Marketing UX-CX

How to write a newsletter that drive results?

Dec 17, 2019 11 min read
How to write newsletters that get results

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How to write a newsletter that drive results?

Reading Time: 11 minutes

Writing a newsletter is an art, but not less than a science as well.

How can I say that? Because

Your newsletter is not just a message to your customer. It is a tool to increase love, affection, and loyalty towards your brand.

Around 70% of consumers feel that the email will still exist in the coming years as per an Email Marketing 2020 research by Litmus.

Your customers are still going to wait for your newsletter in the coming 10 years. It’s an opportunity for you to create successful newsletters throughout these 10 years.

For that, you need to know how to create a powerful newsletter that drives results.

17 Key Considerations while Writing a Newsletter:

1. Segment your audience in groups

Every email marketer wants to know the tips on writing an effective newsletter. But, you must know-

Your newsletter can only be effective if it reaches the right audience. It is not important to have TA defined, further, it has to be divided into TG. 

What if you send a Thanksgiving email to Indians? Well, Indians do not celebrate Thanksgiving.

Then, you’re not going to receive good results from your newsletter.

As per research by MailChimp, you see higher results of the segmented campaigns compared to non-segmented campaigns. Take a look at the image below-

email segmentation statistics by MailChimp - how to write a powerful newsletter

So, here are the essential ways to segment your audience into groups before writing a newsletter-

  1. Geography
  2. Age
  3. Gender
  4. Education
  5. Job function
  6. Seniority level
  7. Organization type
  8. Buyers’ Persona
  9. Device-specific – Mobile vs. Desktop
  10. New subscribers
  11. Preferences
  12. Interests
  13. Buying behavior
  14. Buying history (for cross-selling products)
  15. Buying frequency
  16. Buyers’ satisfaction level
  17. Open rates
  18. Click-through rates
  19. Inactivity
  20. Cart abandonment rates
  21. Stages in the sales funnel
  22. Subscribers who refer you
  23. Buyers who review your products
  24. Buyers who have not left a review
  25. Customer Lifetime Value

Segment your audience in these sub-groups and see how effective your newsletter becomes in generating amazing results.

Create different lists of subscribers. In the case, someone falling in multiple groups then choose one most relevant. 

2. Create email marketing campaigns before executing it

Now, your audience is segmented into different groups; your next step to create a persuasive newsletter is to create email marketing campaigns.

Here are some email statistics to look for to understand why do you need to create email marketing campaigns-

  • Around 281 billion emails were sent and received daily in 2018 which is expected to cross 347 billion by the year 2022
  • By 2023, the global number of email users are expected to reach 4.4 billion

With the growing number of email users and businesses sending emails, it becomes utmost necessary to have a successful plan to make sure your newsletters don’t fail.

Here is a step-by-step guide to creating a successful email marketing campaign-

  1. Determine your goals to ensure you what to expect from your campaigns.
  2. Create newsletters as per the segmented groups to send the right message to the right audience.
  3. Enable autoresponder emails to respond when your buyers make an interaction, such as buying a product, thanks for subscribing, cart abandonment, etc.
  4. Enable tracking of your emails to check how many subscribers have opened your newsletter, clicked through them, unsubscribed, bounced, and reported you spam.
  5. Setup testing of your newsletter across devices for mobile, desktop, and tablets to ensure your newsletter doesn’t break its design changing to the device.
  6. Get the right tools in place to design, segment, and schedule your newsletters.

A right email marketing campaign is bound the drive higher results if planned right.

And your campaign can have a sequence of emails. You have to set a conversation or ongoing dialogue between you and the reader. 

3. Send personalized product offers based on past buying or browsing history 

You have already segmented your audience into groups, which includes a group of audiences based on their recent buying or browsing history.

You know your buyers have purchased a few products recently. Based on their purchase, suggest the products that might be related or help them in using their recently purchased products effectively.

For example, if a buyer purchased shoes from your eCommerce store, you can suggest the matching pair of socks.

Another newsletter example could be- if a buyer has purchased shaving cream from your online store, you can send newsletter suggesting beard wax, beard oil, or trimmer.

Here is a personalized newsletter example for cross-selling products by Amazon-

How to write persuasive newsletter to cross-sell your eCommerce products

This is an email personalization beyond just the first name in the subject line and email copy.

Use the buyers’ past buying history to make more sales.

In case the buyer is just checking products and not buying them, you can create a personalized offer for that buyer. Send him newsletter based on viewed and related products in the same category. That would persuade them to buy. 

4. Incorporate drip email marketing campaign

Writing a perfect newsletter and sending it to the segmented groups cannot drive effective results without the drip email marketing campaigns.

What is a drip email marketing campaign?

Definition: A drip email marketing campaign is a series of emails that you send to your audience or buyers based on their certain actions.

For example, 

  • When a new user signs up, you send a welcome email. 
  • When that new user browses a few products, you send them another email. 
  • If that new user adds a few products in cart but doesn’t purchase, you send them an email reminding them about their cart products.
  • If the user bought your product, you send them emails based on purchasing history.
  • And, more.

