How to write appealing email content?
Content marketing has been one of the most talked about topics in the field of digital marketing and communications for a few years already. The means and the channels for content marketing become more varied and rich at every turn, and it's not always easy to keep up with the pace. Once the appropriate channels for one's own target group have been found and content that interests this target group is being produced, it's going pretty well. On top of this, the content should be in tune with the channel that has been chosen. How to achieve this?
It is hard to give universal guidelines for good content because good content is always tied to the chosen channel. A newsletter via email is an effective, personal and measurable communication tool that is a trusted companion in both B2C and B2B marketing. However, a newsletter in an inbox is often also viewed as a nuisance and many of us are experiencing a love-hate relationship towards the channel. How to compose your newsletter in a way that will satisfy your recipients?
When writing content for a newsletter, it's good to pay attention to the tone of the text. For some marketers, this may be very clear and an essential part of the whole brand image, but usually the issue requires some pondering. Finding the right tone can also take time and evolve by every sent email. Try to read the text in your newsletter with fresh eyes and have others read it too – sometimes changing the tone can come down to small things. For example, changing negative words to positive ones, the ratio of using passive and first names or the differences between telling, asking and recommending can have a notable effect on the big picture.
In newsletters that are well executed, the content forms a meaningful continuum for the recipient. Continuum means the relation between the header, the header inside the newsletter and the body – does it proceed logically? In the best newsletters the header of the email is carefully thought out and logically links to first header in the letter and to the text itself.
In newsletter content it's good to pay attention to the overall theme of the letter. If the copywriter has a clear vision about the whole newsletter's theme, it comes across to the reader as well. A coherent email is easy to read and its different parts form a logical entity – if the letter has too many different themes, the newsletter easily becomes confusing.
Focus on the recipient, not yourself
Even good content can provoke a backlash in the reader if it feels too much like bragging or pushing. A good rule of thumb is to aim for showing the benefits for the reader and seeing things from the reader's point of view. Simply put, it's about telling the readers how they will benefit or how they will be affected instead of going on about what "we have" or what "we did". If the aforementioned point of view is hard to find, it's good to review whether the planned content is relevent for the recipient in the first place.
The scannability of a newsletter pays off since the reader rarely has the possibility to concentrate on every word in a newsletter. Scannability means that it's easy to pick up on the main themes and see the different sections in the content. The same scannability should be remembered when writing blogs because a long text without sections numbs the readers.
Newsletter's scannability is enhanced by:
- Covering a theme per section
- Bullets and/or numbers
- Clear distinction between sections
- Using succinct instead of lengthy sentences
- Visual highlighting (colors, fonts, CTA, links)
Evoke emotions: Entertain and convince
When creating content for newsletters, remember that at the other end there's another human being reading the letter. Just like you, this person wants to be entertained. Evoking emotions is not always easy but it's worthwhile to give some time and thought.
In addition to being fun and providing content that has character, also remember to convince your readers. What help you to be convincing are numbers, checked facts and for example, that a third party elaborates on the subject (e.g. references and customer reviews). In the best case scenario the third party is the kind the reader can relate to (e.g. a colleague) or someone whose opinion is especially valuable (an expert in the field).
Traditionally involving people means different ways to get the recipient to react, like surveys and polls. Text content can also be engaging. A newsletter can cover the latest trends in the field or other topical subjects that have an immediate effect on the readers, their line of work or hobbies. One way to involve is to make the reader wait for more by dividing stories into several parts, for example. This will result in the recipient waiting for your future emails.
When developing newsletter content, keep in mind that things don't happen in an instant.
Successful newsletter communication requires continuous long-term commitment because one-off campaign posts rarely deliver desired results.
Do you wish to develop your email communication tools as well?
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Previously I used a different mailing program and when I changed to LianaMailer, it felt like I entered this millenium. A very easy-to-use tool!