By Jeanne S. Jennings • 07/01/2009
Your email newsletter should provide benefit-oriented content that engages the reader
Successful and well-read email newsletters promote two-way communication and community-building with things like surveys, polls, links to discussion boards and ways to provide feedback to/communicate with the editor(s).
There should be a balance between editorial and promotional content—60%/40% is the rule. The newsletter should be a manageable length to read online, usually 2 to 3 printed pages.
Content and Tools of Engagement Checklist
- The email newsletter provides benefit-oriented content that is written in an engaging manner.
- The email newsletter includes engagement tools for readers, things like surveys, polls, links to discussion boards and ways to provide feedback to or communication with the editors.
- The email newsletter follows the 60/40 rule, with at least 60% of the content being editorial and no more than 40% being promotional.
- The email newsletter is a manageable length to read online—2 to 3 printed pages.
Case Study: Wine Spectator’s Sips & Tips
The editorial content in Wine Spectator’s Sips & Tips email newsletter is superb. There’s no question that readers, even those who aren’t paying subscribers, get value. There are links to free online tools (like the Wine Spectator reviews database) as well as articles and videos. At 64% editorial, 27% promotional, 9% housekeeping, it follows the 60/40 rule very well.
My favorite engagement tool, of all those I’ve encountered, is here – it’s the “What am I Tasting” challenge (screenshot below). Wine Spectator provides a “tasting note,” basically a description of what you would taste if you were sipping a wine. You are then challenged to guess “What you’re tasting” from a list of multiple choice answers.
“What Am I Tasting” Engagement Tool
The screenshot is from the Website; the link to it should be more prominent in the email newsletter – this has real viral possibilities for their target audience. It would be even better if you could challenge folks you know to a friendly competition.
How are you using email newsletters to interact with your audience? Let us know in the comments.
Posted in Audience Development Strategy