The email newsletter: It can seem like a daunting task, and sometimes it is — but if you have a significant following and want to keep them updated with the goings on of your blog, a newsletter can be a great traffic driver as well as a platform for highlighting advertisements.
Coming from a newsletter veteran (I formerly created the Guest of a Guest newsletter on a daily basis for over a year, and do the Saturday Scoop here at IFB!) I know it can be daunting when staring at blank newsletter template. So in attempt to help you out, here are some things to remember when drafting up your email:
Do keep it relatively simple. The point of the newsletter is to have subscribers click through the links to go to your blog, therefore you probably don't want to put too much information within the newsletter. Besides including the title of the article, introduce each article you want to highlight by giving a short summary of what it's about and a reason why they should click through. An example might be: “I've rounded up the best looks from the CFDA Awards. See how you too can dress like the fashionably elite here…” with a hyperlink to the post.
Do use large and eye-catching photos. You want your newsletter to be visually stimulating just like your blog, so that your readers will want to open it time and time again.
Do use a catchy headline. It's all about the headline, folks. It's the first thing your readers will see when the email is sitting in their mailbox, and it's what will get them to open the email instead of immediately deleting it. Here's a few different tactics you can use when writing headlines:
– Pose a question to evoke curiosity: “What's The Most Important Thing In Your Closet?”
– Evoke happiness: “9 Reasons Why Winter Wear Is The Best”
– Evoke fear: “What To Avoid When Picking A Bikini”
Remember to try and keep it short and sweet. If the headline it too long it may get cut off as people look at it on their mobile phones or in their email inboxes.
Do make sure everything is linked properly. Links are probably THE most important part of your newsletter. Make sure each photo and text hyperlink is linked exactly to the post in which you are talking about. No one wants to click a link and then flounder around for what they are looking for — the reader will most likely get frustrated and give up. The best way to make sure this mistake doesn't happen is by always sending a test email first and clicking through all the links.
Do measure how often you send your newsletter out by how many posts you have a week. Simply put, you don't want to be repeating content in your email newsletter, or only have one post in it. If you post once a day, an email once every other week could be sufficient — this way you can fill your newsletter with your best content. Also, another perk of spreading out your emails is that you can have options with what posts you want to highlight (especially if you want drive traffic to a specific post).
Do experiment with what day and time you send your email out. Check your newsletter statistics. Do your readers tend to open it more often in the morning, afternoon, or night? On Mondays, Wednesdays, or Saturdays? etc. etc. Don't just pick a random time without trying to capitalize on it. It may take a while to find your sweet spot, but it will be worth it when your traffic goes up because of your newsletter optimization.
Don't oversaturate your newsletter with advertisements. While doing an email advertising campaign can be a great way to pull in some additional revenue, each and every email should not be an advertisement. Your readers will pick up on this and stop opening the emails. Instead, do occasionally send out dedicated emails, and do carve out a special section within the newsletter especially for advertisements. That way your subscribers will know where and when to expect an advertisement.
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