Every business knows that to attract customers email marketing can be a great approach. Yet it can be hard to grab a customer’s attention when competing with so many other inbox items. Customers can be put off by repeated “newsletters” that are clearly designed only to sell them stuff. Many such “newsletters” go straight to the spam folder, never get opened or simply get deleted. So how can you attract customers through the newsletter approach? For Christina Walker (2013) of Writtent it is all in the title. A title is after all what compels the person to open the email in the first place. That means that if the title is uninspired or bland, the email will be likely to be consigned to the online waste bin. Yet with a bit of imagination it is possible to inspire the customer to open the email.
Every journalist knows that a powerful headline is essential to grab the reader’s attention. This is something that has not changed in the past few decades in the move from print journalism to digital news. It is argued that in the case of a newsletter, an inspiring title will promote interest in the newsletter, will offer a benefit – a reason to attract the customer to bother opening it at all, will increase the chances of the newsletter being read, and all importantly, will be far more likely to get the customer to click one of the links and then go on to buy something.
While making sure your brand presence is out there and that everyone in the target market knows that your brand name is important, this is not necessarily an item that should be included in a newsletter title. Indeed the advice of Christina Walker is:
“Focus on your industry, not your company name.”
This should be obvious really. After all, your customers really don’t have a great interest in the name of your company. Rather, they are interested in “what’s in it for me?” This means that dropping your company name from the limited word count you have to grab attention in a newsletter title is a good move. Additionally, customers are more likely to have an interest in what is going on in the industry rather than what is going on specifically in your business (unless there is something in it for them of course) and so that is where you should focus in order to start creating a relationship with the customer based on an interest of theirs in reading your email newsletters.
If a customer has let you have their email address, they really do not want to be spammed with offers from you every single day, at least in most cases. Rather than shamelessly promoting your products in each newsletter, make sure that the customer knows how they can benefit from reading the newsletter and clicking through to your website. This needs to be blatantly obvious to them, and ideally from the title itself, to ensure that they even bother to click to open the email at all. Focus on what you have to offer that adds value to the customer which of course requires that you understand what they want, and make sure that the calls to action are interesting and obvious. This is what will get your newsletter opened. Understanding the target audience will help you to tailor a newsletter title that is likely to appeal to them because it will show that you understand their challenges and that you have a solution that will meet their needs. Note: Verbs help bring life to newsletter titles. This can also inspire interest. Before churning out the same content time after time in your newsletter, think about the messages that you want to bring to customers and how these help them solve their problems. Then you can create content that actually meets their needs.
One factor that many experienced newsletter writers state can help is not calling the newsletter a newsletter. After all, the word “newsletter” suggests dull and drab and not much of interest to the customer. There are so many other words that you can use instead, such as trends, report, review, guide, inside information and more. For a complete set of ideas for more inspiring names for the newsletter check out Brandon Gaille. Some of the many examples he offers include digest, alert, bulletin, communication, happenings, pulse, scout, spectator and update. Your dull old newsletter will never look quite the same again!
Paula Newton is a business writer, editor and management consultant with extensive experience writing and consulting for both start-ups and long established companies. She has ten years management and leadership experience gained at BSkyB in London and Viva Travel Guides in Quito, Ecuador, giving her a depth of insight into innovation in international business. With an MBA from the University of Hull and many years of experience running her own business consultancy, Paula’s background allows her to connect with a diverse range of clients, including cutting edge technology and web-based start-ups but also multinationals in need of assistance. Paula has played a defining role in shaping organizational strategy for a wide range of different organizations, including for-profit, NGOs and charities. Paula has also served on the Board of Directors for the South American Explorers Club in Quito, Ecuador.