Such emails are the personalized autoresponder emails that you’ve to schedule based on the audience’s actions.

Here is one of the drip welcome email examples from the top 9 online brands-

Welcome Email by Ola - an eCommerce brand

This drip email example is from Ola Cabs, and they’ve added each and every detail perfectly whenever a user takes up a ride for the first time.

That’s how you can do it too for your products.

5. Write an irresistible subject line

Subject line personalization can drive more open rates. But, only if it’s compelling enough that inspires your audience to open them.

How to write such powerful subject lines that get opened? Here are the types you can use-

  1. Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) – use this psychological principle to add scarcity and urgency in the subject line.
  2. Curiosity – write something unusual, strange, or just ask a question that would leave your audience in a situation where they won’t be satisfied until they read your newsletter.
  3. Funny subject lines – create humor while you write a subject line because who can resist opening emails that tickle their funny bones.
  4. Vanity – no one wants to look unappealing in front of their peers or who wants to live with the fear of being ashamed. So, use vanity subject lines to invoke more open rates.
  5. Greed – use such an element in the email subject lines with higher discounts or more significant benefits.
  6. Pain points – use this data from your buyers’ persona and add it with a solution in your subject lines. Buyers know their pain points, but they embrace brands that give them its solutions.
  7. Retargeting – add special reminders about deals or announcements to drive actions from the audience who didn’t take an expected action.

Here is a series of emails by Ryan Deiss from DigitalMarketer.com which has irresistible email subject lines-

How to write subject lines in newsletter

If you notice the newsletter subject lines by Ryan, they are unique, mind-blowing, and irresistible. He uses various ways of writing newsletter subject lines to invoke the need to open his every email.

It is important that the subject line triggers the emotions of readers. If you touch the right emotion, your open rate will be higher. 

6. Design it right and light

Your newsletter can only drive higher CTRs and conversions if your email design is just right for your audience.

Here are a few email newsletter design tips-

  • Choose the right email template every time you plan a newsletter
  • Make sure your email newsletter resembles your brand with logo and brand colors
  • Use the right web-safe font style and size
  • Choose the high-resolution, but low-sized images
  • Make sure to add footer in your newsletter
  • Choose the right CTA colors
  • Try using an HTML email that resembles as if it’s a text-based

These email newsletter design tips help you design it right and even light for better reader experience and engagement.

7. Keep lesser and important CTAs

How do you feel if you visit a mall, and every salesperson tries to sell the products for the brand they’re working for?

Would you feel nice? Obviously not because in a mall, buyers have the liberty to visit the brand section that they’re interested in.

Here, the customer experience matters the most.

Hence, it is advisable not to overwhelm your audience with too many CTAs in forms of buttons or text links. Add fewer, but most important CTAs only in your newsletter to prevent spoiling your impression. 

A wrong impression can lead to unsubscribes and loss of trust from the audience forever. And, that’s not good for an eCommerce store.

A newsletter example by Myntra with lesser and important CTAs-

You should use limited and important CTAs only in your newsletter - Example by Myntra

8. Don’t make it too long or too short 

Irrespective of the type of products you’re selling, you need to ensure that your newsletters are of the right length.

But, the question still arises of what should be the ideal email length. Let’s find out that-

Product-based eCommerce businesses hardly use text-based emails. Hence, the ideal length should be maximum to one scroll in desktop devices, and two scrolls in mobile devices. More than two scrolls, it becomes difficult to keep the subscribers hooked.

Service-based eCommerce businesses mostly use text-based emails. And, as per the research by Constant Contact, emails with approximately 20 lines of text (which can be a maximum of 200 words) result in the highest CTR. So, your newsletter can remain between 80 to 200 words to keep it of appropriate length.

Remember- as this is not a benchmark which you should consider. But, you can test the newsletters for the length and identify which length your audience likes the most.

Here is an example of the newsletter’s length by Education.com-

Length of the newsletter - How to write successful newsletters

In desktop, this email by education.com provides enough information to its audience in the maximum of two scrolls. 

Depending on the type of audience and their patience level, decide the length of your newsletter.

9. Keep integrity high – Offer that you promised in the subject line

Coming to the body of your newsletter, it becomes important to discuss what you will cover in the newsletter copy.

Your irresistible subject lines are sure to drive tremendous open rates. But, the success of your newsletter depends on whether you offer everything that you promised in your subject line.

For example, if your email subject line says you’re giving a style guide for FREE, make sure you don’t put conditions to get that for FREE like only on a purchase of something.

Yes, you should always keep your integrity high when it comes to creating email newsletter copies.

10. Use appropriate media

Today’s generation is a TikTok generation. Well, I wouldn’t have said this as I don’t endorse any platform here. But, looking at the love it gets, your audience are definitely in love with videos.

However, GIFs and memes are also getting too much of an attraction.

Check out a few newsletters from Yam Regev from Zest-

Newsletter with GIF example #1-

Using GIFs example #2 - How to write successful newsletter

Newsletter with GIF example #2-

Using GIFs example #1 - How to write an effective newsletter

He uses different GIFs, and I love them all (undoubtedly).

So, don’t stick to using only images in your emails, use the right media wherever and whenever possible.

