader by their first name. This is personal and authentic, which is critical for getting them to read on.

I also like to avoid the classic “Hi, my name is…” routine.

Instead, I prefer to say something like “I noticed that you…” or “I saw that we both….”

This approach helps the reader relate to me better and faster. I gain their attention by drawing upon a shared experience.

Don’t start by talking about yourself. If you’re just looking for a quick way to get an email address, preliminary chatting may not be for you. Get straight to the point so that we can connect quickly.

Step 5 – Connect in the body

It’s time to start connecting with your readers. It’s an opportunity for you to show how your product or service can provide them with tangible benefits and improve their lives.

I suggest keeping it short and simple and not overloading your reader with extraneous information.

Remember, the point here is to gain their attention and build initial rapport. You’re just looking to warm up to advance through the sales funnel.

You’re not necessarily going for the jugular right away.

Be sure to break up text into short, digestible paragraphs.

I also suggest speaking in the second person and using you when speaking to readers.

Ask personal questions to give your email an intimate feel as if you’re talking face-to-face.

  • Do you have unanswered questions about [topic]?
  • How, if at all, would you like to improve your strategy?
  • Is [benefit to them] a priority for you right now?

Step 6 – Be consistent without annoying your subscribers

When people sign up for your email list, they expect to hear regularly from you. Make sure you deliver the newsletter to your subscribers as promised.

If they signed up to receive a weekly email, you should send them one every week. If you signed up to receive a monthly newsletter, sending out emails three times per year isn’t delivering on your promise.

If you slack off on your consistency, it will damage the brand’s reputation. Your subscribers won’t be interested in converting because you don’t have credibility.

If you send out a monthly newsletter, don’t expect people to be happy when they receive an email from you three times per month. This is annoying and may cause them to unsubscribe from your email list or report you as a spambot.

Step 7 – Discuss relevant content.

As you saw from the research above, people also unsubscribe from emails if they think the content is irrelevant. You need to stick to the subject and avoid drifting off-topic.

You’ve got a company that makes various home goods like couches, coffee tables, and lampshades. Don’t talk about the weather, politics, or sports.

It doesn’t matter if your brand is relevant to your audience, and they don’t care about it.

It’s a good idea to avoid controversial topics in your newsletter, especially if you don’t know. Unless your business is in one or more of these spaces, I’m talking about things like religion, politics, and race.

Industries have different perceptions depending on the relevance of their email content.

You can see from the chart above that the retail industry leads the pack when using AI for customer service. If your company is in the Entertainment, Travel, Media, or Non-Profit sectors, you may want to consider reassessing the topics of your newsletters.

Let your subscribers choose what they’d like to hear about to ensure that you’re delivering the most relevant content. You can set up different types of communication preferences for each contact.

When new subscribers sign up for your newsletter, give them the option to customize their settings.

By default, new subscribers receive all emails. But if they don’t want to get emails from this brand every week, they can deselect the Weekly Digest option.

These subscribers can even choose which types of content they want to receive. If you’re looking for newsletters about music and audio, you probably won’t be interested in code or Web Design topics.

Using this strategy, you won’t have to worry about your readers thinking your content is irrelevant because they’ll be so engaged by your content.

This creates more work because you’ll need to write multiple newsletters each day and week. But it’ll be worth it because your conversion rate will be much higher for every campaign.

Add Visuals to Enhance Your Content

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you probably know how I love images and videos to explain complex topics.

You don’t need to write a blog post to use the same strategy. You can just create a newsletter. You need to know that not everyone will read everything you write.

On average, subscribers spend 51 seconds reading a newsletter. People only read about 20% percent of the text on a webpage.

If you want your messages to resonate with your audience — whether they’re written words or images — include them. Images and infographics help people scan through your content quickly.

Use videos in your newsletter as often as you can! Emails that include videos get a 96.38% higher click-through rate and a 5.6% higher open rate.

Even if they don’t read every word, they can at least get a general idea of your message. This relates to the idea of sticking with one goal throughout your email.

