Here’s how to get the best results with your email newsletters!
Whether you have a list of 20 clients or a database of thousands, it’s important to communicate with your list on a routine basis. The more you communicate the warmer the list will become and the warmer the list the larger the service and profit potential.
This email newsletter sending checklist assumes that you already have a template set up within a newsletter sending service (eg. Mailchip, Aweber, etc.) and are tasked with sending out the latest newsletter. It also assumes that you have written or been supplied the copy that is to be sent.
Reviewing the copy or text (before inserting into the template)
- Whether the copy is supplied in Word or Notepad or format, before inserting copy into the template, make sure it makes sense. If it doesn’t go back to the author and gain clarification. It’s a waste of time to insert copy that isn’t right
- Complete a spell and grammar check
- Add paragraphs after every 3 – 4 sentences. You’ll want to avoid large chunks of text as they’re hard to read.
- If you come across any long sentences break them into two or more. Short sentences are easier to read online.
- Remove any ALL CAPITAL text as it comes across as shouting over email.
- Ensure that the copy has a call to action (CTA) – usually found at the end of the copy, or a section of copy. The reader should be instructed to visit a website, call a phone number or ‘buy now’. This is the whole point of sending a newsletter, so make sure it’s there!
Create the newsletter within the template
- Copy the copy if in Word and paste into Notepad. Once in Notepad copy and paste into the newsletter. Otherwise, you’ll get weird bits of Word formatting which can mess up your newsletter. Notepad is basic and strips all formatting out.
- Insert all the copy and make sure any old or default content is removed and/or replaced.
- Ensure that header and alt-tag text is changed
- Add images if using
- Check the spacing so that the newsletter flows well around images and within the space provided
- Insert hyper-links if not done already
- Add bolding and light italics if necessary to break the copy up
Create a headline if not created already
- Considering the content of the newsletter, you need to come up with a subject that will get the reader to open the email. This is the most important task. Google ‘best headlines’ to get some inspiration
- Split test – if possible. Some email newsletter software allows the users to test more than one subject line to see which one works best. If you have this feature, use it!
Test the email newsletter
- Send yourself a copy of the newsletter and read it in your email client (eg. Yahoo or Outlook mail) the copy for the last time. Make sure it all fits together well and everything is graphically presented correctly. If you have time to view the email newsletter in different email clients, do so however keep in mind that it’s often the case that you fix one thing for one client and it breaks for another email client. Overall, you want to newsletter to look as good as possible across all email readers.
- Make sure that andy personalization worked. Nothing is worse than getting an email with “Dear <FirstName>” rather than “Dear Kim” at the top!
- Test every hyper-link – even if it’s one that you didn’t change from the last newsletter. Links mysteriously break all the time
Finalizations for the email newsletter
- Once you’re happy with the main newsletter, create the plain text version (most email newsletter software creates the plain text version with a click of a button)
- Check that the ‘Send From’ is correct
- Ensure that you’re sending to the correct list if you have more than one
- If your email newsletter software allows for it, make sure that the open, click through rates and any other metrics are recorded
- Schedule to send your email newsletter at a time when your target audience will most likely be receptive to reading it
After sending the email newsletter
- Set a date to check the results – perhaps a week later. Record statistics as you’ll then get a feel for whether your list is getting warmer or colder and can act accordingly
- Test things out – make a plan for the next newsletter to have a different offer or CTA and record if the results are better or worse
- Track newsletters to sales (if possible) and determine the average amount of sales received per mail-out and work to beat it every time
Tips on sending email newsletters
- Never send anything where the bulk of the text is white copy on a black background. It’s irritating to read
- Never send out a newsletter full of images. Make sure there is text so the reader can get an idea of what the newsletter is about before having to download the images
- Always send from a person – not a company. Readers don’t form relationships with companies they form them with a person within a company
- Make sure that the newsletter benefits the reader – that means that your content will help the reader to feel better, prettier, or happier or perhaps help the reader to make more money, save money, etc.
- Remember that the subject line gets the reader to open the email, the first line then needs to hook the reader into reading the first paragraph. The first paragraph then needs to get the reader to keep reading. Make sure to tell the reader quickly how and why they’ll benefit from reading the newsletter
- Always personalize your email if possible – it will increase read rates. So make sure the newsletter starts off with the readers name
What’s missing? Anything?