What is your best tip for developing a popular email newsletter service?

Here are nine ways to create an email newsletter people actually want to receive and read:

  • Keep it Relevant & Consistent
  • Format for All Email Platforms
  • Make Sure Your Message Isn’t Saying “Buy Me”
  • Reflect Company Culture
  • Start Small
  • AIDA
  • Send a Happy Birthday Email
  • Make Sure It Loads Quickly
  • Include an Opt-Out Option

Relevancy and Consistency

Keep your audience front and center of your emails, and ask ‘why should they care?’ Focus the content around their interests and pain points, and less around what you’re looking to sell or promote.

Doug Dennison, MailNinja

Format for All Email Platforms

Make your newsletter visually appealing on all email platforms. The last thing you want to do is spend hours creating a gorgeous template and graphics only to find out that half your audience on Outlook can’t see them. Always send yourself a test email on various platforms to double-check before hitting send!

Vanessa Molica, The Lash Professional

Make Sure Your Message Isn’t Saying “Buy Me”

When crafting an email newsletter, it is important to ensure that your subject line, copy, and overall message is not “buy me”. If you approach any marketing activity with this perspective, you’ll find that customers will do the exact opposite and end up unsubscribing from your emails. You want to ensure that you are providing value for them and actually solving a problem they may have. For example, if you are a clothing store and your goal is to sell more denim, you should identify a potential problem your customers may have and how you can solve it for them. Perhaps create a newsletter about “How to Make your Jersey Look Cute This Superbowl Weekend” and feature your denim along with inspiration photos. Now that is a great email campaign!

Nikitha Lokareddy, Markitors

Reflect Company Culture

Make sure the email newsletter reflects your culture. Our company prides itself on being bold and witty, with an irreverent sense of humor. That is why people flock to our brand! Making sure that our newsletter allows our brand personality to shine through gives our audience something to laugh and relate to and ensures that we have a successful newsletter.

Stephanie Schull, Kegelbell

Start Small

Rather than focus on the size of your list, put your energy and time into creating valuable content for a small, highly engaged, group. Profile their pain points, challenges, and desires. The smaller the group the easier it will be to create content that they deeply care about. If you can create content that keeps 100 people engaged, the word will spread like wildfire because they’ll want to share it with all their like-minded friends.

Rani Sweis, AtticSalt

AIDA

Gary Halbert was famous for copywriting direct mail pieces that performed exceptionally well. In his Gary Halbert Letters, he shares his “AIDA” formula for helping people write. What is AIDA? It stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. Make sure each email newsletter adheres to AIDA, and you’ll create great content for subscribers.

Brett Farmiloe, Terkel

Send a Happy Birthday Email

The one thing I recommend to every client and business, whether they use email marketing or not, is to buy a subscription and send a Happy Birthday email annually. If you only send one newsletter letter a year for $20/month or $240 a year, this is where you start to engage. You will be amazed at the return on investment and referrals you receive with a single email a year.

Patrick Menzel, Internal Profits, LLC

Make Sure It Loads Quickly

Newsletters are tough. Unless they’re scannable, your readers will bounce before reading it. I would often open an email, wait a few seconds for it to load, and close it before the text even appears. Many marketers and designers work hand-in-hand in creating the most visually stunning HTML emails—but they don’t take the UX into account. There are a few ways to help your newsletters load quickly to grab your impatient readers’ attention. First, compress every image, from GIF to JPG to PNG. There are many free online tools to do so, e.g., Ezgif for optimizing animated GIFs. Additionally, it’s smart to reduce the resolution of each image. You don’t need to upload full HD images if the default width will get adjusted. Remember to add alt text to every image, and AB test your content; from the subject line, the header image, to each image’s position in the email.

Hung Nguyen, Smallpdf

Consistency and Opt-Out Option

Be consistent and give users more options than opt-out or stay in. Let’s start with opting out — I love to tell an ESP that I want fewer emails, or no more of this type of emails – too often I’m forced to pick between emails I like but just receive too many of and get rid of them entirely. On top of that, consistency is key – random emails are ok but the emails I enjoy the most are the ones I look forward to and can count on them coming every week.

Quincy Smith, ESL Authority