Here are five factors for successful newsletters, along with examples.
1. It’s all about unique, relevant content
You want your newsletter subscribers to read your articles. How can you get them to click on your content? Considering there are thousands of other articles written about virtually any given topic, the key is relevance. Relevance means offering the right information at the right moment. Suppose your newsletter targets HR professionals. Obviously, you’ll want to offer them articles about talent development, millennials, recruitment, etc. To make the content even more relevant, be sure to tie it in with current affairs. For example, you could write an article about the current image of banks and how this influences their recruitment.
2. Think like a journalist
Your target group is often more likely to click on articles related to current events, because people simply love finding out the latest news — especially news about famous people. At the Dutch daily newspaper De Pers, where I worked for ten years, articles with the name ‘Britney Spears’ in the headline were some of the most-read pieces. Not every subject can be linked with a famous person or trending topic, but if you can make that link, do it. Just make sure the content isn’t click-bait: the content must deliver on what the headline promises. There’s nothing worse than disappointing your readers.
3. Grab your reader’s attention right away
People have a short attention span. Exactly how short is debatable, but one thing is clear: you have a very small window of time to grab their attention. There’s also been a lot written about how to grab your reader’s attention. It’s important to use interactive content. Put some time into creating a good subject line and make your newsletter personal. Lastly, your newsletter needs to be readable on mobile devices, because about three quarters of your readers will be viewing it on a smartphone or tablet.
4. Write clearly, concisely and to the point
Everyone thinks they know what it means, but only a few actually do it: writing clearly. The most important thing is to make the text in your newsletter enjoyable. It should not be too long, and it has to me immediately clear what the article is about. Perhaps most importantly of all, the text must be inviting, so that the reader will want to continue reading it. Lastly, you need a strong call to action. That means more than just writing ‘click here’. It should be a sentence that sparks the reader’s curiosity.
If you want to know all about creating a good text, take some advice from Stephen King.
5. Send your newsletter at the right moment
This is tricky, because the right moment depends on your target group. If your business is a retail company, and you want to target customers with your newsletter, then the weekend is a good time. Legal professionals prefer to read their newsletters in the morning. That makes sense, because they can’t bill their clients for an hour they spend reading newsletters. For a good analysis of the best moment to send, read what the newsletter gurus from Mailchimp have to say.