How do you start a newsletter

Enthusiasm for Email Marketing is unbroken: 49.5% of marketers planned to increase their budget for this marketing strategy in 2019. It is therefore not that easy to stand out from the crowd of commercial emails. We'll tell you ours so that you can perform at your best 16 best tips for compelling marketing emails.

1. Use an email marketing tool

Even if you are new to the Email Marketing and your recipient list is still very small, you should work with a professional email marketing tool that automates processes:

On the one hand, sending emails succeeds in this way fully automatic, uncomplicated and quick. This not only saves you time, but also avoids careless mistakes that quickly occur when sending individual emails manually, for example typing errors in the Recipient address or the body of the email.

In addition, the customary e-mail clients carry the risk that e-mails sent en masse from the Spam filtering of recipients be intercepted. The servers of professional e-mail marketing software, on the other hand, are listed on the most important whitelists - for example the Certified Senders Alliance - and are therefore classified as trustworthy.

Find the right newsletter tool

There are a variety of free and paid ones Email Marketing Toolsthat offer secure shipping as well as automation and personalization options. The so-called CRM tools (Customer Relationship Management Tools) also contain many other useful functions for lead generation and customer management.

Your newsletter software should have the following properties:

  • simple and intuitive Service,
  • wide range of pre-made responsive email templates,
  • Segmentation function, to send mailings only to a specific target group,
  • Data protection compliance (integrated double opt-in procedure, imprint, unsubscribe link),
  • integrated Split tests (A / B tests to compare two different newsletter variants with each other)
  • detailed Reports, to evaluate the email marketing campaigns.

2. Harness the power of a strong call-to-action

Successful newsletters have one thing in common: the call-to-action button (CTA) with a clear call for action. After all, the recipients should ideally not just skim through the newsletter, but also take action - for example by continuing their shopping in the online shop or reading the latest blog article. 78% of marketers have seen an increase in email engagement rates in the past 12 months.

When designing the CTA, consider the following:

  • It should be short and concise more active Language must be formulated.
  • Its effect can be through urgency be reinforced ("only today“).
  • The design of the CTA should be characterized by a Contrast color separate from the environment.
  • It is recommended to use it in the upper third of the newsletter so that it is not overlooked under any circumstances.

For example, successful CTAs should look like this:

Download the e-book now

Register for the seminar now

Get a 20% discount immediately

20 discount - only until tonight

Image: W&V newsletter, private mailbox

3. Double opt-in procedure, imprint and co .: observe legal requirements

The sending of promotional emails is regulated by numerous laws, including the Telemedia Act (TMG), the Federal Data Protection Act (BDSG) and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) closely regulated.

If you want to avoid warnings, you should therefore definitely deal with the legal framework for sending e-mails. This includes the following points, among others:

Double opt-in

The GDPR stipulates that recipients of newsletters must have demonstrably and expressly consented to the inclusion of the newsletter distribution list. This requirement can only be correctly implemented using the so-called double opt-in procedure.

The recipient not only has to give permission to send the e-mails with a click of the mouse when entering their data, but also this additionally confirm via link (in an email sent to him).

Integrate data protection declaration

In your mandatory data protection declaration, you should also address the newsletter and explain how you process the data collected in this way.

Here you can also emphasize that you are not selling the collected e-mail addresses or otherwise acting dubiously, and such a thing Trust bonus coat.

Correct registration form

In the registration form for the newsletter, only the most necessary data may be requested as a mandatory field. Usually they are E-mail address and the Surname.

Insert unsubscribe link

Every newsletter must contain an unsubscribe link. This is to guarantee that the subscriber can unsubscribe from the mailing list with one click.

imprint

Each newsletter must be provided with an imprint, which results from §5 of the Telemedia Act.

4. Put on the customer glasses

When choosing topics for the newsletter, the problems and needs of the customers should come first. Put yourself in the shoes of your newsletter recipients:

  • Why have they subscribed to your newsletter?
  • Which added value do you promise yourself?

Then you can offer them exactly that. For example with informative Left, a detailed Blog articles, one counselor or one Video tutorial. Newsletters that do not address the needs of their target group, on the other hand, accumulate unread in the mailbox.

5. Formulate compelling subject lines

Why are some emails opened by the recipients and others disappear in the trash without being read? The first impression of the email is decisive here - this means the subject line.

In order for this curiosity to arouse the e-mail, it should stand out from the mass of e-mails, emphasize clear advantages for the recipient and use a personalized approach. Yes Marketing found in 2017 that recipients open emails with a personalized subject line 50% more often than emails without a personalized subject line - but only 2% of all emails are personalized.

Also, be brief as the subject line will be shortened in mobile view. According to a study by AWeber, subject lines of emails are on average 43.85 characters long. And watch out: certain keywords will trigger the spam filter to sound the alarm - you should definitely delete these from your formulation repertoire.

Image: HubSpot

6. Write an exciting start to the e-mail

However, many e-mail programs not only display the subject line of an incoming e-mail, but also the first lines of the body of the text - the so-called Preheader. Accordingly, this must also convince so that the mail is opened.

So use the additional characters cleverly to communicate the incentive of the email more clearly. While the subject catches the recipient's attention, the pre-header can address the more specific added value. For example, a good combination of subject and pre-header could look like this:

Subject line:

Lisa, happy birthday!

Preheader:

Our gift: 10% discount on your next order in the online shop.

7. Use personalized sender names

The e-mail recipients should be able to see at a glance who the sender of the newsletter is:

Use a meaningful sender name, ideally the Name of a contact person in your company. This is more personal and more trustworthy than the mere company name.

