What gives us the reason to open an email? What arouses our interest? What keeps our attention while reading? Which point is decisive, whether we click on a link and what influences us, whether we build trust in the sender? Basically, creating a newsletter is like putting a puzzle together. All (newsletter) parts put together correctly, the result is a complete, beautiful picture. This metaphor also shows how important each of the individual parts is for the overall picture. In this article we will show you the 10 most important “puzzle pieces” of your newsletter and give you valuable tips on how to design each one so that your mailings will be a complete success.
Open the Email
Before we deal with the actual contents of the newsletter, we first have to convince our recipients to open the email in the first place. Not an easy endeavor when you consider how many emails in our mailboxes compete for our attention every day. So all those factors that we recognize at first glance in our inbox are important:
The sender of the email, the subject line and the preheader.
1. The right sender for your newsletter
The sender of each email is usually highlighted in bold before the subject . This is about trust! The best way to gain the trust of your subscribers is to mention your company name and – ideally – a constant contact person. Depending on the size of your company, this contact person can and may even be fictitious. The project management software “Trello”, for example, always sends its newsletters in the name of “Taco von Trello”. Of course, it is always better if the relevant contact person actually exists and appears again in the footer of the newsletter.
Since 2020 there has also been the option of using the BIMI process to display your company logo as an icon in the inbox. BIMI is an initiative of the world’s three largest mailbox providers Microsoft, Google and Oath. Their approach is to establish brand logos as an indicator of trustworthy senders in the email inbox.
2. A promising Subject Line
The subject line appears immediately after the sender. This is even shown in push messages on laptops and smartphones when you receive a new email. In addition to the sender, this line is the decisive argument as to whether someone opens your email or not.
The subject line must make you curious – and in a nutshell, you only have 80 characters available. However, even these 80 characters are not fully displayed on every device, app or push message. We therefore recommend that you get your message across even within the first 30-40.
Since the sender already contains your company name, you can confidently do without mentioning it again in the subject line. Instead, emphasize the added value and benefit that your subscribers expect when they open your email. Nobody will open a subject line in the style of “Newsletter for August 2021”. But if you arouse interest instead, name the content and perhaps even formulate a call to action, you will guarantee significantly higher open rates. Examples of working subject lines are commercial classics like “50% Easter discount – only until Friday. Find your favorite shoes now. “Statements like “How you can save a lot of time with Action XY” or even curious questions like “Are you there too?” or “Will you help me?”
3. A Look through the Keyhole – The Preheader
Often enough it happens that a lot of potential is wasted in all the considerations: the preheader. The preheader is, so to speak, the extension of the subject line and is displayed at least in desktop versions and also by some smartphone applications. Basically, however, it shows nothing other than the very first line of the newsletter – in most cases the bland reference to the web version of the email.
So instead of referring to the web version in the first few words of your email, you can prefix this notice with a short but crisp summary of your newsletter. Since these lines are in the best case much smaller than the body text anyway, they are hardly noticeable once the newsletter is open. In the inbox, however, the preheader works wonders. It is therefore imperative that you refrain from simply repeating the subject line, but rather add further information to it.
In the example of our shoe advertising, the pre-header could read: “Chelsea boots and winter boots on sale.” Please note that a maximum of 100 characters are available for this, too, and often not all of them can be displayed. So be as precise and concise as possible here as well.
Make the content of the newsletter appealing.
Congratulations, you did it. Your subscribers have chosen to open yours in the midst of so many emails! Now it’s your job to keep them engaged and not to lose them again. After all, the smartphone’s “back button” is only a few millimeters away. So in order to ensure that your recipients stick with it until the end, it takes
an attractive template in your corporate design personal salutation an engaging teasers flashy call to action and easy access to your contact information
4. An attractive Newsletter Template in your Corporate Design
Before your subscribers read even one more word, you will perceive the appearance and structure of your newsletter. It is therefore important that the readers recognize your company immediately – because that strengthens the recognition and thus the trust in your brand. Good software makes the adjustments very easy: logo, colors, fonts … Once the template has been created, it can easily be saved as a template.
