When talking to customers I often get asked – ‘Can I get your feedback on my email before I send it?’. So to help, when you are designing your next mailer, I thought I would put together my top 10 killer tips for a successful email newsletter.
1. Fridays are the new Tuesday.
Every client I talk to comes back with the same thing. ‘I heard that Tuesday is the best day of the week to send my mailer’. This may have been the case several years ago, but in my opinion that rule is out of date. Why? The simple reason that everyone is told that Tuesday is the best day. So everyone sends on a Tuesday. There is simply too much competition on a Tuesday.
From my personal experience, I get the best open rates on a Friday afternoon. It’s almost the weekend, you are winding down for the weekend and start to browse the internet and your email inbox. A perfect time to deliver your mailer!
2. What’s in it for me?
When designing your next mailer, keep one phrase in your head ‘What’s in it for me?’ That’s what your recipient will be thinking when they read your email. Hard sells simply don’t work. Us Brits are conservative and don’t like being hit with the hard sell all the time.
You should focus on offering your recipient something – you are an expert in your industry (if not, you are in the wrong industry!). Write interesting articles with tips and advice for your customers. This also helps boost trust with your customers.
That said, you can mix a few sales messages inside your mailer. Time sensitive offers tend to work well i.e. 50% off this week – But don’t go overboard!
3. 2014, year of the Selfie.
Everyone is using this word at the moment ‘selfie’. 2014 is without a doubt the year of the selfie. This is not limited to people posting on Facebook or Twitter though.
People buy from people, not faceless companies. If you are a small company, show your face and let people see who they are buying from. Pics of you and your staff will help build trust. When it comes to marketing, a selfie is a good thing!
4. What is the purpose of your mailer?
Make sure that your mailer has a clear call to action. Are you asking your customers to pick up the phone? Visit your website? Unless your mailer recipient can quickly find what they want, your email will be deleted.
If you are asking recipients to visit your website, make sure that web links are clear and easy to find. Do not hide links in blocks of text. Make your call to action – big clear and bold.
5. It’s not War and Peace.
Including articles in your mailer? It’s not war and peace. Keep text blocks short and to the point. The skill in writing text is not how much you can write, it’s how clear your message is.
Your mailer should act as a bait to encourage recipients to visit your website. If you are providing information and industry tips, only include a summary of the article in your mailer (no more than a few lines per article). Large blocks of text, people will not read.
Ask your users to visit your website to read the full article with ‘read more’ buttons. After reading your article, the user may very well continue browsing your site and purchase from you.
6. Don’t be a me too.
Look at your competitors, what are they up to? Consider joining their mailing list. Before designing your mailer, look about at other mailers and see what works. But… don’t be a ‘me too’. Don’t just simply copy your competitors. You want your mailer and message to stand out from the crowd and get noticed, not be a carbon copy that simply blends in.
Do something different, original and fresh. Don’t be a ‘me too’.
7. Never send the same mail twice.
This one I’ve seen a lot. Companies send the same mail every week or month **zzzZzzzzz**.
Can you guess what will happen? Opens will start dropping off, unsubscribe will rise. Next unsubscribes will drop off too, as recipients are not even bothering to open your email any more, the delete key is much easier. Finally, we will get a call to cancel as the client states ‘my email marketing is not working’.
Don’t be a lazy marketeer. Every mail needs to be fresh and original.
8. Personalise the ‘from field’ of your email.
Email blaster and other platforms will give you complete control over the send from settings of your mailer (the email address and other information which the mailer comes from).
The from email address should always be a real person inside your company bob.smith@, never use generic sales@ info@ marketing@ or my favourite … noreply@. Along with increasing your spam score, you will be seen as a faceless company. People buy from people, not robots.
9. Don’t overlook your subject line.
A common mistake if that when designing your email you put a great deal of time and effort into the email body and only write the subject line as an afterthought when it comes to send your mailer.
Give you subject line some love too. After all, this little line of text will often be the deciding factor weather your email gets opened or deleted.
10. Use images wisely. Never use stock images.
Text and images should be well balanced. Large walls of text scream boring! Break your mailer up with the use of images.
Use your images wisely, they must be relevant to your article. Never use stock images, we are all sick of countless people shaking hands in suits. Your recipients are not stupid, they know that is not actually you! Your smart phone has a great camera, get snap happy and take your own pics. Take pics of you and your staff – give your camera a break from snapping pics of your food for instagram.
Also remember to optimise your images for web. 10Mb high resolution photo’s from your camera are a no no. Users simply won’t wait several minutes for your email image to load. You have seconds to grab attention, not minutes.