8 MORE Best Practices for Email Newsletter Publishers

Part two of our best practice collection for publishers who want to create great email newsletters

While success or failure of an email newsletter should be directly tied to bottom line goals (like sales, revenue, etc.), there are some things that can help—or hurt—a newsletter’s chances of achieving those goals.

On Monday we posted our first 8 Best Practices for Email Newsletter Publishers. Here are the final eight best practices.

9. Send your emails at the same time every day.

If your content is valuable, you can create anticipation. Plus, users tend to reward consistency with higher open rates.

10. Send an equal number of content-rich email newsletters and straight product promotions.

If you send out an equal number of (1) content-rich email newsletters and (2) straight product promotions versus sending only promotions, the length of time you’ll retain an active email name will almost double.

The average term of an email newsletter subscriber is 2.7 years when the ratio of valuable free content and promotional messages is 50/50, versus an average lifetime of 1.6 years for email names who were sent only promotional messages.

11. Align your editorial content with your promotional messages.

Never try to sell Angus beef steaks to vegetarians.

Congruity and alignment augur well for product sales. If your email newsletter’s topic today is about how to prune rose bushes, then your ideal text ad today would be for a book or other paid product about growing roses.

12. Segment your email newsletter subscriber lists and include an unsubscribe link in every email.

Never make it hard for a user to unsubscribe or you’ll risk annoying the user and the Internet Service Provider. But if you segment your email subscriber lists, you can allow a user to unsubscribe from one list — e.g., your product promotions — and remain a subscriber to another list — e.g., your content-rich tips and news.

Download a FREE copy of Best Email Subject Lines for Selling Premium Subscriptions and Memberships and discover an extensive list of email subject line frameworks that are consistently proven to sell and boost revenue for publishers.

13. Optimize your email conversion architecture.

Knitting Daily is the best practice example here.

If you enter an email address for a free download, but fail to follow through, the Knitting Daily site remembers you. If you subsequently return and enter your email address a second time, you’ll get the following message:

“One More Step — Our records indicate that you have started the Knitting Daily membership process in the past, but have not yet confirmed your membership. Please click the button below to have the confirmation email sent again.”

The next screen provides further instruction and helps get the new subscriber’s email address “double opted in” and whitelisted:

“Confirmation resent — In order to receive your free download: Knitting Lace: Knitting Daily Presents… 7 Free Knitted Lace Patterns and begin your Knitting Daily membership, you must now confirm your email address.

Check your email inbox. Find our Knitting Daily welcome email. Click on the confirmation link at the top of the email.

If you do not see the email in your inbox, look in your bulk or spam folder.

We ask new members to confirm their email address in order to prevent spam and to ensure that you requested Knitting Daily yourself.

Thank you for joining us and welcome to Knitting Daily!”

From the floater, to the order form, through the registration flow, the email conversion architecture leaves nothing to chance. It both encourages users to complete the registration process, and results in a cleaner list of email newsletter subscribers.

14. Create a whitelisting instructions page.

Make sure you provide ample instructions for your subscribers to whitelist you.

Create a how-to page on your website or point users to this site’s email whitelist instructions, which explains how to add an email address to an address book in several email clients. Remind users that if they don’t whitelist your site, they might not get your email newsletter.

15. Make it easy for subscribers to change their email address.

Sending emails to a dead email address won’t do you any delivery favors, especially if it’s bouncing back. Provide a link at the bottom of every email newsletter with a hypertext link that shouts, “Change your email address” or “Update your email preferences.”

16. Create a sense of community and continuity.

If your email newsletter isn’t lively, informative and fun, your readers will unsubscribe.

But if you create an online community where subscribers feel safe and comfortable — where they can enjoy the quality of information, instruction, encouragement or other nurturing that your email newsletter provides — your popularity will soar. And so will your sales.

When writing a series of emails, it’s more personable to say to your readers that the email is part of a larger structure.

You could remind them that, “In the email we sent on Monday, we talked about XXXXX…now I want to talk about how XXXXX works with XXXXX.”

By building an ongoing series of email newsletter messages, you’re likely to increase open rates on past emails, as well as build a more intimate relationship with your readers.

Download a FREE copy of Best Email Subject Lines for Selling Premium Subscriptions and Memberships and discover an extensive list of email subject line frameworks that are consistently proven to sell and boost revenue for publishers.

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