When you wake up in the morning and check your emails, there will most likely be countless newsletters in your inbox. Needless to say, newsletters are a very efficient way to spread your brand awareness. However, as we have all experienced before, newsletters can be irritating and quite often, we delete them without ever reading them. To circumvent the newsletter going to waste, there are six criteria that all companies should follow when it comes to an effective newsletter.
Keep Your Content Relevant
The first aspect is relevant content. When it comes to effective newsletters, knowing the audience is extremely important. The purpose of the newsletter should be defined before moving onto the other aspects. Is your newsletter educational or are you selling your product? Here at IHC, we decided to keep our newsletters educational, however that does not mean that you cannot sell your products on your newsletter. To decide the end goal, doing some research and identifying your audience can help in expediting the process. Once the audience and end goal has been defined, you will be ready to move onto designing your newsletter.
Consider Design and Consistency with Your Brand
Following relevant content, the next consideration will be the design of the newsletter. The design of your newsletter should be brand compliant and be consistent. The last thing you will want is for your newsletter to gain popularity, and then due to a design chance lose that association with customers. Color schemes and visuals are important in being able to catch the attention of your readers and they can help give your readers something to look at the text.
Now as for the text, one mistake companies will make is to have walls of text. This will lose your reader’s attention. It is imperative to keep in mind that when you send a newsletter out, you are asking a favor out of your customers. They will not want to spend their scarce free time reading walls of texts. The last aspect, fonts, can be often looked over. Fonts can be limited to certain computers, therefore when you choose a very specific font, there is a chance that it won’t register on your customers’ screens. Having a backup font can be handy in the case that your primary font won’t register.
Make Sure Your Newsletter is Mobile Friendly
The third aspect is whether your newsletter is mobile friendly or not. With the emergence of smartphones and tablets, people are accessing the internet more often from their mobile devices. According to BroadbandSearch, mobile traffic has increased by 222% over the last 7 years. In 2013, mobile phones made up 16.2% of the worldwide internet traffic. Fast-forward to 2019 and that same statistic has increased to 52.2%. This data is strictly mobile phone usage which does not include tablet use, so the true portion of internet traffic by mobile devices may be much higher. As the numbers show, consumers are more likely to want to read your newsletter on the go. Not having it being mobile friendly will be a severe disadvantage to your newsletters’ success.
Establish an Appropriate Schedule for Your Newsletter
At this point, you have now defined the relevant content, the design considerations and the mobile compatibility of your newsletter. The next consideration is how frequently you release it. Finding the Goldilocks zone for frequency is a hard task but doing research and conducting surveys can make the job easier. The topic of your newsletter may also greatly influence the frequency. For example, if your newsletter’s topic is about the stock market and covers predictions on how specific stocks will perform, the demand may be daily. If the topic is educational or based on news, it may be beneficial to release it once a week or month. IHC’s newsletter is educational and released monthly. The decision will be ultimately based on the relevant content and what your research shows.
Be Familiar with the Platform You’re Using
The fifth aspect you will want to consider is understanding platforms. It is important to know and understand the ins and outs of your newsletter whether using platforms such as Mailchimp, Mad Mimi or Constant Contact to name a few. Knowing the template and the parameters as well as understanding what they can do is important. As mentioned earlier, mobile internet usage is increasing, leading the way for social media as well. Releasing your newsletter on a company Twitter or Facebook account may be effective in gaining pageviews.
Test, Test, Test!
Lastly, the final aspect to a successful newsletter is to test it. It is so important to send tests to yourself or a colleague before sending to subscribers. We recommend typing in the email of the people you send it to instead of forwarding, which can cause some issues. We recently had a client that had display issues regarding forwarding test emails. We were able to redirect that client to include the receiver’s email in the platform. Email sites vary so much in this age that it is imperative to test them on different accounts. The newsletter may look correct on Gmail, but the display may be altered in Yahoo. When it is so hard to catch the attention of consumers, sending them a faulty product will surely turn them away. It is beneficial to get into the habit of testing your newsletters.
Crafting a newsletter can be a daunting task and may take several iterations to perfect. When your newsletter is sent out, it will sit in an inbox along with many other newsletters. These six criteria should be followed so your newsletter does not end up in the trash.