Tips for Creating an Effective Product Newsletter

    January 25, 2007

I’ve been working for a software developer company for about 5 years. We regularly send the letters about new program releases and upgrades to our customers and different newsletters to those people who subscribed to our mailing list.

For a company advertising their products on the Internet the most important thing is to get as many clients and subscribers as possible and build a strong relationship with already existing clients. Since the communication with the customers is done via email, the newsletter you send plays the essential role. The incontestable fact is that the newsletter must contain only the information that is useful for your customers. The customers are not interested in the history of your company or your company regalia, or your personal life. They want to read about the products you are to offer them and the benefit they can get from your products. The newsletter content is important. But the newsletter structure does matter too. For almost 5 years we’ve got some experience in creating a healthy and effective email newsletter and delivering it to the customers.

So, now I’d like to share some tips and tricks with you:

1. Subject line is more important than you may think. To get the recipient open the email, ask a question in the Subject line. This works perfectly. The curiosity pushes the recipient to go further and open your message. But be careful – no mockery, sneer, or offense in the question. Be honest and straightforward.

2. Write a letter but not an advertisement. Your email newsletter must look like a personal message addressed to a particular recipient. Email personalization is perfect.

3. Don’t complicate the message format. A lot of graphics, complex tables, and other advanced formatting are not good. Your email newsletter may end up in the recipient’s junk folder since it will look like a “pure email advertisement”.

4. Don’t be afraid to go long. A short email newsletter is no longer a rule. A longer copy that tells more about the product benefits story is doing better. But make sure that your long story is not boring. Emphasize the most important paragraphs with bullets so they grab the recipient’s attention. Remember that people don’t read emails, they scan them.

5. Place the links in the beginning, middle, and in the end of your email newsletter. The click-through responses generally come in this order: top, bottom, and middle of your email message. So, don’t forget about the link in the middle. Your response rates will suffer.

6. Include a picture. A nice graphic (even if you tell about an intangible product) will tend to increase the response rate. For example, if you sell downloadable software, you can design a box with a nice cover presenting your software.

7. Link the images. If your email contains pictures and other graphics, be sure to hyperlink them. Many prospects will click on these to respond.

8. Use drop-text images. A drop-text is a text message that appears when your cursor hovers over an image. This is common on web pages. In email, this technique works like a picture caption or sidebar that displays as your prospect interacts.

9. Offers and bonuses work well. An offer of free shipping, a discount, an invitation, or a free gift is very effective in email marketing. But be careful – avoid the word FREE in your email message. FREE is the most attractive word in email marketing, it’s also one of those that spam filters will likely detect to block your message.

10. Include your contact information. You can include your web site address, your email address, even the postal address of your company. A toll free number is also good. Some recipients may prefer to call and speak with a live person. A toll free number will often boost response.

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