Phil McCumskey offers professional website and print copy writing in the United Kingdom, Europe & South Africa.
Phil's weekly blog on copywriting tips and tricks for aspiring content writers

Newsletters That Beg To Be Read!

You’ve spent time writing your latest newsletter and you’ve now emailed it to your list of subscribers. You’re disappointed to discover that your ‘open’ rate is very, very low. For every 600 subscribers, only 9 have opened it (and may or may not have read it!). Even fewer have then visited your website. It doesn’t seem like newsletters are working for you. But don’t give up just yet. Here are a few helpful tips.

 

Grab the Interest of Your Readers

It’s possible to attain around an 80% ‘open’ rate, but to do this you’ve got to grab the interest of the readers right away. Here are a few important things to consider:

1. Are You Getting Through?

Not sure if your newsletter is getting through to your subscribers? Well, contact your Internet Service Provider and ask them to check that it’s reaching all your intended subscribers and that there are no problems in this area.

2. Get Creative

It’s as well to spend some time on your subject line. Get creative and come up with something that grabs the attention of your subscribers. You need to encourage them to open the newsletter. How many newsletters have you received with the subject lnes like, “June Issue #6″ That’s not going to make many people want to go any further.

Try to come up with a subject line that’s so interesting your subscribers feel they have to open your mail there and then and read on further.

3. Help and Advice Goes a Long Way

Your newsletter is not only a means to promote your products or services, it’s also a perfect opportunity to offer your readers good advice, interesting articles and helpful tips. Why not ask them to respond to a particular question or topic and see what kind of response is generated. Your newsletter needs to add value. For instance, if you sell corporate gifts, include some tips or advice in building client relationships and corporate gift giving.

4. Get Personal

Try and personalise your mailing lists. Target your products to particular subscribers – they may be corporate gift buyers, individual groups, clubs etc. Make them feel that your newsletter is aimed at them exclusively.

Role Models

Amazon.com is a very good example, of how best to do this. They personalise information based on their customers’ interests. They know what each and every customer is looking for and when they last visited their site. They also record every item purchased. In this way they have a record of customer preferences and can now offer them products and content that meets with their approval.

Apply the same thinking to your mailing list. Ask your subscribers to tell you what topics they’re interested in… what advice or helpful tips they’d like you to include. By doing this, you’ll make them feel very special and practically guarantee that they’ll open and read your newsletter time and time again.

Tips on Content

Bear in mind that most people today are busy and in a hurry and don’t have the time to read lenghtly, boring newsletters. Here are 3 content tips:

1. Newsworthy Info

Give your readers interesting news. For instance, point them to a link to an upcoming tradeshow at which your company will be an exhibitor or proudly tell them about a recent press release or shout about an event that yout company will be sponsoring.

2. Product Articles

Always include an article about one of your products or services, but make sure the focus is on helping or assisting your readers. You can build a resource library that contains all your other valuable articles and, at the same time, provide your readers with a link so that they can access these easily.

3. Satisfied Customers

A testimonial from one of your satisfied customers is still one of the strongest marketing tools around. Quote an example of a client who’s had great results from using your products or services. Your readers will respond well to this kind of information and it gives your company added credibility… and once again provide a link for additional product or service testimonials.

When All Is Said And Done

Finally, when writing articles remember to keep them between 600-800 words and section them into easy-to-read blocks with bold headlines. In this way, your readers will be able to skim through the content and pause at places of interest.

If you follow just a few of the steps suggested above, your newsletters will have a lot more impact and will generate more interest. But more importantly they will be opened and read by many more of your subscribers.