After the advent of the internet, emails were seen as the easiest way to communicate. Be it a formal communication between businesses or the informal ones between friends, emails were the fastest and most effective ways to communicate. Today, after the evolution of social media and chat messengers, sending emails has come down drastically. But there is one common form of emails that businesses still hold on to, which are newsletters. Let’s delve into the world of newsletters and know what a newsletter is, its purpose, how to create one, and some examples of the best newsletters.
What is a Newsletter?
A newsletter is an email to communicate often with your customers, readers, and fans who have subscribed to you. These newsletters should contain interesting content, announcements, and ad promotions. It can be helpful to keep your audience in the know and for gaining traffic.
It is a regular practice for businesses to send newsletters to their customers daily, to keep them informed about the latest happenings. They remain one of the most effective ways to cut through the noise and talk to your customers directly. This is fast, easy, and most importantly, this works.
The Purpose of Newsletters:
Give Updates about your business
The main purpose of newsletters is to give those on your list updates regarding your business, products, and services. But, it is not something that is generally used for a hard sell. Ideally, an email newsletter should feel like an update from an interesting and helpful friend, rather than a brash salesperson.
Encourages customers to take action
That doesn’t mean that these newsletters are designed to keep in touch. They can encourage your customers to take action like buying your product or checking out your latest blog post. Newsletters are mostly the spirit of your marketing campaign. Over the past decade, email marketing has substantially proved to be successful over social media marketing.
Effective than social media marketing
According to McKinsey, email marketing as a business tool was 40 times more successful than Facebook or Twitter! Also, your email list is a safer bet than the followers on social media. There are chances for social media to shut at any time, and hence, you might lose access to your audience. But your email list is something you own. Take the fact that an average person checks their email 15 times a day or every 37 minutes. This amounts to endless opportunities to get your business in front of your audience.
Best tool to communicate
Email newsletters are also seen as an efficient tool to communicate with your subscribers on every stage of your customer journey, from welcoming people who are new to your brand to re-engaging the old ones.
In digital marketing today, email marketing has become an inescapable topic. It has become a channel where you can further personalize your communication, and if it works well, it doesn’t disturb the user with useless repeated messages.
For example, if you own an e-commerce website, a well-designed newsletter can impact your sales, profit margins, and of course, have the potential to have good ties with your customers. Also, another truth is many companies have already understood that email marketing works the best for their businesses but aren’t sure how to go about it.
Several protocols are followed before sending a newsletter. Firstly, one has to design it and prepare for the message. They also have to define their objectives and analyze the results that specific email would bring for their business.
Impacts the CTR rate
A common mistake among marketers is that they ignore the newsletter design. They think it’s their website and social media that needs to have a proper design and not their newsletters. This attitude is because technically, people think emails are just about text. Design is something more than graphics and pictures. It’s a spatial structure that significantly impacts the CTR (click-through rates) and emails open rate.
For smartphone users’ flexibility
A huge population of people reads their emails on their smartphones. Your emails would be read on a small screen and not on the desktop. So, it’s essential to make your newsletters responsive and good-looking on mobile phones. 3/4th of your newsletter should be well designed and attractive. Here is where email design plays an important role. An email newsletter preview should be charming, informative, and crystal clear about what to expect when a reader opens it. This will boost your email opening rate.
Avoid being pushed to SPAM
Seventy percent of the people report spams based on the subject line. It is imperative to be concise and clear about your intentions without sounding spammy. Your subject line should be less than ten words. Also, it must be interesting and stand out from the crowd. Think of your subject line as a post’s title. Numbers also do a great job. Even the how, why, and when sentences have a good reach. Whatever you do, please stay away from using caps lock. People hate to be shouted at.
Give subscribers a choice
The next one will sound counterintuitive, but yes, it is a must to have your unsubscribe button visible for your readers. If a reader wants to stop getting your newsletters, they want to click on the unsubscribe button. If you don’t provide them with one, there are chances that they would mark you to spam if your mails keep crowding in their inbox. If that is the case, they not only get uninterested in you but are alerting the servers that you aren’t a good sender after all.
