Tags: newsletters

We ❤️ Newsletters: Tips and Inspiration from the Newsletters our Email Marketing Experts Love Most

We ❤️ Newsletters: Tips and Inspiration from the Newsletters our Email Marketing Experts Love Most

Beyond • February 14, 2019

Newsletters are probably the form of email marketing that businesses and consumers are most familiar with. They provide the perfect excuse to visit your subscribers’ inbox whether it be monthly, weekly or even daily and help you stay top of mind. Why are newsletters so popular? The New York Times newsletter readers read two times as many stories as those who don’t receive newsletters. They’re also two times as likely to become paid subscribers. They have  more than 50 newsletters with a grand total of 14 million subscribers. It’s the goal of their newsletters to “build meaningful relationships with readers by delivering our original, world-renowned journalism and product experiences straight to their inbox.\" Newsletter readers spend 80% more time on NewYorkTimes.com than non subscribers So, what makes for a lovable newsletter? Here are a handful of tips for making a newsletter that your subscribers will love: Keep your subscribers in mind. Sure you’re sharing updates about your company and goods and services, but it must be with your subscribers’ needs in mind. Solve their problems and you’ll see the results. Choose a template that can be customized for your brand. There are some services that offer HTML email templates, such Stripo.email and many others. Make sure you choose a newsletter template that’s set up to serve your goals for your newsletter and that it feels like it comes from your company. Use subheaders. Attention spans are at an all time low and subscribers will more than likely be skimming your email. Make it easy for them with subheaders. Keep it short and simple. Use teasers for each piece of content and bring your subscribers to your website to read the rest. Use captivating images. Grab those skimmers’ attention with some great photos or graphics. Send regularly. Monthly newsletters may be the most popular, but some businesses prefer to send weekly or even daily. You want to stay top-of-mind with your subscribers so that your business is the first they think of when they’re in need of your goods or services. Check your reports. It’s important to track what is (or isn’t) working with your newsletters. If your open rate could use a boost, test different subject lines and make sure you have a familiar From Name. If your click-through rate could be higher, try including different content in your newsletters. At Benchmark Email, we love newsletters as much as the businesses who use our tools to send them. And we see a lot of them! I asked the Benchmark team across the globe to share some of their favorite newsletters with all of you. Here’s what they had to say: Adastros Cruz - The Artist Formerly Known as Senior Marketing Designer - Guatemala What I love about this email from Grammarly is how the content is goal oriented, this was their \'new year\' email and at the end of it they included a recap of their 2018 but kept it customer-focused. See the full email here. What I love about this newsletter from Muzli is the content I get, but also how simple it is, just an image a graphic and a clear short and sweet CTA. Daniel Miller - Marketing Director - USA Subaru is one of my favorite newsletters. If you’ve ever owned a Subaru, you’ve experienced what it means to be part of the Subaru family. Subaru’s real marketing kicks in after one has purchased a vehicle. From tips to where to camp, hike and travel with your new baby (the car that is) to new releases, rally competitions they’ve won and even experiences shared by other drivers. No matter what level of “car expert” you are, Subaru speaks their customers language. Adventure, discovery and fun! Their newsletter backs their message and creates brand loyalty. I ❤️ my Subaru and the way the company treats me. Fernanda Brito - Social Media & Digital Partner - Mexico I really liked the content in this email from Cracks, it is also practical and quick to read, without a doubt I expect the next email. 😊 I like the design of this Cool Hunger MX email which has a lot of color and notes of interest as well as city events related to art and design. Love Veg always shares new recipes and ideas according to the seasons of the year. Ronald Liang - Frontend Development Manager - USA Kumar Guarav - Email Deliverability & Support - India They say great minds think alike and Ronald and Kumar shared love for the same email. Here\'s what they said: Ronald: I love receiving these newsletters from Smashing Magazine, because they’re a quick way to catch up on the latest web design news and topics. Their newsletter is text-heavy, but they do throw in some playful graphics of their mascot here and there that keeps it fun. Kumar: I love the way these guys present the entire newsletter, the content at the top includes a brief