A good e-newsletter can be an invaluable tool in communicating with parents, families and other clubs. Things you’ll need:
Choose a punchy, inspiring subject line
Many people will choose whether to open your email based on how exciting its subject line is. Effective subject lines think about what the recipient wants to hear: maybe they offer a solution to a problem, suggest something unique or exclusive, perhaps have a strong call to action. Bad subject lines tend to talk from the sender’s point of view, with poor descriptions like ‘March 2015 newsletter’.
‘Frontload’ the content of your newsletter
Recipients of your newsletter will tend not to read it from start to finish, rather they will read the first line or two and skim the rest for any topics of interest. Make sure the stuff you need people to know about is at least referenced in those first few lines, so people don’t miss it.
Use plain English, short sentences and calls to action
Avoid using jargon. Keep your word count down to an average of 10 or 12 words per sentence. Think carefully about what you want people to do having read your newsletter. Do you want them to read something on your site, buy something, attend an event, or give you feedback. Be clear and concise about what action you want your reader to take.
Don’t get too hung up on design
It’s very easy to get side-tracked from writing good, punchy copy by worrying whether your newsletter looks good. Don’t fret too much about this. Flashy designs will often make your newsletter more onerous to produce, and there’s no guarantee that every browser and email client will see that flashy design in the same way. Concentrate on writing focused, user-friendly copy and you’re 95% there. Some of the most successful newsletters on the web have been sent out using just plain text.
Give options to share, find online and unsubscribe
You’ll want to empower your reader to take action after reading your newsletter. This may be to share it with friends – so add ‘share on Twitter / Facebook’ icons, or ’email to a friend’ options. Importantly, you’ll also need to allow people to remove themselves from your email list. So every newsletter needs an unsubscribe option.
Do some testing
Don’t assume that just because your newsletter reads well that it’s as good as it can be. The only way to improve is to get feedback from your readers. Ask people what they think, or ask for them to contribute, and don’t forget to monitor how well it is received.
Be careful about overloading with images
In the early days of modern e-mail marketing it was common practice to load up emails with lots of different images. Due to filters on most e-mail and spam sites, many images will be un-viewable, so concentrate on fewer images and better text.
Make links accessible
You can make links to other sites in your e-newsletter. But avoid including inline links (links from words within body of copy). When you wish refer to a link create a clear title explaining what the resource the link is referring to.