Makes your brand trustworthy
The newsletter design is a primary key to communicate your brand. If your email’s design aligns with that of your company’s website design, it becomes more recognizable and trustworthy. Try to use the same fonts and colors. The number 1 rule for a brand is coherence and alignment, so if your email doesn’t follow that, you are hurting your company’s strategy.
Best newsletter designs to inspire you:
Every newsletter is different. One which suits your organization doesn’t necessarily work for others. But it is still fine to look at some of the best newsletters design examples to get a hang on what your inbox competition is doing. Through this way, you can distill these inspirations into something that works for your audience.
Away is a start-up brand that manufactures smart luggage intending to disrupt the old-fashioned luggage industry. Every month they send a newsletter telling their reader something new about their products. This way, they portray their product in a new way and put a spotlight on a new partnership. Their newsletter highlights the color of their products using the user-generated content from social media. It has a sleek design that includes multiple CTAs (call to action) and vibrant colors to draw the readers. At the right corner, they have a ‘refer’ option to refer Away to their friends. This is one smart way to get more customers.
Unsplash is a free stock image sharing website for photographers. It lets them share their works with their potential markets, media houses, and anyone else looking for free stock images. Unsplash tends to send two newsletters. The one that goes out every week contains a selection of curated images. Another one circulated every month provides updates on its new partnerships and other important news on the platform. Their newsletter is very simple. A newsletter’s design is meant to be minimal, with the only goal of driving its users back to its platform.
PlayStation sends newsletters with write-ups about new games, downloadable content, and other new features available. In addition to encouraging its users to buy new games, it also has another unique feature in its newsletter. They include the year-to-date metrics of the reader’s PlayStation console usage, the trophies they have earned, and the total hours they have played at the top of the email. This is one interesting way to entice their newsletter experience a bit. It also encourages the users to play more (Who doesn’t love trophies?). Another fascinating feature is that they have ‘rate this mail’ button in the end, which is quite an excellent way to get the reader’s feedback and improve the content of future newsletters.
Ben Collins shares blog newsletters that are known for their great. He takes a different approach in his newsletters. Instead of driving traffic to his site, he focuses on providing value in editorial content and the tips right in the newsletter itself. The only CTAs are placed at the bottom that encourages you to visit the homepage. He also asks you to forward the mail to anyone who might be interested. This is one of the efficient ways to grow your list organically.
The Nature Conservancy sends newsletters with several articles that relate to their mission of preserving the ecosystems worldwide. It also reassures them that there is progress being made, that encourages people to donate. Their newsletter includes a CTA that takes you to their social media channels and a link for easy donation.
Please keep it simple: An excellent example of this is Apple’s newsletter designed with maximum white space usage and has a central focus on the product. Also, the information is perfectly aligned and neatly placed, with a vertical hierarchy for easy skimming. The usage of various type sizes and greyscale colors lets readers understand what is essential and less important.
Have a strong color palette: A color palette with bold, vibrant tones and unique design will make a newsletter, attention-grabbing piece. Usage of bold shades will make the visual pop off the page and bring the eye contact straight to the content and the abstract elements.
Catch the attention: Make your content act as the primary focus. Black background with images and large margins to avoid overcrowding makes an excellent design to grab people’s attention. This is a classic form of newsletter employed by many organizations as it has proven to be effective.
Cut down on texts: Always too much of something will cause visual clutter. It is the same for texts. It is wise to break up the big blocks of texts with graphical icons, headers, lines, and shapes and have proper spacing and balance. This communicates the message to the audience without visually overwhelming them.
Send seasonal content: You always want your newsletters to be on-brand. If there is a holiday around the corner, you would want to show off your festive side. If it is Christmas, a Christmas illustration in the brand’s classic tone will impress your readers and bring them a sense of festiveness.
Make it sound urgent: If you are having a last day of sale, make it seem urgent with one visual and focus on the call to action. It is advisable to use large type, vibrant, and eye-catching colors for these kinds of newsletters.
The future can bring us several other social media platforms to enhance our communication and promotion with the customers. But marketing through email newsletters will never lose its prominence.
Designers must be informed about the present and future trends for curating newsletters that make their brands stand-alone and gain recognition.
Email newsletters, however old they become, are still the best-followed marketing strategy of many brands even today.