How To Engage Your Newsletter Readers

Give them what they want, what’s useful, what’s entertaining — in that order.

Look at it from the other side: if you’re even remotely internet savvy, your inbox is layered with filters that shoot incoming mails to different folders. Anything with “SALE”, “FREE”, “Trial” or even “Work” gets shot down to the trashcan. Any email you send to your subscribers with these keywords can get you filtered out, unless you prove from the start that what you write is worthy to land in the inbox from the start.

Things to bear in mind: Speed, succinctness and impact. Important information comes first, in easily digestible chunks that explain its importance. Things to balance: frequency, relevance and entertainment. Short, sweet emails that share new information in a bulleted format can come with more frequency than longer, chattier newsletters. Above all: value, value, value

People are all too often pressed for time to read through everything that lands in their inbox. Your e-newsletters should be stick to giving useful information about your products (tips and shortcuts, newbie advice), late-breaking industry trends and developments etc., things you believe will only help your subscribers.

Engage your readers by giving useful links and leads to valuable resources. Whether the target market for your e-newsletter is a list of your current customers, or of prospective ones, to be fully effective your newsletter should contain interactive content, and should prove to be valuable to your readers.

Entertainment, by itself, can be of secondary importance, unless of course you’re in the entertainment industry. By all means go all out in your delivery, just remember that you still have to give good, useful information on what your particular demographics want.

Business-wise, a company’s internal newsletters are worth reading when they share the latest company news and put a human face to the company.

Other things to include can cover declarations of the company’s most recent achievements, like an upswing in stock value or steady expansion, sharing fun facts and discussing new employee benefits and so on. Transactional emails that include updates and general information such as registrations, subscriptions, program updates, etc. can also be very effective.

Commerce-wise, newsletters should carry that same weight: useful, current and relevant information that your readers will find helps improve their business transactions, even if in a small way.

Every official emailed communication with current and potential customers should include the following by default: your website links, contact email addresses, telephone numbers and physical addresses (if applicable) for collecting and responding to feedback on your company’s products or services, and links about your e-newsletters and your company’s website. Let them know where to find you if they need you.

Quick surveys in the form of micro-quizzes or polls can also prove to be extremely effective in getting marketing data and engaging your readers. The results of these quizzes and polls can be shared on your website as well as in your e-newsletter.

In addition, positive feedback, good customer reviews and testimonials that share how your product gives incredible value for money are excellent ways to attract new customers and retain old ones. Features such as FAQ’s and forums within the website, as well as links to these in the e-newsletter, are good at getting reader’s attention. Once they get a good look at what you’re offering, their interest is hooked and so your chances of getting new subscribers are practically guaranteed.

Establishing a blog that link directly to the e-newsletters is an effective means of collecting useful comments and feedback from your subscribers and customers . This information is useful in improving your company’s products and customer services. The most constructive comments and problem solving feedback can then be published for all to see. Videos that can ultimately lead to video blogs can also  be used to promote your products (mention this in your newsletters). Personalizing your e-newsletters — giving it the human touch– adds an element of fun, warmth and connection, all of which will help attract and keep more readers.

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