People are visual learners. Images and videos can help people remember things better. Don’t be afraid to add these things to your newsletter.

Plus, visuals will make your message look a lot more organized. Nobody likes reading vast amounts of text.

Tell a Story

We discussed earlier that people don’t spend lots of time reading the text and reviewing emails. You’ve got to develop new ways to keep your audience interested.

The stories are fun to read.

Once you hook your readers with a captivating story that tells them what happens next, they’ll keep reading until the end. What story should you tell?

Get creative.

You can tell your story or a story about your company. Again, just make sure it’s relevant. Don’t be boring.

It’s also an effective strategy for B2B marketers.

You don’t need to send every one of your emails as a story, but it’s a good idea to occasionally include some.

Create Urgency

Many people tend to put off doing things they don’t want. They might be busy or not in the mood to complete whatever task you want them to do.

This isn’t good because once they close the email, the chances they’ll come back to it are pretty slim.

That’s why it’s vital to create urgency so that they feel compelled to take action right away.

Most marketers complain that the most challenging obstacle to their email marketing is making people take action by clicking on a link in the email.

For example, you might say that an “offer expires tomorrow,” or “get it before it’s gone,” or “only 10 spots left.”

It’s essential to get a prompt response.

Step 8: Nail the closing

Besides the subject line and the closing, the body of an email is arguably the most crucial aspect of an email.

At this point, a reader decides whether or not he wants to act on your offer. The goal here is for you to wind down and transition to a well-crafted CTA.

What do you want them to do next?

Maybe it’ll be to check out a landing page, sign up for a class, download an ebook, or buy a product/service directly.

Whatever it may be (e.g., “Click here to learn more”), your CTA needs to communicate its purpose.

Make sure they know exactly what you want them to do next, and don’t leave any room for guesswork.

We often think we need to sneak in our call-to-action (CTA) or hide it from the user, so they don’t notice it. Please don’t make this mistake.

Your call to action (CTA) is the money of your email—the reason you’re sending it in the first instance. Make it strong, distinctive, and straightforward.

Step 9 – Measure your results

To find out whether your newsletter converts, you need to take the time to track its performance.

Whatever email marketing software you’re using should have these analytics features built right into the platform. Take advantage of them to see how you’re doing.

Look at things such as:

  • open rates
  • bounce rates
  • click-through rates
  • unsubscribes
  • forwards

Find out which newsletter types were most effective at converting readers into buyers. Keep doing the same thing.

If some of your newsletter signups had low conversion rates, you need to figure out why. Did you not have a clear goal? Was the content irrelevant?

Once you figure out what isn’t working, it will be easier to make the necessary changes to improve your newsletter.

You can track the results of each campaign only if you’re actively monitoring them.

Final Thoughts

The bottom line is: Email still matters and can be as effective as some of the newer marketing tactics, if not more so.

It’s easier than ever to get distracted by creating sizzling-hot social media strategies, building a Facebook group, or starting your live video channel.

All of those are great ideas, and I wouldn’t discourage you from implementing any one of them. Email still works, but not on its own.

To get results, you need to follow the right formula, understand your audience’s mindset, and be willing to put in the time and effort.

Email newsletters are an excellent way to communicate and market products to your subscribers. If you write them well, you’ll get better results.

But you need to get people to opt into your newsletter in the first place. Give them a reason to sign up.

Before writing, make sure you know exactly what you want to achieve. End the message with an actionable call to action that reflects your goal.

Personalize your emails by using words and phrases specific to each recipient. Don’t rush when you’re creating a subject line. Create urgency by including an offer or discount that expires soon.

Deliver relevant content consistently and regularly. Let your readers choose when they want to hear from your blog and what types of articles they want to read. Use visual and storytelling tactics to increase conversion rates. Make sure you measure the results of each newsletter to see if it was successful.

If you follow these suggestions, you’ll see a significant improvement in your newsletter conversion rate.

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