11. Include different email content types (e.g., storytelling, product video, customer testimonial)

It takes a lot of effort to keep inspiring your email subscribers to open your mail, read them all, and take actions that you want them to. 

That’s possible when you provide different content based on their buyer’s journey.

For example, you’re sending an email to a customer who has a few products in his cart, and you want them to buy them. For such a cart abandonment email, you can share the topmost customer testimonial in the email so that it helps them make the decision faster.

Similarly, understand where your customer stands and how you can provide them value. It could be either storytelling to invoke clicks or even product videos when customers are at the awareness stage in the buyer’s journey.

Check out a newsletter example by Nykaa covering stories using user-generated content-

How to add story in your newsletter that drives results - Example by Nykaa

It’s a perfect way to write a persuasive newsletter!

12. Use AMP emails to get more conversions

Gmail rolled out AMP for Email to make emails more rich, engaging, and interactive similar to the modern-day apps. Your emails with AMP functionalities work as if it’s an app itself. 

Your customers can view products, interact with polls, manage their subscription preferences, fill forms, and more within your emails.

So, when you want your customers to take some action in your email, place it as components so that they don’t have to click and perform actions.

Recently, Adobe campaigns add AMP for Email to help marketers create newsletters using the dynamic AMP components.

Here is an amp email example by G Suite Updates

AMP for Email - You must add it to create an interactive newsletter

13. Be consistent with user preferences

Customers value brands that stick to their promises and value their preferences.

So when your users have opted for a newsletter twice a month, make sure you write newsletters considering that you’re going to send them only twice a month.

You need to plan and write your newsletters accordingly. Write two newsletters for the people who opted for two, four newsletters for the people who opted for four, and so on.

But, writing newsletters for such varied groups need to be different and equally interactive to get more open rates.

14. Do A/B Testing

Email conversation is a type of communication where you cannot see the facial expression of your customers to understand how they react when you say something.

Hence, you need to find out what things work and what not by testing different email versions.

You can perform A/B testing for,

  • Different subject lines to see which gets more email opens
  • Multiple content formats to see which newsletters get more engagement
  • AMP emails to check how much results you can expect from them
  • Multiple CTAs to see which has higher CTRs
  • Different email content types to measure engagement ratio
  • And more

A/B testing of your newsletters helps you improve your email writing to boost return on investment (ROI).

15. Measure the ROI

To write a newsletter that gets higher results you need to measure the results, every time you send it.

How to measure the ROI of your newsletter? 

You need to see the percentage (%) of difference in,

  • Open rates – Higher open rates mean your subject lines are amazing
  • Read rates – More read rates mean your email content is worth reading
  • Click-through rates – Higher CTR mean better content and CTAs
  • Engagement rates – Better engagement rates mean your newsletter has the information as per user expectations
  • Unsubscribe rates – More unsubscribe rates mean loss of users and failure of your newsletter
  • Abuse rates – Increase in abuse rate means your customers are marking you as Abuse
  • Spam rates – Higher spam rates mean more customers are considering you as a SPAM
  • Conversion rates – Increase in conversion rates mean the success of your newsletter and its campaign because you see some revenue coming in

Make sure you measure ROI effectively and timely to improve the way you plan, write, and send your newsletter.

16. Evolve from mistakes, remember lessons learned

Conducting A/B testing and measuring results are enough to identify what mistakes you made while writing the newsletter.

But, the main punch is to learn from those mistakes and even evolve.

Among all the other email marketing mistakes, these mistakes happen while writing a newsletter-

  • Not including the right graphics
  • Missing out on adding the ALT attribute for the graphics
  • Not testing the subject lines as well as the email copy
  • Choosing the incorrect CTA placements
  • Writing too long newsletter or too short
  • And, more

The results of your newsletter help you find out all of these mistakes. Make a note of these mistakes, and make sure you don’t repeat them.

17. If you cannot do it right, hire professionals

You must know that you can rely on yourself for doing everything in one department of your eCommerce business. 

Whether it’s in management, design, production, or marketing, you need to distribute responsibilities to the right resources.

So, if you want to maximize the ROI of your email marketing campaigns, hire professionals that can guide through the entire process, train your existing resources, and ensure you get repeat business.

Let your newsletter do all the talking

Whether you’re writing a first newsletter or the 1000th one, you need to make sure a two-way conversation happens every time.

Create newsletters with just one target- your readers would want to open your next email.

And, you’re done with how to write a powerful newsletter.

Among all of the above tips, which one did you find the most useful newsletter writing tip? Share with us at [email protected] or on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

Vatsal Shah is a co-founder of Pragmatic Consultancy and DIMC and has transformed various IT, E-Commerce, Chemical, Retail, Service sector organizations for 15 years now. Vatsal has been invited as a speaker by WordCamp, Meet Magento, GTU, ETail India, AMA, GLS University, etc. As a business coach and mentor, he has influenced more than 48 organizations in India, China, the UK, Africa, and the USA and trained more than 4700 people. Vatsal is the most artistic personality at eComKeeda because he is an amazing singer, dancer, artist, gold medalist in the corporate writing, and so much more.