description/welcome message from the Editor, Table of content at the top with every article numbered and linked accordingly to the actual article in the newsletter. Proper spacing between the articles, fonts large enough to be readable on all devices. Sponsor ads being marked accordingly and finally at the end, sender information and the purpose of the newsletter. Everything is presented in a very professional format. Kristen Pon - Senior Product Designer - USA I also love getting Action Rocket’s newsletters because it keeps me up to date with email industry news (they compile articles from various sources). Also, over time I’ve seen them test out various things to push email boundaries like switching up their layouts, adding interactions, etc because of who their audience is. (At the top they mention they use experimental code) Sorry, the forwarding of their newsletter breaks those things so you can’t see it.. but this is what their newsletter normally looks like. Action Rocket also does special newsletters every so often, like this one here. It\'s goal is to show how much of an email shows above the fold. Yamile Flores - Learning Experience Designer - Mexico I have a lot of subscriptions in several newsletters: fashion, shoes, food, recipes, but this that comes from NESTLE I really love it, Why? As you can see since the subject line has my  son’s name, then this newsletter reminds when my son turns months /years and what he should achieve in that month, some recipes I can cook for him and other important facts relative to his age. So I really love to read it and keep it. It’s a pity the promotions are just for Spain, not for México, but still I like it. I reminds me to say Congratulations Jaden! Every month. Denise Keller - COO - USA I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE getting this email from Tim Ferriss every Friday like clockwork. It’s 5 bullets, so it’s quick and easy to read while I’m sitting a traffic light.  It is always informative and I inevitably learn something I didn’t know before. This is one of my top 5. I’m forever taking screenshots of this newsletter from Scott’s Cheap Flights and sending them to family and friends saying “Let’s GO!” I love the easy to read format and the info telling the best way to book this particular flight. Even though I rarely cook, I thoroughly enjoy Ina Garten’s occasional newsletter emails. They are super basic, no fancy graphics with an easy link to her recipe.  My husband and I actually made this one and it was FAB! Alvaro Rosado - Product Design - Mexico I like this email for the brightness of the images, the animations and the clarity of the message. The text is really easy to read and understand. Also it has clear call to actions that allow me to understand what to do next. Jason Ashley - Web App. Development Manager - USA I like the Crunchbase Daily newsletter because it gives links to the latest updates of companies to watch, and the subject line refers to the companies too. Goes to variety of blogs. The newsletter content is a lead in to a blog. Also, the blogs have links to outside resources used for research, so the newsletter is like a gateway to different blogs and the different blogs have multiple resources which are commonly other blogs on the same subject. I like this Node Weekly newsletter because it references the latest updates of node.js a programming language I like to stay on top of. The sections reference multiple resources from a variety of common well known blogs from different community services. It really helps to stay on top of what’s new, and if nothing new, to see the items those in the community feel are important. This is my favorite of all time. It gives the graphs of my favorite currencies, their projected short term trend, the give rates, the levels they see as resistance and support to watch for. Allows for a quick view of trend and cross currency comparison on similar pairs. This is my absolute favorite email for the last 7 years since I found it. Bulat Kutliev - Frontend Engineer - Russia I like Medium’s customized feed for me, with additional nice recommended topics. Topics are sorted from more specific to common articles. The design is also minimalistic and neat. Lucas Braga Peres - Customer Engagement Specialist - Brazil The content has my name and the name of the course that I have done here in Brazil on the main text. Then, they suggested more courses based on my certification level, with CTAs and images. Also, they have social media links and the image and text proportion is ok. Emperatriz Ortegón - Marketing Designer - Colombia I really like video games, especially the competition and co-op games. always I want to know any news, updates or offers for video games that I play, so I choose this email from my favorites. Epic Games aaaalways sends me information about events, new maps, new game styles on the platform. I also like how they use colors, images and the newsletter structure is not too rigid and clean.


