How to Keep Your eNewsletter Out of the Trash

In this day and age of hyperinteractive media and communication, it is essential to maintain routine contact with your readers and clients. There is nothing like personal contact, but let’s face it, communicating via e-mail is often a preferable way to correspond. E-mail allows us to be clear and concise, saving us lots of time. It also lets us edit what we say before sending and customize our message so that it is attractive and attention grabbing. An eNewsletter is just what the doctor ordered!

It’s great to know that your newsletter subscribers actually want to read what you send out. They have chosen to receive your daily, weekly, or monthly updates. So treat them nice and offer them something of value.

Here are some basic things to keep in mind when sending an eNewsletter.

Define your purpose: This should be the first thing you establish before sending. Determine the purpose of the week’s newsletter and then make sure it is clear throughout. The whole point of e-mail marketing is to get an idea across to as many people as possible. Take advantage of this and truly spend time developing the specific idea you want to convey. Then include the most important information at the top of the e-mail. That way, it will appear in the preview pane and catch the attention of the reader.

Let them know it’s you: Always include your name or brand in the “from” and “subject” lines. These are the first things recipients see, and they need to recognize instantly that the e-mail came from a reputable source. Use very specific and consistent language so they know not to delete it or move it to their spam folder.

Follow the rules: Speaking of spam, it is essential that you comply with CAN-SPAM laws. Send your newsletter only to people that have “opted in,” and be sure to include an option for them to “opt out” of receiving future e-mails.

Do some quality control: Make sure you always proofread your text, verify the message of the e-mail, check all links to make sure they work, offer a plain-text version and an html version so that everyone can read it, and send to the correct mailing list. These are some basic quality-control methods to make sure your newsletter is up to standard. It's always a good idea to have another pair of eyes look over the newsletter before you hit “send” to catch anything you might have missed.

Make sure to keep it fresh: People are flooded with e-mails every day, so it’s very important to keep your newsletter interesting. Include links to your corresponding websites and blogs, add multimedia content, and allow readers to give feedback and share your newsletter with others. It is vital that you are not just using your newsletter as a sales pitch for your book. You want to offer useful and interesting content for the subscribers so they know they have something new to view every time they receive your e-mails.

Give it some personality: Determine your newsletter’s personality type. Is your newsletter a straightforward business type or does it have a more easygoing and casual vibe? Once this is established, make sure you stay consistent. Most e-mail marketers will also have corresponding websites. Keep with the look or the “brand” featured on the site so that the newsletter and website match up. This is a great way to build brand recognition. Also include something personal in your newsletter, perhaps some quick background information on yourself or the company. Personalize it so it seems approachable to the reader.

Always be on time: It’s a good idea to set a delivery time you think works best for your readers. What day of week and time of day seem to be most appropriate for them to receive your newsletter? Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday and after 9:00 a.m. PST is normally preferred. You want your readers to get in the office, clean out spam, and start the day before you hit them with an important message. Once you have the time established, stick to it! Your readers should know when to expect your newsletter in their inboxes.

Okay, so now you’re ready to send your newsletter but have no idea how to manage your ever-growing contact list. There are countless e-mail marketing services that can help. Make sure that you research several companies before committing to one to ensure it fits your newsletter needs.

Happy sending!