8. Calculate realistic costs

Consumers prefer to communicate with businesses via email, which is a good reason for email marketers to dig deeper. They currently make a profit of $ 42 for every dollar wagered.

In contrast to classic print mailing, the Email Marketing neither printing nor postage costs. Nevertheless, you should plan a sufficiently high budget. Because the newsletters have to be text and attractively designed, which may have to be done by freelancers or an agency.

You may also have access to a paid and powerful one CRM tool to send the emails back, which is also initially reflected in the budget, even if it saves you costs in the long term.

At the same time, you have to be in Marketing measures invest that induce users to sign up for a newsletter in the first place. So while email marketing is a powerful tool, don't underestimate the resources you need.

9. Set the correct frequency

Regularity pays off when sending out newsletters, as the recipients can count on you. Choosing the right frequency is not that easy:

On the one hand, users should promptly receive news and deals on the other hand, they do not want to be harassed with e-mails: Half of the participants in a survey on the topic unsubscribed from the newsletter because of too many e-mails.

So ask yourself how often you can provide your subscribers with really relevant content and interview members of your target audience preferably how often you would like to receive the newsletter. 35% of marketers send 3-5 emails a week to their customers.

The option of your subscribers choose individuallyallowwhich topics they would like to be notified about.

10. Choose the optimal delivery time

An identical email is not equally successful at every point in time. Opinions as to which day and which time are optimal now differ widely. In addition, they vary depending on the industry and target group. Accordingly, you should be over A / B tests find out for yourself when your emails are most popular.

However, two general rules can be kept in mind when it comes to the optimal shipping time:

  • Most emails are opened between the early hours of the morning and mid-morning. In the afternoon, interest levels off, but sometimes increases again towards later evening.
  • The individual days of the week differ only marginally in terms of opening rates. With one exception: that Weekend is unsuitableto get through to email recipients.

11. Take segmentation and personalization seriously

The individual approach to the user conveys closeness and a personal bond. In this way you avoid the impression of an undifferentiated mass e-mail that is often attached to newsletters. It has long been out of date to send a single 0815 campaign to the entire e-mail list without paying attention to who the recipients are, what interests them and where exactly they are in the buying process.

Here are some examples of how emails can be personalized:

  • Talk to your subscribers Names at.
  • Send out newsletters on the occasion of regional or personal events (e.g. holidays, birthday).
  • Use the E-mail address and signature of an employee instead of just the impersonal company name.

Image: W&V newsletter, private mailbox

Also, try to learn as much as you can about your subscribers so that you can get a concrete picture of the person, theirs aims and Wishes can do.

Then segment the subscribers as granularly as possible according to buyer personas. In this way you can offer individual newsletters for precisely these target groups, for example based on the interests of the customers.

12. Mobile optimization of the newsletter

A study with users of Web.de and GMX shows that newsletters are now preferred to be read on mobile devices in the entire DACH region. It is therefore essential to optimize the newsletter for smartphones and tablets as well.

Specifically, this means:

  • The most important information belongs at the beginning an email.
  • Images and videos sparingly deploy.
  • A responsive design is mandatory for email templates.
  • Clear division of the text into short sections.
  • Great, even on the phone easy-to-click CTA buttons.

13. Implement a clear and clear design

As the intensive mobile use already suggests, e-mails are often read on the side: on the train, during lunch breaks or in line at the supermarket. Accordingly, users want to receive relevant information at first glance, without having to read a long text block.

So pay attention to one clear structure Your newsletter: Use lots of paragraphs and structure the text with bullets and headings. You should also avoid long sentences in favor of short, concise statements.

Images should always be used with care in newsletters. Because the more images are used, the larger the file and the longer the mobile users have to wait until the newsletter is fully loaded. There is a risk that the recipient will impatiently close the newsletter without having read it.

14. Check the newsletter in advance

Nothing is more annoying than sending a newsletter, only to find out that the devil has crept in.

It is therefore advisable to use the newsletter to colleagues and different e-mail clients to test. In this way you ensure that the mail is successfully delivered everywhere, is displayed correctly and you may also uncover one or the other typing error.

15. Analyze key figures

If you send your e-mails with a CRM tool, you can get statistics on the most important e-mail marketing metrics. These are among others:

  • Delivery rate: Percentage of recipients who actually received the email.
  • Opening rate: Proportion of recipients who opened the email.
  • Click-through rate: Proportion of recipients who have clicked on at least one link.
  • Bounce rate: Percentage of sent e-mails that could not be delivered.
  • Unsubscribe rate: Share of emails sent that have unsubscribed from the newsletter as part of this mailing.

If you evaluate this data carefully and regularly, you can draw valuable conclusions and optimize your newsletter accordingly. For example, a low open rate can indicate that the subject is not appealing enough or that the newsletter has landed in the spam folder instead of in the mailbox.

16. Test, test, test

Email marketing is constantly changing. Subscriber preferences change, policies change, and email software evolves - this is how we see best practices come and go. If you want to be successful in email marketing, you too have to react to these changes as quickly and agilely as possible.

If you're not sure whether your recipients will be positive about changes, you could resort to A / B testing. If you want to get insights quickly, tests and experiments are the best tools.

Companies that have email A / B testing and experimentation an integral part of their email marketing strategy have a proven record of getting good results. Studies show that marketers who test every email with an A / B test have a 37% higher ROI on their email marketing than those who don't A / B tests at all.

For example, an A / B test can help you try out new trends in subject lines or email design and determine the best version. Make sure, however, that you only ever focus on a single element in the A / B test and that you play your tests on the correct sample size to achieve statistically relevant results.

Originally published January 8, 2021, updated January 8, 2021

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