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How to e-mail a newsletter that works for them AND you

There’s a marketing acronym that I bandy about a lot  It’s WIIFM – "what’s in it for me" (from your client or customer's point of view) and boy do you need to bear this in mind when it comes to your e-newsletters.

How many newsletters do you get in your inbox? Loads I bet.

How many do you open?  Very few I suspect.

So how do you make yours one of the few that other people open?

Well that’s entirely dependent on having a punchy and inspirational subject line that's of interest to your target customer.  So in terms of them being likely to eye your inbound e-mail and think “what’s in it for me” - just like YOU do -  is it exciting enough for them to bother opening it?

It definitely won’t be if it says “October Newsletter” but it might be if you’re talking about something new, or exclusive or as a solution to a problem for example.

Ok, they’ve opened the e-newsletter – now does it look like it’s from someone they know and trust?  This first impression of assurance will come about only if you're using your usual fonts, colours, images and so forth.  It means it is “on brand” - in other words recognisable as coming from you.  

Having got their attention how are you going to keep it?  We’re all rushing about like crazy things so you can be sure the recipient of your newsletter will scan read the first couple of lines and then quickly glance at the pages of to see if there is anything else of interest.   They will NOT be avidly wading their way through reams of words. So firstly don’t overwhelm them – 3 or 4 subject are enough -  and secondly grab attention through yet more punchy headlines and some good graphics/strong photos.

Keep your sentences simple, short and to the point and, unless you’re mailing to your peers, avoid technical language.

If you take the opportunity to display your feedback from customers, it will make your newsletters even more  engaging. These might be reviews, ratings, case studies or feedback on your most popular product/service.

Why not make your newsletter work harder by including a customer survey the results of which you can include next time?

Now,  you have decided what the whole point of this newsletter is haven’t you?  You know…your objective…?
  • Is it to get them to take up your special offer?
  •  Book themselves in for a free review or training?
  • Sign up to your blog, follow you on Twitter or like you on Facebook?
  •  Recommend a friend?

 However hard you’ve worked to get them to read your letter you must also allow them to easily unsubscribe.  There’s nothing to fear here – if your newsletter is interesting and relevant they will stick with it.  Lots of unsubscribes will clearly send you a message that you could do better…

P.S. Use a PS after the headline this is the bit that draws the most attention other than your headline!  

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