Read More
Guide: Planning Out Newsletters for the Rest of the Year

Guide: Planning Out Newsletters for the Rest of the Year

Beyond • July 29, 2015

It may not be the beginning of the year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t approach the next two seasons like they are new beginnings. In the content world, it’s always a smart idea to create an editorial or publishing schedule. While it’s wonderful to have a more granular approach to this, it’s not always practical to do so. Your business objectives and resources can change through the year, which is the rule of thumb is to use the new year an opportunity to simply sketch out priorities. So, now that we’re on the precipice of fall and quickly approaching winter, it’s the ideal time to start thinking more granularly and plan out what newsletter campaigns will look like for the rest of the year. A time tested approach to email marketing is to break up campaigns seasonally. This means that even though you’re sending out summer email campaigns, you should be thinking about the two upcoming seasons: fall and winter. How a business might approach a seasonal newsletter will vary based on their unique interests. A retail business might create a catalogue style newsletter campaign that highlights how a customer might benefit from their products in the months to come. An organization, on the other hand, might create a resource guide to help navigate their audience and help direct them toward key points such as notable upcoming events. Both, however, should be laced with properly designated calls to action at the top, through the middle and at the bottom of each campaign. This rule works for retail too, since it’s a little too obvious to say “shop now” when you’ve created a visually stunning email campaign that invokes the imagination. Calls to action are better suited to not be quite so obvious. But, if you think obvious will work, then why not run an A/B test? Keep in mind that planning out seasonal newsletters is a lengthy and time-intensive process. Unless you’re going to work really quickly, you’re already too late for fall. However, you’re not too late to knock out a spectacular winter newsletter – or at least get the framework going so you’re not scrambling at the last minute. In other cases, you might opt for a targeted email campaign around the holidays or a spotty approach that takes in all of the major shifts in a consumer’s natural behavior around the holidays. Here’s how you’re going to approach either. If it’s a holiday specific email marketing campaign, then start planning what you’re going to do. It should just be yet another sale opportunity or simplistic graphic with a greeting slapped onto it. Take the time to think about it: you’ve got four holidays coming up: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year. What’s going to get you to stand out and show your audience that you’ve put thought into these rare opportunities to really present yourself? If, on the other hand, you favor a more spotty approach that maximizes on the activity during the holiday season, then go on to read “One-Off Holiday Email Marketing Ideas for Retail,” which gives tons of great ideas on how to approach individual one-off email marketing campaigns around the holidays.


Read More
Why Campaign-Driven Newsletters Are a Win

Why Campaign-Driven Newsletters Are a Win

Beyond • July 23, 2015

The nature of digital is changing, and this has been evident first and foremost in advertising. In advertising, you notice that people are no longer just selling a product … they’re telling a story. That approach has trickled down into content, social media and even within the hashtag of a given campaign. The best approaches to marketing are those that integrate every effort under the campaign model. So, what is the campaign model? The campaign model isn’t about the one-off piece of content like most newsletters end up being. It’s about a long-term strategy to communicate a goal. Whether that goal is to drive sales or deepen engagement and customer loyalty, a email marketing strategy that takes the campaign approach will be far more effective than any other strategy that stands alone. Campaign-driven newsletters don’t need to be complicated. A standard email campaign will be a link in a chain. The various parts that make up that chain could include perhaps an initial email, a follow-up, additional information, and so on. Campaign-driven newsletters could also take the form of a drip campaign. A drip campaign is a series of emails received by the subscriber over time. It’s a perfect strategy for those businesses and organizations that are looking to communicate a lot of information with a client or member, but who don’t want to burden them with too much info at once. Keeping needs and capacity in mind, a drip campaign will over digestible pieces of broken up content over time – perhaps one a week to even one a day if needed. Typically, it might be a good idea to have these emails spaced about by a day or two so that a subscriber might receive one on a Tuesday and another on a Thursday. These types of segmented campaigns work best when they’re enveloped as part of a sales cycle, which means that each link in the chain will be customized to the stage of the relationship the subscriber is in. This is really where campaigns separate between the routine set of emails a business might push out, versus email marketing campaigns that are driven by a content marketing strategy. Information streams of that do (and should) vary based on where the client is also an email campaign strategy that should be carried over to social driven campaigns. Here, the idea is that you utilize social channels to drive people to email marketing content. This works best with long pieces of content rather than promotional items or quick stunted content. When you’ve got great lengthier content to share, you can pull a pivotal issue from your copy and pose that as a trigger question that evokes a strong response or opinion. When all else fails, you can always ask a question that gets people curious. In order to satisfy that curiosity, they would need to click on your resourceful link. This way, you’re successfully utilizing social media as bait that’s driving people to your standalone email campaign URL. It also sets the social share apart from the other instance when you’re directly sharing the campaign URL. As any social media marketer knows, you want to post key shares multiple times. Typically, you would stagger the same share across a span of weeks or months. However, depending on the rate at which you’re posting content on social, you can get creative about how you’re sharing. In this case, rather than just recycling a post, you can change the graphic and post copy. Now, you have a brand new post and are likely drawing in clickers that may not have been otherwise interested in the original self-serving social share. When it comes to email marketing campaigns, you can take either the drip campaign route or the social route. Either way, remember that people have signed up for a reason. Now your job is to nurture those connections with targeted marketing.


