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VOL. 128 | NO. 100 | Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Lori Turner

Lori Turner-Wilson

Boosting Email Newsletter Results

By Lori Turner-Wilson

Print | Front Page | Email this story | Comments ()

These days most businesses invest in e-newsletter campaigns, but few realize a return on that significant time investment. Developing a results-driven email newsletter strategy is more of a science than an art, as technological advancements provide a wealth of information about what readers want.

So let’s break down the anatomy of the perfect email newsletter.

Three quarters of email users cite “relevancy of content” as the reason they most often unsubscribe to email newsletters. So, ask your subscribers what they want to see. If you have subscribers with different content needs, consider customized versions of your email newsletter.

You must give more than you get to be seen as a trusted expert, so work to balance your content with no more than half promoting your brand’s products and services. Consider rounding out your newsletter with content that educates or entertains.

Put a recognizable name in the “from line” of your emails, as well as your brand name (e.g., From: Company Name <CEO@companyname.com>). Be sure to personalize the email with the name of the recipient.

Over a third of recipients decide to delete or unsubscribe from email based on the from address and subject line alone, so make that subject compelling. Also, keep the character length under 35, as most email clients truncate your subject line anyway.

Put the most interesting content on your website with a teaser link to it in your email newsletter. If recipients click through to your website, they are more likely to visit other pages and consider a purchase. Plus, when readers engage with your newsletter by clicking, email clients like Gmail give your brand a higher engagement score, translating into fewer issues with spam filters.

Approximately 40 percent of emails are opened on mobile devices, and a staggering 70 percent of recipients delete emails immediately that don’t display properly on those devices. So, ensure your email campaign template is mobile friendly. Keep your content short and use at least a 14-point font for body copy so your newsletter is easily readable.

Most email clients, like Outlook, feature “preview panes” where users can see the first part of every email when that email is highlighted. Most readers are making the choice to read or delete just based on that preview, so be sure your email header isn’t so deep that it pushes your primary headline and call to action outside the preview area.

In the end, measure your campaign effectiveness by reviewing the analytics – assessing what subject lines drive the strongest open rates and the content with which your readers are more likely to click or engage.

Lori Turner-Wilson is an award-winning columnist and Founder/CEO of RedRover Sales & Marketing, www.redrovercompany.com. You can follow RedRover on Twitter (@redrovercompany and @loriturner) and Facebook (facebook.com/redrovercompany).

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