“Out with the old, in with the new.” This attitude seems to be an overarching mentality in our society. Today’s ever-changing technology landscape posits people as quick to write off the “archaic” and eager to adopt the latest, greatest trend. However, an example of electronic communication with staying power—one that has proven its worth—is email.
The e-newsletter is another form of communication that has maintained popularity since its inception. Readers’ appreciation for the e-newsletter format can be attributed, in part, to the format's palatable “bites” of content. Due to an endless stream of information—readily available to anyone with an Internet connection—vying for our attention, we readers are becoming increasingly discriminating. Readers grow listless when searching for the exact content they want. We want curated content, summarized into a finite package from a credible source.
While businesses continue to focus their efforts on social media and forgo email marketing, studies have shown that email is 40 times more successful in acquiring new clients than Facebook or Twitter.
Our goal at Designsensory is never to cloud our subscribers’ inboxes with unwanted mail, but for each individual to find value in our work and the case studies presented in our e-newsletter. With this in mind, here are few best practice tips to keep in mind for your e-newsletter.
E-Newsletter Best Practice Tips
A newsletter must be substantial in terms of length and content. There’s a delicate balance to keep it from being too short or too long.
A piece with a high word count, say 1,000 words, well-written and informative, can reveal the writer’s level of expertise on the subject. However, verbosity shows a lack of regard for the reader’s time. We recommend one article of 500 words, with succinct, informative pieces comprising the remainder of the newsletter.
Keep the format of your newsletter visually appealing, streamlined, focused and mobile-friendly. With the latter, bear in mind that 41 percent of emails are opened on a mobile device. We suggest using graphics when possible. Ensure that the ALT-text for your graphics is descriptive as well, for readers who have images disabled or for those using text-only browsers. You may want to read your webpage text aloud—including the ALT-text—to test how readers will comprehend the page information.
Remember: Email-based marketing is permission-based marketing. Make it simple for potential subscribers to opt in and for current subscribers to unsubscribe whenever they choose.
After hours of writing, editing and tinkering with your newsletter, the last place you want your great content to end up is in the spam folder. Avoid running into spam filter issues by following the tips of a tried-and-true email marketing service provider, such as MailChimp. And, ask your readers to add the email address tied to your newsletter to their contact list, assuring it hits the primary inbox every time.
Finally, while being on the recipients’ contact list will improve delivery rates, it is important that tone and delivery time—same time, same day, every time—stay consistent to properly meet readers’ expectations.
We, at Designsensory, continue to push ourselves to stay on top of best practices in all facets of our business and aim to share what we’ve learned with those invested in our work.