When you’re interested in sending out emails to the subscribers of your blog or your bricks ‘n’ mortar business, newsletter templates are an important part of the puzzle. While you can simply send messages out as a plain text email if you’re in a hurry, that’s so 1993!
In these days of Instagram video clips and live broadcasting on YouTube, to compete for the recipient’s attention, you need to make use of templates that can provide graphically appealing pieces of marketing magic.
Decide Whether You Need a Personal Approach or a Business-Oriented One
It depends what kind of business that you’re running whether you want to be all-business, all-the-time, or if you’ll appeal to the emotions of the customers (and potential customers) by making your brand more personal.
A more personal brand will often include a headshot of yourself and the written copy will talk less formally. For a business brand, a newsletter can be designed in many different ways but it’s usually specific to the industry that your business is representing.
Using a Newsletter Design Provided by Your Mailing List Provider
Given the demand from customers to provide high-quality newsletter designs suitable for different industries, leading mailing list providers tend to offer a collection of newsletters for use in marketing campaigns and individual emails too. These are usually tested across multiple web browsers and computing platforms to make sure that they’re easily viewed as an HTML email. You also want to check how they look inside popular email apps like Gmail, Inbox, Outlook and Thunderbird too.
Testing email for mobile access is very important now. People catch up with their email while on the move, waiting for a train, or when stuck in traffic. Any spare minutes where they can be a little productive getting their inbox clear by trawling quickly through the recent emails helps in this regard. Whether they’re opening the email in the Gmail app or accessing it through a web browser on a smartphone or tablet, the template cannot break just because it’s being viewed on a smaller screen. All newsletter templates must be tested for mobile suitability before using them.
Getting a Custom Newsletter Designed for You
Another way to go is to get a newsletter template custom designed for your brand. However, this is the more expensive option and will take you longer to send out custom emails using this new template. If you’re going the custom newsletter template route, set up a temporary email template from one supplied by your mailing list provider so you look professional while you’re waiting for the custom design to arrive. Don’t be surprised if the custom project takes longer to complete and requires multiple iterations to get it exactly the way you want the brand and newsletter to look. Plan accordingly!
Eye-Catching Emails Work Best
Once the template is out of the way, you need to focus on the content inside the emails themselves. Newsletters may either have a single article with a point of view or a day in the life snapshot from the founder, or they’ll feature several articles. Most of the time, emails aren’t long these days. They’ll have a short snippet from the start of each article or a summary of the article, along with a link pointing to each full article on your website. Email marketing effectively drives email subscribers back to your website in a predictable manner.
Including some images within the email is also helpful beyond what might be shown in the template itself. Plain text is pretty boring for people these days and while some people choose to turn off the images within the email to make them load faster, most want some colour and visual stimulation in between the words. Jazz up the presentation to increase your click-through rate substantially.
Focus on the Subject Titles of Your Emails to Maximise the Open Rate
One of the biggest reasons for a higher open rate for emails sent out is the subject title. When the subject title is interesting or thought-provoking to the audience it’s trying to appeal to, the email gets opened more often. Once the email has been opened, the template, the presentation inside the email and its content have to do the rest of the heavy lifting. Some titles are factual, others are a little bit more like link-bait. You’ll have to decide how far down that spectrum you wish to go!
Getting email right isn’t easy for most businesses. It takes time to discover what works for your audience as tastes and expectations differ across industries and sectors. However, effective presentation, eye-catching visuals, interestingly titled email newsletters and clever ideas combine together to boost open rates and response rates. Put the work into email and you’re likely to see an excellent ROI.