What is an email newsletter?
A newsletter is an email that offers readers and fans who subscribe a list of your most interesting content, announcements and promotions. It can be helpful for keeping audiences in the know and in gaining traffic.
Why use email newsletters?
- Connect and interact with audience
- Call to action – fill in a survey, donate money
- Increase traffic to website / social media
- Promote services / campaigns
- Get immediate results e.g. analytics
- Partnership building – share content with other organisations
- Improve visibility
- Save time
- People often read emails!
293.6 billion emails were sent per day in 2019!
What makes a good newsletter?
- Relevant to audience
- Encourages audience to engage
- Content that is educational (e.g. 80%) not just promotional (e.g. 20%)
- Mixture of content – photos/videos/text
- Simple design
- Small number of articles – don’t overload!
- Minimal copy – break up text with short sentences – e.g. no longer than 3 line paragraphs
Useful things to think about
- What is the goal of your organisation?
- What problem does my organisation solve? Does anyone care?
- What personality will my brand have?
- What feelings do people have thinking about our organisation?
- Who are your competitors and how are you different?
- What are the colours of your organisation?
- What fonts do you use?
- Who are they?
- What do they do?
- What are their interests?
- How do they consume information?
Tone of Voice
- Use Active Language – ‘Tom kicked the ball’ Not ‘the ball was kicked by Tom’
- Be as clear as possible – No Jargon! No long words! Use language people understand
- Be specific – don’t be vague and talk around the call to action, be direct
- Be personable – ‘We and Us’ rather than the organisation name
- The six W’s
- Six Questions – Who, Where, Why, When, What, How?
- Rule of 3 – three consecutive things can be easily remembered
- What is the main thing you would like subscribers to do?
- Pick 1 primary call to action – and put it first!
- Make it simple to do
- Other calls to actions should be ‘if you have time’ options
Catchy Subject Headers
- 47% open emails based on subject line
- 69% report email as spam based on subject line
- Keep it short – 8/10 words max
- Don’t make false promises
- Do tell them what’s inside
- Make it personal
- Create a sense of importance
- Create a template
- Ensure design is simple, doesn’t distract and matches your branding
- Use photos (make sure they have ‘alt text’ as some emails don’t automatically download the pictures)
- Different background colours can work well
- Themed designs e.g. at Christmas / New Year
- Designing for different devices – e.g. check it looks good on mobile and desktop
- Tue-Thurs 8am-10am some of the best times to send
- Weekends – less interest but more engagement!
- Different for each organisation
- When is your audience online?
- What is your capacity?
- Limit the number of times you send emails – don’t spam!
- Does sending monthly/quarterly create too much content?
- Try to keep to a schedule
MailChimp – free tool to create content, manage email lists and send emails
- Saves on costs – free up to 2,000 subscribers
- Grow your mailing list
- Divide your mailing list for different audiences
- Track email results – very good analytics built in!
- Save time
Canva – free tool to make easy and attractive posters, logos etc
Fiverr – connects you with freelancers who can design/make things
Test Test Test!
- Every audience is different
- What works for you?
- Trial and error
- Try different styles and subject lines?
- Try different styles
- Change the way you encourage people to engage – surveys, drop-ins, videos, events
- Tip: Always check every link in a newsletter
See the slides from the session
We would like to say a big THANK YOU to Matthew from Healthwatch Lewisham who designed and delivered this session for free for local charities.