Read More

How Small Businesses Can Build an Online Brand

Beyond • May 4, 2011

Many small business owners think that if they’re internet-based they don’t need to worry about presentation in the same way as they would if they had a physical store front.Wrong. You Are Already Online First, all businesses are internet-based. Whether you have an e-commerce or a physical store front, you have to consider that most clients will look you up on the internet before they offer you their business. You have an internet presence whether or not you like it. So the question is, what type of internet presence do you have and what is this presence saying about your brand? Remember that the goal of any brand is to attract customer loyalty and generate repeat users. Your brand is your image and in an online world your image becomes critical. Your brand will make an impression on tens of thousands of people before you ever meet them. What do these masses think of you? If you’re getting the web traffic but not the conversion, the problem is very likely that your business is failing to convey a strong brand. Consider your brand message. What is it about your company that you want to share with prospective customers? You should be able to relay your core message in under one sentence if not just a couple of catch words and phrases. Think about what your business offers that others don’t, or how you do it better, and there you have your message. When most people think of brands, they think of Nike, Coca-Cola or other high end clearly visible labels. Those labels didn’t just pop into mainstream attention overnight; they were built from the ground up just like your brand will be. Luckily for you, branding confines were broken down the minute the internet, media and social media were introduced in the marketing arena. With glass ceilings shattered, even the smallest business can reach out and compete as aggressively as heavyweight brands. How? Simply by using the same formula that larger, more established brands use now - and then adding in a dose of creativity. Crafting Your Website Your business needs a site – a virtual stop for customers to do business with you and learn more about you. But just having a webpage isn’t enough; you have to consider the ins and outs of your website and how it plays into your brand. Consider the following: Is your purpose clearly defined? Does every page on your website have a message and a meaningful call to action? Understand your customers and what they want and you’ll begin to get a clearer picture of your brand and whether you’re headed in the right direction. Does your website design reflect your brand? Think color palates, visuals and key text. Remember that design and functionality go hand in hand; have one without the other and you’ve instantly lost your branding impact. How user friendly is your website? Some people have slow internet connections, some can’t install a Flash plug-in, for others the alignment may be off or they may not be able to view the images. Not keeping these factors in mind means that you’re likely to lose customers/readers that don’t have the patience for a mismanaged page or slow mobile uploads due to heavy image content. Put Social Media to Work Diversify your brand’s presence by using channels beyond just your website. The go-to solution is social media. When you consider that even big name brands like Coca-Cola are now primarily focusing their branding and outreach efforts through Facebook, it becomes pretty clear how important it is to leverage this tool to share your brand experience with your customers. Use social media to show you’re relevant, build a following and listen and interact with your customers. Your brand isn’t just about a product or service anymore; it’s about a positive, rewarding user experience. Use social media to also evaluate your competition in addition to leveraging dialogue for customer feedback. Have a Voice…and Share it All brands have a voice. They have a message and something to offer their customers. The best way to give your brand a voice is through a blog. Use a blog platform embedded within your website to offer your customers news and updates on your brand and to share relevant information that caters to your customers\' needs. Remember, your brand should offer them something they can connect with; online marketing is about them, not you. Form Valuable Partnerships and Associations Strengthen your brand by creating valuable partnerships and associations with like-minded but not conflicting groups and businesses. Form partnerships with neighboring businesses that allow you to host mutually beneficial events that draw in the crowds. I know a local chiropractor that has built a successful business out of this practice. By linking herself with events at local high end beauty and fine wine/food venues, she’s elevated her practice beyond just health and toward an association with luxury and leisure. Her brand is not just about chiropractic health care; it’s now about getting pampered. With these strategic associations, she’s managed to associate chiropractics with luxury.Beyond these tips, remember to take advantage of face-to-face time with customers through newsletters, thereby continuing to present and reinforce your brand to your core audience. It’s not enough to just have a brand - you have to remind your customers of its relevance in their lives.


Read More
Email Marketing Tip: Banking Evergreen Copy

Email Marketing Tip: Banking Evergreen Copy

Beyond • May 29, 2009

Newspapers do it. Magazines do it. Advertising firms do it. What we\'re talking about here is building up a nice, convenient library of text known as “evergreen” that you can use in your email campaigns. Simply stated, evergreen material is any sort of generic-type text or article that can be used at any time in the future. Here are the main reasons why you should write evergreen copy: When you don\'t know what to write about in your next email or newsletter, you can drop it right in and buy time until the following email or newsletter. It gives your recipients a break from a long string of emails pushing them to buy, buy, buy. Here are a few evergreen copy ideas: Seasonal articles that focus on the time of year, rather than a specific product General how-to sheets Tips on saving money and time Weather-related articles and tip-sheets To make things even easier, you can re-arrange or re-write a general article from the past. You can update the article to reflect modern developments, but the bottom line is you won\'t even need to hunt around and find new content.


Read More