What should I consider when making my first email newsletter?
I am just about to make my first email newsletter and have no idea where to start. Do the colors and fonts that I use matter or can I test out different options as I send more? Are there any specific best practices I should know about?
Hi Zoe. The trends in newsletter marketing have gone both ways in 2014. Some use simplified, text based newsletters and then I've seen other industry experts use graphical and more design oriented designs. Being that it is your first, one of the most important things I would worry about is reaching the maximum number of inboxes. Images and links can sometimes get newsletters flagged as spam and sent right to the junk pile. Maybe create your first email to be mostly text with little linking and no images. To understand this format better, do a google search for text based newsletters. Your subsequent emails can incorporate images and more links since they have already received a newsletter from you which they did not mark as spam manually. If you have not chosen a newsletter management service yet, take a look at http://mailchimp.com.
Hope this helps
As always, message me with questions
There's a saying that "Content is King", to which I'd add "Accessibility is Queen."
Content is key. The newsletter must have useful or interesting information for the readers.
Next it must be easy to read and access. In this case, it's important that it serve your overall purpose. Would I be correct in assuming that is to sell your services? Do you have a Web site or other online location where people could access your portfolio, accomplishments or samples? Or is the newsletter "standalone" in which case you need to include some of those items?
You can change colors, logos, fonts over time, but I'd recommend keeping them as consistent as you reasonably can. It's probably best to keep them relatively simple. Use the same look in your professional online sites and business cards. This helps tie them together or create a "brand".
If you do a Web search for logo colors, you can find many infographics and articles about the associations people have with various colors. For instance, see this article on the Fast Company site: http://www.fastcompany.com/3028378/leadership-now/what-your-logos-color-says-about-your-company-infographic
Zoe, the best place to start is your audience.
The advice that I give to my clients is to always focus on the audience and what they want, rather than what you like. For example:
1. Headline - Has to be catchy or your newsletter won't be read
2. Length - Appropriate for the medium and the product.
3. Objective - what do you want your readers to do after they have read your newsletter? You need to tell them by incorporating that message into the newsletter.
4. Fonts and colours - Yes as has been commented before, they should be consistent with your brand and easy to read. If they read it they will give you between 30 seconds and 3 minutes of their time.
5. Frequency - Publish as regularly as you can manage. Many entrepreneurs publish too frequently and run out of material, time, and energy, after a couple of weeks. While others publish too irregularly and therefore are forgotten. Set yourself a goal that you can manage and aim to have several newsletters drafted, I suggest 4.
Colors and fonts are important. I also recommend coming up with a specific format for your business. What that means is that you have your titles, subtitles picked out, as well as where specific content goes. You may want to create more than one type of newsletter depending on the type of content you are producing. For example I have a newsletter template that is just for informational articles and one just for promoting classes.
Zoe, if I may be so bold as to use your first name. Any email marketer can tell you, you will probably send several different emails out, Split test on colors and fonts, I have found that when sending to male clients they seem to respond to bolder non-script type fonts. As where I do better with females with soft colors and less sever fonts. How ever I use Garamond fonts for everyday mixed receivers. It is a general type font with tails. Lol
You will find your way after a few email campaigns. Be sure to use a tracking system, which will show you # of openings and click throughs. You shouls also look into an analytic system.
the most important thing you should consider with producing any email communication is what and where do you want them to go as they read and process your email. those links - paths and pages should be prepared and ready, - funnelmaker will help you do all of this.
Hi Zoe ~
David and Jeff make some excellent points about content, target audience, and design best practices.
I've been publishing a personal/planetary awakening newsletter since 2001. Over the years I've used platforms such as Constant Contact, sent the newsletter out as a direct email, and currently upload it to my website, then send an email with an intriguing opening sentence to induce subscribers to click. In recent years, I've also added several under-140 character Tweets that people can post to their Twitter feed, and I upload the link and an image to all my social media as well.
I've not done A/B testing (also known as conversion rate optimization, or CRO) for my newsletter, as the subject matter evolves as we do. In this sense, given what I write about, planning out the newsletter 6 months or a year in advance doesn't make sense, though I am committed to a monthly mailing.
For client newsletters, A/B testing is much more important, along with content and design.
Since you own and curate an art gallery, will the newsletter focus on your clients' art, or the art world in general? Who is the target audience: artists, visitors, investors, or some combination? I would suggest selecting a color scheme that matches or complements the colors of your gallery's decor to imprint the gallery in the reader's consciousness.
Beyond this, as David points out, your ongoing value to the reader/subscriber is key. If you do plan to make an editorial calendar, consider seasonal events and occasions you'll want to highlight. Perhaps you can even collaborate at times with other gallery owners (which may be a novel idea!).
Hope this is helpful. Good luck to you!
You can create 2 - 3 versions of email and can compare the performance through split testing. Through this statistical way you can compare the performance of small email campaigns and then can keep the winner and use it for the main email campaign.
Make sure there is plenty of interesting content that isn't just about your company. Things your audience can benefit from even if they're not your customer.
This video may help - http://fast.wistia.net/embed/iframe/iql3ckx9cn?popover=true
I think the most important thing you need to do, before even considering the look and feel of the newsletter, is to know who you are communicating with and what they want.
Why would they want to read your newsletter? Are you solving a problem for them?
Where are you planning to take them once you've got them reading your newsletter...i.e. what is you ultimate goal? What sort of call to action(s) will you be including?
What is the frequency you'll be sending it? Is it often enough to keep them engaged and remembering who you are? Is it infrequent enough that you have enough ongoing, relevant content to include?
How can you set yourself apart from other NY Art Gallery owners? One thought, as you note that you are new to entrepreneurship and online communication...check out the NAMS community (my aff link is baermktg.com/nams) for mentorship and clarity on this question and many other related issues.