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The 90/10 Rule & Other Secrets to Email Newsletter Success

Posted on the 03 September 2014 by Marketingtango @marketingtango
  • September 3, 2014
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The 90/10 Rule & Other Secrets to Email Newsletter Success

Most integrated marketers know that email newsletters are a great way to engage and inform customers and keep their company name top of mind. But as emails go, e-newsletters are among the most challenging versions to effectively execute.

One reason, says Hubspot, is that e-newsletters, unlike other types of emails, aren’t single minded in their intent, like promoting a sale, generating a lead, acknowledging or concluding a transaction. Rather, e-newsletters, by their very nature, include an eclectic mix of content, such as surveys, reminders, announcements and educational information, which makes concepting and creating them all the more difficult.

HubSpot says that following these and other tips from its e-newsletter ‘Go-To’ Guide, will simplify the process and lead to better results, including higher subscription and click-through rates.

Tip No. 1: Evaluate your needs and resources: First determine whether an e-newsletter will help you achieve a specific business or communications goal, and if you’re ready, willing and able to commit the necessary resources. If the answer is no to either, skip the e-newsletter in favor of a different marketing tactic.

Tip No. 2: Use the 90/10 rule: When deciding what to include in your e-newsletter, strive for content that’s 90% educational (useful and relevant) and 10% promotional, not the other way around. Too much selling, too often, is a surefire way to lose your readers’ interest… and perhaps even their business.

Tip No. 3: Be upfront, upfront: Right away, on the ‘Subscribe’ page, tell potential subscribers what they can expect from your newsletter, including likely topics and categories, delivery frequency, and of course, the benefits of subscribing.

Tip No. 4: KISS: In terms of design and copy, it’s best to keep your newsletter streamlined and simple. Doing so will eliminate the clutter that turns so many readers off and moves them to unsubscribe. An uncluttered layout seems like a no-brainer. But many companies still feel that more content equates to higher interest, when in fact the opposite is true.

Tip No. 5: Don’t forget the alt text: Good e-newsletters contain images (one per paragraph of copy is a good rule of thumb, BTW). But if an image can’t load when readers open your email, something called ‘alternative text’ (or simply ‘alt text’) is displayed. Often, it’s the image’s cryptic file name (e.g., 0047e.jpg), which of course means nothing to your readers. Using your newsletter program’s built-in tool, you can turn confusing alt text into relevant, clickable text, such as your company name or a strong call to action, such as “Download Now!” or “Learn More!”

Finish reading Hubspot’s ‘Go-To’ guide here. Or visit our own vast library of tips for improving your company’s email marketing, including growing your email list and supercharging your email subject lines.

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