Apr 21, 2011 0
If you’re like me, there are days when you feel like you’re drowning in email. So how can organizations put together effective e-newsletters that stand out despite the mountains of information in our inboxes each day? Let me offer a few basic tips to get you on the right path.
1. Avoid the spam filter – As reporters told us at a recent panel, certain words in an email subject line elicit an automatic ‘delete.’ The same is true with the spam filter. Avoid words such as ‘money’ and ‘discount’ and ‘great offer.’ Here’s a list of 20 that businessknow-how.com says are definitely no-nos.
2. Make sure people opt in. My colleague Demetrio who manages our emails, among other things, firmly believes that people must opt-in to our bi-weekly newsletter before we add them to our list. I agree with him. People don’t like be signed up for things without their knowledge. And, the flip side of this, make sure it’s easy for people to opt out if they don’t want to receive your e-newsletter anymore.
3. Your subject line is so important! Because we’re all buried in email, it can be tough to grab the reader’s attention as she scans her inbox. Make sure your subject line is short and catchy. If it’s funny or quirky or moving, you have a better chance of getting people to open the email. Don’t waste precious space with words like “December Update” or “56th Edition.” Make every word count.
4. Make it look nice. If your subject line is strong enough to get people to open the email, make sure it’s simple and easy-to-read once they have it open in front of them. If the design is bad or the e-newsletter is too cluttered, they might give up before they even attempt to read any of the important information inside.
5. It’s the content, silly. In the end, all of these things above matter, but if the content is no good, these other things won’t save you. Go back to Communications 101-what’s the goal of your newsletter? who’s your audience? what does your audience want to read about? Use these answers to write something great for your readers!
These are just a few of the tips we’ll be discussing on our panel “Get Your E-Newsletter Opened and Read” at our annual Making Media Connections conference. We’ll be hearing from some nonprofit experts, as well as an e-newsletter designer, about why their newsletters work so well. And I’ll share some of the Workshop’s growing pains as we worked to revamp our own e-newsletter earlier this year. We hope you can join us! Register by April 30 and save 20 percent.