Are you making the most of email newsletters for your small business?

Email newsletters are an effective way to build a strong relationship with your customers. Do be aware though that the open rate for marketing emails is around 22%, so you’ll want to do everything you can to get those emails opened, read, and working for your business. How can you do just that?

Here are some tips to help you create email newsletters that your customers will want to read…

Use Your Subject Line

Your subject line is your chance to get your email opened and read. If your subject line doesn’t make your customers want to read on, the rest of your content is wasted.

Make the most of your subject line by making it clear and concise.

Leave your customers in no doubt as to what they will gain from opening your email, whether that’s can’t miss tips or helpful information.

Tell, Don’t Sell

As the article “3 Steps to Creating Email Newsletter Content Your Readers Will Love” points out, it’s a good idea to follow the 80/20 rule.

That means 80% of your content should focus on informing and building relationships, while only 20% should be promotional.

If your email newsletters are promotion, promotion, promotion, you could see your unsubscribe rates soar.

You want your customers to look forward to receiving your newsletter, not click “delete” as they receive yet another sales flier.

Be Truly Useful

Make your newsletter truly useful and your subscribers will look forward to seeing it in their inbox.

Here are some useful things you can send your subscribers:

  • Hints and tips;
  • Industry or company news;
  • How-to’s and tutorials;
  • Information-packed blog posts;
  • Reviews or commentary;
  • Contests and giveaways;
  • Helpful resources.

By creating useful content, you can establish yourself as a trusted source of information. This will help to build trust and encourage customer loyalty.

Make it for Scanning

Your subscribers are busy.

Make it easy for them to give you their attention with a scannable newsletter that is easy on the eye. White space will make it easy to scan your newsletter and entice customers to stay and read, while a cluttered newsletter will put them off.

Try using headings, bulleted lists, block quotes or images to break up the information into bite sized chunks. Don’t ramble – brevity is your friend when composing your newsletter.

Many of your customers will access their email on mobile devices, so make sure your newsletter will look great on any device.

Add a Call to Action

Think about what action you want your readers to take.

Do you want them to click to a blog post? Share the newsletter by forwarding it? Like you on Facebook?

Get clear on your desired outcome and then let your readers know with a clear call to action. An effective email newsletter will leave your subscribers certain of what their next step should be.

Set Expectations

Creating a successful email newsletter starts with setting clear expectations when your customers sign up.

What can they expect from your newsletter? What kind of information will you be sending them? And how often can they expect to receive it?

Let your customers know that they’ll be receiving something useful with no spam, and then follow through on that promise. Be consistent – if you promise weekly tips, send weekly tips.

By setting expectations, you increase your chances of gaining subscribers who are truly interested in what you are offering.

An email newsletter is a useful tool for building and maintaining customer relationships and keeping your small business on your customers’ minds.

Be useful and relevant and your emails will stand out from the competition and work for your small business.

About the Author: Tristan Anwyn is an author who writes on topics including social media, SEO that works, and how to write email newsletters that work.