In addition, there are of course other factors with regard to the design that – if they are observed – will increase the success of your newsletter immensely. These include clarity, aesthetics, functionality and simplicity. The reader should be able to quickly recognize what content he will find in your newsletter, while his gaze is gradually guided to the all-important element – the call to action. It is therefore important that all elements such as images, headings and texts find enough space and that graphics are chosen in such a way that they really attract attention.
5. The Salutation
The salutation is the right point to build a personal relationship with your recipient and to stand out from your competition. So use the technical possibilities and address your recipients by name. Of course, you don’t have to enter each name individually for this. Thanks to Marketing Automation , your software does the job for you and automatically transfers the correct names to the salutation of every single email.
Choose the salutation that suits you and your company. Do you travel a lot in the B2B area and maintain your business contacts? Then the salutation by the surname is of course the better choice. Especially in the B2C area and with younger companies, addressing the first name is often better.
6. An Engaging Teaser
If you are not one of those senders who run a shop and are currently able to offer huge discounts that do not require an explanation, you now need an exciting teaser. The wording of the teaser is independent of your goal: Regardless of whether you want to advertise a product, link to a post on your corporate blog or just want all newsletter content to be read – you have to convince your readers. As with the subject line, the best way to do this is to arouse their curiosity.
In the teaser, however, you have a little more space available, so that you can even formulate 3-4 sentences here. So what is your newsletter about?
Make sure that you formulate clearly and clearly, do not digress and use strong verbs. In the special case that you refer to your content platform, it is also true that you do not reveal the most exciting results in the teaser.
7. A noticeable Call-to-action
Even if the call-to-action only works in conjunction with all the other pieces of the puzzle, it still has a special meaning. Because the opening rate alone is not enough. Only the call-to-action brings your subscribers to where you want them – be it on your website, a landing page , your shop or your blog.
The call-to-action is usually a button with a clear call to action. At this point you can be brave! Be as clear and concise as possible about what you want your reader to do. It can sound like this, for example:
“Download the white paper for the presentation now.” “Get your discount code now.” or “Apply for your test version now without obligation.”
Don’t forget to highlight the call-to-action to match your corporate design.
8. Easily accessible contact information in the footer
The footer concludes the newsletter. Use this space for your company information, the imprint, data protection information, sources and, above all, for easy contact. Here, too, you have the option to personalize: contact persons, branches or telephone numbers should be tailored to the recipient. Also provide the option for the recipient to quickly update their profile information. Tie z. B. also include quality seals and links to your website. This is also a suitable place to store the legally required unsubscribe link.
9. The right Time to Send
What’s the point of the best email at the wrong time? Ideally, your e-mails will reach the subscribers exactly when they usually check their mailbox and of course before your email is overrun by twenty others. This point in time is certainly difficult to pinpoint, but there are ways to approach it. For example, B2B emails are more likely to be read during working hours, while B2C emails are more likely to be checked in the evening and on weekends. In addition, there are countless studies that have determined when the most suitable day and time is for both target groups. We also carried out such a study. In the end, however, you will achieve the highest open rates in the long term if you test different delivery times against each other in an A / B test.
10. Never No-Reply
One last note that we would like to give you: Never send your emails as no-reply emails. No-reply mails cannot be answered by the subscriber and are also marked as such. In this way you would suggest to your readers that you don’t care about their feedback. You certainly do not want to give this impression that is detrimental to business!
There are many factors that determine the success of your newsletter, and each one can certainly be perfected over time. But that shouldn’t stop you from getting started! Regular email marketing will offer you countless opportunities to gradually optimize the individual components. On the one hand, the evaluations of the individual mailings, of course, but also the mentioned A/B tests help. You use this to send the same email – but with a single, changed element – to half of your subscribers. For example, you can find out whether a green or a red call-to-action button generates more conversions than the other.