You want to create an email newsletter that gets noticed.
One that helps you connect with your small business customers, drive more traffic to your website, and ultimately lead to new business. Sounds simple enough, right?
For all that to happen, you need to have a plan. From your subject line, to your formatting, to the focus of your content—you want to make sure your email marketing is firing on all cylinders.
Here are 6 email newsletter essentials for small businesses:
1. Create a catchy subject line
Without the right subject line, there’s pretty much a zero chance your email newsletter ever gets opened. The best email marketing subject lines are part art and part science.
You need to be specific enough to explain what your newsletter is about but also creative enough to give your message some personality.
Experiment with different subject lines to see which ones work best with your specific audience.
2. Share educational content
Notice I didn’t say shameless-self-promotion. Sure it’s okay to talk about your products and services some of the time, but the majority of your content should focus on adding value by providing educational content.
How do you know what’s educational? Think about the information your subscribers would be most interested in based on questions you typically get. Ideas include helpful how to’s, tips, resources, and industry trends.
3. Add visual interest
The right photos and images can make your content “POP.” They not only help to pull readers in but also reinforce your content and messaging.
If you’re not sure where to look, I pulled together a helpful guide for finding free images for business blogs and other online marketing.
4. Make your content easy to read
I know this one sounds like a no-brainer, but you want your newsletter to be as easy to read as possible. In other words, don’t junk things up.
Instead of trying to include lengthy articles, look for opportunities to break things up into smaller chunks and point readers back to your site. And speaking of which…
5. Point to one primary call-to-action
What’s the #1 thing you want readers to do when they read your newsletter? Share your content with their social networks? Click back to one of your blog posts? Participate in a survey? That’s your primary call-to-action.
Of course you’ll also want to include other secondary calls-to-action--just make sure your primary always gets top billing.
6. Test, test, test
Once you start sending out newsletters, you have a chance to experiment.
Don’t be afraid to play around with your subject lines, formatting, and calls-to-action to see what works best for your specific audience.
Looking for newsletter examples?
Here are 5 of my absolute favorites.
By: Shawn Graham
[Image: Flickr user bark]