One of the most important aspects of marketing your creativity is a successful newsletter. It's a powerful tool for keeping your network abreast of all your latest projects. By keeping your audience informed of what you’re up to, you’re continuing to deepen your relationship with your fans and followers.
Unfortunately, email newsletters can often be an afterthought—slapped together haphazardly in between other tasks. And while you might think what you are doing is good enough, chances are you could greatly improve how people respond to what you’re sending out with just a few tweaks. Remember, a newsletter is only good if people actually open and engage with it.
We’ve pulled together a few basics tips on what you can do to improve your next email newsletter. This way, when you announceme an upcoming exhibition or brilliant new collection, the message is sure to reach the right people.
Subject lines are one of the most important, but often most undervalued, parts of any email marketing campaign. Think about it, the subject is the first thing you see when something comes to your inbox and if it’s not captivating, that email’s going into the trash.
It helps to think of your subject line as a newspaper headline—short, direct, and appealing. It should immediately tell the recipient what the newsletter is about and entice them to click in. Creating a sense of urgency and appealing to your audience’s sensibilities helps create an emotional response to the headline, getting you more opens. If you aren’t sure if your subject lines are up to par, there are a few tools that can help you get it just right.
The Advanced Marketing Institute evaluates headlines based on their Emotional Marketing Value score. As you want to appeal to people’s emotions in order to get them to open your newsletter, it’s essential to be positive in your wording and select your words carefully for maximum impact. Both the Advanced Marketing Institute and Coschedule have free headline analyzers that will let you know where you fall on the scale and how to improve your headline.
Extra tip: Try formatting your subject line as a question.
Whether you hired a designer or used a pre-existing template, looking at your newsletter design at least a few times a year is always helpful. Keeping things clean, simple, and legible is essential to making sure the content is transmitted and read clearly.
MailChimp, a leader in email newsletters, has a fantastic email design guide with tips and suggestions on how to optimize your design. From fonts and colors to the appropriate use of separators, it takes you step by step through all aspects of email campaign design.
You'll want to test your newsletter on multiple devices to ensure that it reads well on desktop, mobile, and tablet. As most people are viewing email campaigns from mobile, it’s key that you have a responsive design that will hold up on iPhones, Androids, or any other mobile platform.
If you want to improve on your newsletter design and can’t afford to hire a designer, Canva is a great place to start. They have lots of free templates that can be customized via a simple interface.
Extra tip: Browse Really Good Emails and get inspired by excellent email design.
It's easy to overthink and get bogged down trying to perfect your copy. Remember, you are cultivating relationships here, so keep things personal and positive without being long-winded. Email newsletters are most effective when they are short and to the point, with the writing enticing your readers and getting them excited for the news you are announcing.
If for some reason you need to go in-depth about a particular topic, there's always room for that on your website and you can simply link out from within the email without clogging up your design with too many blocks of text.
Still unsure of yourself? Before you hit send, take a little break from your screen and come back after a few minutes. With fresh eyes, read your words aloud—this will also help you catch any typing errors—and go with your instincts. Does the copy intrigue you and get you invested? If it feels plodding and heavy, try trimming things and focus on the main reason you are sending the newsletter in the first place.
Extra tip: Use the Hemingway App or Grammarly to improve your writing.
Why waste time sending news to someone if it's not applicable to them? One of the most overlooked areas of email marketing is segmentation, which is the ability to target specific emails to our network based on myriad factors like age, sex, and location. If you are opening a new creative space in California, try sending a targeted mailing just to people in-state. Do your Etsy sales show that women age 25 to 35 are your strongest customers? Consider sending them a special sneak preview of your new jewelry collection.
MailChimp's recent analysis shows that segmented mailings have 14.31% more opens and 100.95% more clicks than non-segmented mailings, so it's worth giving a try!
Extra tip: Services like MailChimp often have preset segments, such as most highly engaged subscribers.
Aren't sure if your new design is really making an impact or find yourself torn between two different subject lines? Testing should help you see what's working and what you need to improve. A/B testing is quite common and by focusing on one factor at a time, you'll be able to effectively decide what changes are making an impact. You can even use testing to see what time of day is the best for sending out your news.
Services like MailChimp and Campaign Monitor allow you to test on a small pool and then send the winning newsletter out to the rest of your list, ensuring that your very best goes out to the widest audience.
Extra tip: Kissmetrics has an excellent beginner's guide to A/B testing.