1. Have Permission
Before you send an email newsletter to someone, make sure they’ve asked for it. This is what’s called “opt-in”. Asking if someone wants to receive your newsletter will result in fewer spam complaints, fewer unsubscribes, and keeping you off of blacklists. How do you build your mailing list, then? Have your subscribe form prominently displayed on your website. Create a custom tab or app on your FaceBook page. If you have a shopping cart, display a link or a subscribe form so customers can subscribe during checkout. If you have a physical store, put out a sign-up sheet or computer or tablet so shoppers can sign-up.
When working on your email newsletter design, have one message that you want to convey. This one message should stand-out and be easily read. This is especially important during the holiday season. People are extremely busy during this time of the year. They want to quickly see your offer and either take advantage of it or not. If you must have more than one message, pick the most important one and put it at the top of your email newsletter. I’m a firm believer of “less is more”, “the simpler, the better” and open space or “white space”. Make sure your headline is big enough to read, but not too big. I think 36pts is good for your headline. This email I got the other day from Amazon is a great example of a good email newsletter design.
Choose your Subject carefully. Keep it short and to the point. For example, “15% Off Tea from …” or “Save $10 on Jewelry from …”
a. Don’t rely on images.
Some ISPs ( internet service providers, such as Century Link ) block images, so make sure your message gets across without the use of images. Use alt tags in images. Alt is short for “alternative”. If you have the option, I also recommend adding a title tag, as well. These tags will help with your on-line marketing efforts, and should display in case the images don’t. Any reputable email newsletter plug-in or service will give you the option to add alt and title tags when adding images. If you use graphics for words ( ie make text in Photoshop or some other graphics software ), repeat the message using plain text.
b. Don’t use too large or too many images.
The more images, or the larger the images are, in your email newsletter, the longer it takes for it to load or display, therefore, the more likely the recipient is to abandon it or delete it. Again, this is especially important around the holiday season. Your newsletters should have a nice balance of images and text, mostly text.
There is no golden rule to how often your should send your newsletter, but studies show that weekly or every other week is good. People have subscribed to your newsletter, so don’t worry about ‘bugging’ them. They want to hear from you. Sending a newsletter 3 or 4 times a week is too much. Studies also show that emails to consumers should be sent Friday evening so they are received Saturday morning. Business-related emails, or B2B emails, should be sent any day of the business week except Monday. Mondays are often busy for business professionals. They last thing they need, is one more email in their Inbox Monday morning.
ISPs and servers around the world check emails all the time for how spammy they are. If example, they check for certain words in the Subject or Body of emails. Test the “spammyness” of your email newsletter with the help of Mail-Tester.com ( free )
6. Don’t Send From Your Computer
Send from your website with the use of a third-party plug-in, such as MailPoet for WordPress, or use a service such as iContact or Mail Chimp. The server your website is hosted on or a mail service provider are more properly set-up to handle this sort of task. If you send from your website, send slowly. For example 70 emails per hour.
See related post: Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid of People Unsubscribing
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