9 Tips on Creating Effective & Affordable Email Newsletters
1. Look for a Free or Low-Cost Email Marketing Service
These days, you can find email marketing services that include free email templates and delivery for as many as 2,000 subscribers and up to a maximum of 12,000 emails. These figures are more than enough for most start-ups and small businesses to get the ball rolling.
HubSpot is one reliable provider that can help you kick-start your email marketing efforts. With a subscription, you get a robust suite of marketing products. Other email services you can check out include MyEmma, MailChimp, and ConstantContact. For a list of more email service providers, check out my previous blog post.
2. Keep Your Email Newsletter Simple
As mentioned, the length or size of the email is not important. Even if it is only short, it will work if your target audience finds your email valuable and informative. Thus, you need to make sure to provide something of value to your clients. The key is to entice them to read your message and preferably to click on the links you provide to get more information.
It is not a good idea to overload or flood your email with too much information, even if it is helpful. For one, nobody would spare precious time just to read your email in full. Keep in mind that people today are busy and always on the go. And the idea is to get them interested the moment they open your email. Once people are interested, that’s the time they will look to read more on their own.
Just a bit or two of juicy information in your email would suffice. It would be enough to catch their attention and interest. But, make sure to offer ways for them to learn more.
3. Build Value to Your Brand
Note that every email you send will reflect on your brand. Thus, it is crucial that you make a good first impression. Make sure that all your emails are professional and help to improve your brand’s image.
Never resort to gimmicky subject lines just to get attention. While your email recipients will definitely notice your “interesting” subject line, they will never take your offers seriously. Likewise, never use images you grabbed from quick Google searches.
4. Come Up with the Appropriate Design
Put white space to effective use. This means only sparingly including graphics in your email. Buttons should be prominent and easy to identify.
Since a lot of people have a habit of just browsing the top of the messages they receive and don’t bother to scroll down to read the entire message, it would be a good idea to place the most important information at the top.
Using Appropriate Colors
When deciding on which colors to use, make sure to stay true to your brand’s identity while also thinking about your audience. Research on and use particular colors depending on your target demographic. This will help improve your results and, more importantly, your ROI.
Knowing your customer profile helps in tailoring your emails better. You can run surveys as part of competitions or raffles. This way, more users would be willing to spare a couple of minutes of their time to tell you something about themselves in exchange for the chance to win a prize they like.
Wise Use of Images
Visual elements like images and graphics can help enhance your newsletter optically. However, you have to be cautious when using them. Use them excessively, and you may hurt your deliverability. This is because spammers often use the tactic, and ISPs are aware of this.
Usually, ISPs block email messages that contain massive images. Thus, you should always aim to strike a healthy balance between your text and graphics. A ratio of 60:40 would usually work.
When adding images, don’t forget to add alt tags and to scale down the images to the preferred size. It is worth noting that there are email clients that block images. Thus, subscribers would only see a big white area instead of the message. When you add alt tags, users will at least know what should appear on their screen.
5. Add a Call to Action
By adding a call to action, you provide your audience with the ability to get more information. It may be a telephone number that they can call or a link directly to your website that they can visit.
A call to action button will help increase your potential conversions, but it is not the only benefit it brings. It also provides you with a way to effectively track and test how effective your emails are. The more responses you get in your call to action, the more effective your newsletter is.
This means your email got their attention, and they are ready to learn more. Don’t waste this opportunity to convert these clicks into sales. Ensure that the information you provide on your pages is what users are looking for.
6. Make Sure Your Newsletter Is Responsive
In today’s mobile world, you need to make sure that your pages are optimized for different types of devices, including mobile phones and tablets. This is to make sure you don’t alienate your mobile audience.
According to studies, people first open their emails using a mobile device. This means if your email newsletters are not optimized for mobile devices, you are missing a lot, and now is the best time to do it.
Following are some tips you can follow to optimize your emails for mobile users:
- Use single-column templates. This way, your emails won’t appear too wide for mobile displays. Divide the text into small chunks so readers can quickly get an overview of the meat of the message.
- Make sure to strategically place links and CTAs in the email and that they are easy to click. The landing pages must also be responsive.
- Refrain from adding massive images that can slow down your email’s loading time. They will also consume a lot of your users’ mobile data.
- Check your newsletter first on various email clients and devices. This will give you an idea of how your content is displayed on various screens and clients such as Outlook and Gmail.
7. Come Up with a Text-Only Version.
Not all your email recipients welcome graphics and image attachments. Some prefer to receive text-only email messages. One common reason is that they may be using slower or older devices. Some people simply don’t find images on emails appealing.
It is important to also cater to these subscribers. This is why you need to have a version of your newsletter that contains purely text – without any graphics or visual elements.
8. Always Respect Your Subscribers.
While it is nice to have users take action through your newsletters, never be too pushy, especially with your CTA buttons. So, make sure that your CTA button is placed well and labeled properly with relevant text. “Buy Now” or “Purchase Now” buttons may be ideal to include in some emails, depending on the demographic – but not all. Research and test your CTAs before using them.
If anyone wants to unsubscribe, let them. You should also limit the number of email newsletters you send. If you send excessively, more people would want to unsubscribe.
9. Keep Track of Your Performance.
Almost all email newsletter services today have tracking features built-in. Make sure to take advantage of this feature to know the number of recipients who opened your emails and the number of users who clicked on the links you included, among others.
Take advantage of all the data you can get from these metrics. They can be useful in crafting your email newsletters in the future.
Bonus Tip: Why Email Marketing Service Is Here to Stay
Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective and best marketing strategies for small businesses. Take a look at these statistics as proof:
- 64% of small businesses use email marketing to reach customers. (Source: Campaign Monitor)
- Nearly 22% of all email campaigns are opened within the first hour of sending. (Source: GetResponse)
- 74% of Baby Boomers think email is the most personal channel to receive communications from brands, followed by 72% of Gen X, 64% of Millennials, and 60% of Gen Z. (Source: Bluecore)
- 59% of Millennials primarily use their smartphone to check email, while 67% of Generation Z scans their inbox on mobile. (Source: Bluecore)
- Launching a mobile-responsive email design can increase unique mobile clicks by 15%. (Source: MailChimp)
- Mobile-friendly email is the second most-used tactic email marketers use to improve their performance. (Source: HubSpot)
- 99% of email users check their inbox every day, with some checking 20 times a day. Of those people, 58% of consumers check their email first thing in the morning. (Source: OptinMonster, 2020)
As you can see from the statistics above, email marketing is here to stay. Email marketing is simple to manage, gives you greater control, and allows you to communicate directly with your clients.
Hopefully, this post has provided you with the basics you need to embark on your email marketing journey. The next step is to determine what kind of information to include.
Some helpful ideas include:
- Special events
- Upcoming sales
- Share some of your latest completed projects
- Include discount offers
- Links to helpful online information
Most importantly, be sure to always keep your email recipients in mind. You want to stand out from the noise of a busy inbox, so always be mindful of how your emails can best serve your clients.
If you would like some help developing your email newsletter or would like to know if they would be a good fit for your business, reach out for a free consultation! I am here to help your small business grow with email marketing!