Three Email Newsletter Templates & Best Practices

How Mono Topic, Multi Topic and Promo email newsletter templates are used in online publishing

The most effective email newsletters are also semi-promotional. Effective publishers have dedicated templates for each email newsletter they send.

On average, 68% of product sales start with an email newsletter. If you are a medical publisher sending an email newsletter about “heart health”, your featured product should be a report about “how to avoid a heart attack”, or the like. The same goes for ad-driven publishers; the content in your email newsletter must match the sponsor or sponsored links in order to get the best click-through or conversion rate.

Here are three email newsletter templates:

Mono Topic Email Newsletter Template – In this type of email newsletter template, there is only one article as opposed to several. This email newsletter (in addition to providing valuable content) has the functional goal of driving subscribers to a sales letter landing page.

This isn’t to say that Mono Tip emails are only for product-driven publishing companies. Many ad-driven publishers have dedicated sponsors for their Mono Topic emails, and some have a mix of sponsored ads and product ads.

Mono Tip email newsletter templates are best used when your blog update schedule matches your email delivery schedule.

A Few Mono Topic Best Practices:

  • Users love alignment. Don’t try to increase open rates by using a subject line that is more creative than the article title. Make sure that the title of your email matches the title of the article to avoid confusion.
  • Keep them in one place. Users prefer full content rather than clicking out to a website to finish the article. When they eventually click, the goal should be to get them to your sales letter landing page or sponsor. If you have graphics, it makes sense to point your users back to the blog, but you should include the full text of the article in the email with a link to view examples and graphics.
  • Make ads relevant. No matter whether you are product or ad-driven, keep your product or sponsor limited to the same topic. If you are writing an article on knitting, promote a book on knitting not beading. If you are writing an article on cars that get the best MPG, use a sponsor like Toyota with a Prius ad, not a Hummer ad.
  • Promote one thing, not several. When you’re ad-driven, this can be tricky because you have many sponsors. Try having one sponsor per topic email and offering them ad spots at the top, side and bottom of the email. This cleans up your emails for our users and makes your sponsor happy too.

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.

Multi Topic Email Newsletter Template – In this type of email newsletter template, there are several stories in one email newsletter. The email delivery schedule could be once a week as a “week in review” or it could be a wrap-up of current news stories on a daily basis. In any case, the email newsletter usually does not feature the full article but instead links back to the website.

Multi Topic Tips are frequently used on ad-driven websites where the primary purpose is not to sell a product in the email newsletter, but to drive traffic back to the website and increase page views.

Computerworld offers more than 50 free Multi Topic Tip email newsletters. There is something for everyone actively involved with information systems. According to Pat McGovern, founder of IDG, email newsletters are used extensively abroad. In all countries, emails are an effective driver of traffic to the main website. “People see the issue and want to go back to the site to get more details on the story,” Mr. McGovern told us.

A Few Multi Topic Best Practices:

  • Include sponsored content. If you have sponsored job listings, forums or other parts of your website, include them in your email newsletter in your side navigation. This will increase sponsored clicks and interest in the rest of the content on your website.
  • Segment by interest. If you have dozens of categories and publish new articles frequently, split your email newsletters by topic. This will increase advertiser and subscriber interest by only showcasing relevant information and ads.
  • See what you can fit. If your articles are short, try including the whole article in your email. FDANews does a great job of this in their Daily Drug Bulletin, which features about 3-5 articles that are about 140 words long.

Promo Email Template – This is the email sent out to promote a single product. In the case of ad-driven websites, you might send out a “sponsored product ” email, but in any case, this email is sent to generate revenue, while providing your users a valuable service.

What do we mean by providing a valuable service? In the words of Jay Schleifer, Managing Editor of HR Daily Advisor, “When you read a movie review in a newspaper or a product review in Popular Mechanics, you’re reading an advertisement. But the audience doesn’t see it as that; they see it as you doing them a service to help make up their mind on what electronic device they should buy. If you can write it up in a way that makes them feel like you’re doing them a service, they won’t see it as advertising.”

A Few Promo Best Practices:

  • Promote only one product. By trying to get more bang for your buck, you might confuse your readers and you will certainly distract them from focusing on one thing.
  • Go text-based. Unless your promotion truly requires graphics, text-based promotional emails still work best. If it does require graphics, make sure to include alt-tags, which include a description of the graphic for any email clients that have images disabled.
  • Keep it personal. If you’re promoting someone else’s product or are sending out a sponsored promotion, keep the promotion design and signature from you. Users are more likely to follow through on a promotion that they feel is being suggested by a company they trust—you.
  • Don’t tell them to “click here”. Action-based links such as “order now” or “register today” have a much higher conversion rate.
  • Keep it short. Your subject line should be short and specific. Lengthy and imaginative subject lines don’t work as effectively now as they used to. Subject lines like “Save $50.00 – Merry Christmas” perform better than “Save $50.00 on Christmas Stockings This Week”.

How are you delivering your content? Are providing your users an email newsletter as a service while still driving traffic and increasing RPM? Join us at the next Mequoda Summit to learn more about how to build profitable email newsletter templates. Learn more…

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