So the time has come. Your business is growing and you would like to get the word out there, keep your clients updated on all your latest offers.

You want to give your target audience a friendly, regular reminder of why you are the right choice for them.

Sound about right? Then you need a newsletter.

At its best, a newsletter is business gold – a surefire way of driving traffic to your website and boosting sales. But at its worst, it’s a dreary collection of press releases that comes round on the last day of each month and which nobody reads.

So what makes a good – no – great newsletter?

With practice you will work out some of the tools of the trade yourself, but here are five top tips to help you on your way to newsletter mastery.

1) Craft an eye-catching subject line

The first thing your newsletter recipient will see is the subject line. Write one that stands out and your chances of a clickthrough skyrocket, but write a rubbish one and your newsletter might get marked as spam.

Putting your recipient’s name in the subject line is a failsafe way of sparking their interest. With eSputnik it’s also dead simple, as you only have to create a template once to generate personalised messages automatically and start your email marketing.

You can also use emotive language to grab the reader’s attention. Power words – such as ‘unbelievable’, ‘jaw-dropping’, ‘amazing’ – are a solid bet, though time-sensitive terms – ‘breaking, alert’, etc – can be effective too as they add a sense of urgency.

Last but not least, intriguing subject lines are fantastic for reeling the reader in and making them want to know more. Travel agencies are experts at this: 10 Cities You Have To Visit This Summer, for example.

2) Stick to the point

Nothing annoys readers more than a newsletter that rambles on and on and on about things which aren’t relevant. That may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how companies make this fatal error.

If your company sells winter clothing, tell your subscribers about the latest products and the exclusive offers available to them. Don’t give them a blow-by-blow account of your last skiing holiday – even if you were wearing one your company’s finest woollen scarves.

3) Add visuals

The average subscriber spends less than a minute reading a newsletter and only reads 20% of the text. Visuals are essential to livening up the page and helping readers to scan through your content.

Videos are sometimes cited as the best way of conveying information quickly, but don’t forget images and infographics either. Done well, an infographic can add both colour to your newsletter and emphasise its key parts.

4) Keep design minimal

A cluttered newsletter is the last thing you want but one of the easiest mistakes to make. We’ve all been there: busy cramming in all your latest offers and updates, the design simply slips your mind and you end up with a fully packed page.

Fortunately, there is an easy solution: white space. White space gives your newsletter a slick, clean feel that helps to alleviate any sense of cluttering created by images or videos

The only difficulty is finding the balance, so be sure to get a second opinion on the design of your newsletter before sending it off.

5) Make unsubscribing easy

This may come across as counterintuitive, but making it simple for subscribers to opt out of receiving your newsletter is paramount. A convoluted unsubscribing process can result in your email getting marked as spam, not to mention angry clients who may end up leaving bad reviews on your social media pages.

To make unsubscribing easy, capitalise your UNSUBSCRIBE button and put it in an clearly visible place. The bottom of your newsletter is always good shout.

There are, of course, other tips and tricks to crafting the perfect newsletter, but the above five are a great foundation and should lead to a significant rise in your conversion rates. Other than that, don’t forget to monitor your results, publish your newsletter regularly and make any necessary tweaks. Dedication and hard work pay off in this industry.

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