By Ethan Lyon, Senior Writer
Developing a newsletter is a great way to engage your users and generate site referrals. Newsletters give your readers a call to action (whether it’s a discount or joining your social cause), enable you keep in touch with your audience and can be effectively measured to refine your strategy to maximize your digital impact. Take a look at the image below to see a snapshot of ProBlogger’s website traffic. Each spike is the result of the ProBlogger newsletter. We’ll share several tips to build your subscriber base and develop compelling content for your newsletter.
Building Your Subscriber-base
Make your newsletter visible: Have multiple links pointing to your newsletter. A link in the sidebar, below blog posts and a badge in the header are prime locations for links to your newsletter.
Make it simple: Signing up should not be difficult. The easier you make it, the more likely you’re going to have readers subscribe. Try providing a field where all readers need to do is write their e-mail address.
Define your goals: What is the purpose of your newsletter? What are you trying to accomplish? Is it to generate leads? Site referrals? Educate? Increase product sales? There needs to be a clear call-to-action.
Segment your target audience: If you have multiple audience demographics, it’s important to segment them into distinct groups. If you send a blanket message to all of your customers, your message might fall upon deaf ears because it is not relevant. Are some of your customers price sensitive? Offer coupons and discounts. Or, are some of your customers passionate about your industry? Offer insight and news updates about the key issues surrounding your industry.
Develop relevant content: Though readers like to hear about new products or deals, it’s not all about you. Deliver industry insight (e.g. how-tos, trends, analysis, news etc) to add some perspective for your audience.
Be visual: Sending large chunks of text can be overwhelming — consequently landing your newsletter in the trash. Accordingly, make your newsletter visual and use no more than 700 words. At the same time, try not to bog down your newsletter with images. Large images can take too long to load.
Incentivize your users: Why would your newsletter recipient want to open your e-mail? Amid a sea of unread mail, what would compel them to open yours? In the subject line, how can you catch them? Make it timely so they don’t “save it for later,” or worse, delete the newsletter. Are you offering a limited time coupon? Discount tickets to an event? Give recipients a reason to open your newsletter.
Be consistent: Give your readers a time to expect your newsletter. This creates a level of anticipation. Moreover, sending weekly newsletters might be too often. Allow your readers to choose whether they would like a monthly or weekly newsletter.
Give users a choice: No one likes to be forced into subscribing to a newsletter. Let readers opt-in so they don’t opt-out. In the spirit of transparency, ensure the unsubscribe button at the bottom of the page works. Essentially, no means no.
Image by ilker from Stock.Xchng