Your clients sift through junk mail every day. So grabbing their attention before they automatically delete your e-newsletter can be a tall order. But refining your e-mail marketing efforts doesn’t have to be complicated. Effective communication via newsletter takes only a few simple tweaks and mindful adjustments to get potential clients to open it—and read. Take a look at a couple of ideas below to add value to your newsletter and garner those coveted open rates that let you know your efforts aren’t going unnoticed.
Create Stirring but Honest Subject Lines
Email subject lines and headlines aren’t just formalities; they’re the banner you fly to grab the attention of your reader. So how exactly can you make your subject line pop? For starters, be upfront and clear. It’s tempting to try and create intrigue in a subject line—which isn’t a bad instinct—but it’s better to be explicit in what your newsletter will discuss. Cliché subject lines won’t grab attention, while those that try to create a big show of mystery will only work once and then deter recipients from clicking again in the future. Avoid subject lines like “Our Monthly Newsletter.” Instead, try engaging with emotions and asking questions. You might also try making your “from” line your own first name instead of the name of your business; it creates a person-to-person connection.
Keep in mind that short and sweet plays best. Aim for about 50 characters, and put the most important information at the beginning of your subject line. That way you won’t lose impact by email alerts that cut off lengthy subject lines. Other approaches that are known to yield results include:
- Personalization: Use your client’s name in the subject line, especially at the beginning of a question.
- Wordplay: Making a pun or referencing a relevant song lyric or iconic quote can be a light way of creating familiarity and intrigue.
- By the Numbers: An informative subject line that uses a relevant and surprising statistic can pique interest
- So Emotional: Play towards emotions in your subject line. Hopes? Fears? A happy occasion? Keep it human, and it’ll be easier to forge a connection with the recipient.
Get a Sense for What’s (Not) Working
You don’t have to spin your wheels and wonder why one newsletter generated more open rates than another. Get to the heart of the matter by A/B testing your subject lines to figure out what’s playing well with your recipient list. There are content management programs such as Mailchimp and Constant Contact that can help you track and compare your newsletter open rates month to month. You can even run A/B tests simultaneously to a small sample group prior to broadcasting to your whole audience. Data like this is invaluable in fine-tuning your approach to newsletters and subject lines and can help you replicate success or adjust your methods appropriately.
Bonus tip: If a client hasn’t engaged with your newsletter in quite a while, why not mention that in a subject line? It doesn’t hurt to check in about missed connections, and it may inspire more engagement.
What’s On the Inside Counts, Too
If your main priority is bolstering your newsletter’s open rates, you might not think that what’s inside your newsletter can make a powerful initial impact. However, many inboxes and smartphone email alerts offer a preview of email content—usually an email’s first line. By paying careful attention to the opening sentence of your newsletter, you can double down on your ability to draw higher open rates. Think of the first line of your newsletter as a sub-header—an opportunity to meaningfully expand on your subject line and boost those coveted open rates. Try addressing your client by their name in the first line, then get right to the point. With the subject line out of the way, you should use your body’s first line to dive into the meat of what you want to say.
As you refine your newsletter practices and draw a larger audience, keep these behind-the-scenes tips in mind to earn the visibility your newsletters have been craving. Remember to be original and provide value to the reader. Each time you send an email, you’re training your sphere to open the next email from you.