Email marketing is one of the most cost effective and powerful ways to reach potential customers when done right. With the increasing number of newsletters out there, it’s important to know how to create a compelling newsletter your subscribers will want to read and stay subscribed to. In this article, we’re going to outline some of the essential elements of a great newsletter.

Visually Compelling and Consistent with Your Brand

Essentially, your newsletter should work as an extension of your brand and feel like it. This means that it needs to be visually consistent with your brand and build brand visibility and awareness. Make sure that you follow the same colour schemes, logo, and personality as your brand and make sure that they’re a prominent part of the layout as well. The newsletter also needs to be consistent with your brand’s offline material as well.

Make sure that you only use relevant, high quality images in your mailings to capture your readers’ attention and stay away from generic stock images at all costs. You should also make sure that the newsletter reads well across all platforms.

Many people make the mistake of designing their newsletter with a desktop first vision in mind, but things have changed, and most people use a mobile device to read emails these days. As a matter of fact, about 53% of all users use their mobiles to open emails nowadays. So, by neglecting this audience, you might affect your click through rates negatively.

Your email marketing platform should allow you to check your mobile device click through rates as well. This will allow you to tweak your messages accordingly. If you don’t know how to formulate a mobile friendly newsletter properly, you can take a look at these few newsletter examples.

Great Subject Lines

You can have the best designed newsletter on the planet, but it won’t make a difference if nobody actually reads it. Your subject lines will have a direct effect on your open rates and your conversion rates ultimately. This is why it’s essential that you understand what separates a great subject line from a mediocre one.

Your subject line should be concise so that the email doesn’t get truncated by the receiver’s mailbox, and it also needs to be clear and compelling. Make sure that you use actionable language (e.g. “Save 50% today only…”, “receive a free…” etc) that is relevant to your main target audience.  And make sure that the subject line is personalised as well for better results. You should also make sure that you don’t use exclamation marks or all caps since it could get your message flagged by spam filters.

Offer Value

One of the worst things when creating a newsletter is using it merely as a promotional tool and offering no value at all. You should instead focus on winning your readers’ trust by becoming a real resource to them. You should spend much more time offering them valuable content then selling.

If you’re too overzealous with your selling and don’t give them anything of value, your readers will phase you out and see you as a nuisance. Another big mistake is sending content that isn’t relevant or doesn’t resonate with your audience.

That’s why it’s essential that you know everything there is to know about your audience before you start mailing to them. Know what makes them tick, where they came from, what they are looking for and what their needs are. It’s also very important that you understand how newsletter segmentation works so you can separate your subscribers and personalise content for them.

For some, you may want to focus on discounts for instance. You want to approach subscribers who subscribed after a purchase differently than those who have never bought anything from you. You can sell harder to paying subscribers and try to upsell them on offers that might complement their purchase. For non-paying subscribers, you should try focusing on information first and foremost and go for the soft sell instead. Offering a few freebies could also help.

You should also make sure that you have a clear call to action at the end of each of your messages. These don’t have to be too “selly” either. You could simply ask them to join you on Facebook or subscribe to your YouTube channel for instance. Whether you want them to fill in a form, send an email or call a number, make sure that you send them a clear message and give them clear instructions as to how they can follow through.

Email marketing, when done right, can work wonders for your brand and give you great visibility for the fraction of the price you’d pay through other methods. Make sure that you test and retest your campaigns to make sure that you understand what works and don’t be afraid to experiment until you get it right.