Over the years, newsletters have changed drastically. They’ve gone from being outdated clip art laden printouts sent through snail mail to being emails that virtually every organization big or small puts out. But this does not mean that there isn’t still plenty to learn and plenty of mistakes that can be made. The importance of regular sends of content can not be overstated, we have found that this exercise is the number one influence category across most marketing funnels. When optimizing your newsletters, there are so many potential tweaks that can directly impact the outcome of your newsletter. Follow the suggestions below and watch your newsletter success skyrocket!
Keep Track of Your Strategy:
One easy mistake to make in your newsletter is not comprehending your end goals, because you’ve never even decided what they are. Whether the goal is to increase sales or foster new prospects, document those strategies. Simply put, try writing down your goal Open Rate and Click-through Rate before sending your newsletter, then see if you met that goal. If you’re not achieving your goals, switch strategies, and try new things! Utilize Pardot’s A/B testing and test two versions of the subject line on the next newsletter to see what performs better. But no matter what you try, make sure to keep track of it through documentation to learn what works and what doesn’t.
Optimize For Opens:
It can be easy to not think much about the actual design of your newsletter email. But understand that it is all of what prospects will see, so if it doesn’t have a polished appearance or is not user-friendly, it can turn off prospects to your overall message.
Don’t write a novel in your newsletters. After all, you want opportunities to click and to go somewhere, not spend all their time on the email. Use Twitter rules and keep your copy to 280 characters or fewer to draw prospects to click on the CTA. CTAs are another important element, make sure they’re high contrast, easy to find and don’t take prospects to surprise locations.
Test, Test, Test:
The importance of testing your newsletter for workability and performance cannot be emphasized enough. When you finish your newsletter, make sure you cross-browser test it in either Pardot’s email testing feature or an additional extension. This way, you can look at mobile and additional email servers besides your own to see if errors are occurring and quickly fix them before the email gets sent. The other additional factor to take into consideration is your subject line and pre-header text—plan, and test for an enhanced version that will reach for the highest open rates.
Create a Content Calendar:
Content Calendars exist for the purpose of organizing all of your branding content for a set amount of time. Could be a week, a month, or even six months. It helps save time and assists in keeping organized and on track for all of your plans. It also allows you to focus your creative effort on more than just "Oh no! We don't have anything for this month's newsletter!"
To create a successful Content Calendar keep in mind the better categorized it is, the more prepared you're going to be in the long run. Make sure to include within the calendar: Content subject, publishing date and use, type(i.e. podcast, video, article), and title. If you do not have the bandwidth to research, create and send out content on a regular basis, the SLX Full plan can assist with that. (Find out more).
Pro-Tip: A great additional item to include is what stage of the funnel this content is being used for. Is it going out to prospects in the interest stage or the commitment stage? That can help you evaluate what and how the content should be used.
Email newsletters can help your organization stay relevant and front of mind for all of your prospects, so taking them to the next level can make a gargantuan difference in both the long and short term. Following simple protocols and actually examining the results of your actions will do a significant amount to boost your efforts towards newsletter excellence.
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