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Write successful newsletters

How to make the most of a direct line to your customers with perfect newsletters

What makes newsletters so interesting for companies and readers?

A newsletter is a form of content communication that addresses readers directly. The e-mail is circulated to a specific target group, and lands directly in the customer or business partner’s inbox. At greatcontent, for example, we regularly send newsletters to our customers and freelance linguists. The nice thing about newsletters is that they cost nothing, but still generate revenue. They also increase the readers' loyalty to the company. But newsletters are also interesting for customers, if they are well done at least. In this way, they receive added value news that matches their profile directly to their inbox.

use case newsletter

What makes a newsletter successful?

A newsletter should do more than arrive in the inbox. Users should read it, and in the best-case scenario, carry out an action, defined in advance by you.

The following tips will help you achieve just that:

Subject

The subject should tell the reader everything they can expect in a nutshell, in a maximum of 75 characters.

Tone of voice

The way you address your reader, with a formal or informal tone, depends on your industry and target group.

Style

The writing style should be natural and in line with your company’s characteristics.

Style of text

The spectrum is diverse - from specialist articles and news, through offers and services, to references to suitable blog posts (including external ones) as well as at trade fairs, events and conferences.

Length

The texts in the newsletter should short and sharp. The design can also help increase the clarity.

Spelling and grammar

The four-eyes principle is important when editing. We usually recommend combing copywriting with proofreading.

Unsubscribe link

A link to unsubscribe is required by law, but it also helps the reader feel like they are in control. Readers should be able to unsubscribe from your mailing list at any time.

Imprint

A complete imprint is legally required for every advertising e-mail, including newsletters. It usually includes the name, postal address, legal form and authorised representative, telephone and fax number as well as e-mail address and register court, register number and VAT identification number.

In which language should you send the newsletter?

Ideally, you address your customers in their native language in content communication. This also applies to newsletters. Any countries you are targeting should have a separate newsletter in the respective language. However, this relies on the mailing list being well maintained and up-to-date with the relevant data on the recipient's home country. If this is the case, then simply have the contents of the newsletter translated into the respective languages and each target group will receive their individual mail. Localisation is even better than a pure translation, as it takes into account cultural characteristics and country-specific preferences. The newsletter describes your information, products and offers in a target group-oriented manner whether it’s for France and Canada or for Costa Rica and Kenya.

How do you track if a newsletter is successful?

Only you can answer this question for your company. The open rate is one factor, but it’s not the be all and end all. If, for example, half of all recipients open an e-mail, but nobody clicks on the links, you’ve not won anything. It is important to really engage the target group with good content, so that the reader carries out the desired action, i.e. converts. To give you an idea: the greatcontent newsletter is opened by 30% of the addressees, on average. With constant new registrations and regular updates of the mailing lists, we are continually increasing the opening rate. On the other hand, readers may unsubscribe because their interests have changed. Don't take this personally, see it as a clean-up of your distribution list.

Help your customers with your newsletter

What should you look out for with the distribution?

Decide who you want to write to. It may make sense to create different distribution lists for target groups from different countries or with diverging interests. If you know what interests a group of your customers, you can address them very effectively with exactly the right content. When building the recipient list, it is important to secure yourself legally. A double opt-in, i.e. a confirmation of the newsletter registration, is mandatory. This protects customers from misuse of their e-mail address and stops them receiving unwanted mail. The process guarantees high-quality distribution to the people that are really interested. Choose a direct greeting in your message. Not only does it look more personal, it is less likely to end up in the spam folder.

Why do newsletters end up in spam?

Circular mails are delivered via their provider before they make it to the recipient's mailbox. Its job is to sort all incoming e-mails according to certain rules and to sort out unwanted mail. If your newsletter goes against any of the provider's rules, it blocks the mail (hard bounce) or does not forward it to the recipient's inbox. The aim of sorting is to protect the recipients from a flood of e-mails. Sometimes genuine newsletters are also sent to spam. To stop this, addressees should whitelist your e-mail address. By doing so, they indicate that e-mails from you are welcome and the provider won’t filter them out as spam.

How can you bypass the spam filter?

There are a few little tricks you can use to bypass the spam filter. The subject line is particularly important. This shouldn't be too excessive - don't use too many special characters or emojis. If the entire line is written in large letters, many providers classify this as an unsolicited advertising e-mail and therefore, as spam. Likewise, the sender name should not be in capital letters and the sender e-mail address must actually exist. Within the e-mail, it is important to ensure the right balance of text and images. As a general rule of thumb, your e-mail should be 2/3 text. Ultimately, it is not only important for customers, but also for the spam filter that the mandatory unsubscribe link is integrated in the mail.

Which tools and software help with the newsletter creation?

E-mail marketing tools are a dime a dozen. They differ in tariff options and the functions offered for the creation, design and delivery of the newsletter, as well as in the evaluation of the data after it has been sent. It can be difficult to choose the right mailing software. It is important that the software is easy to use and offers extensive options for customising your content. In Pro versions it is usually possible to set up automatisms, carry out AB tests or set up autoresponders. Good alternatives to the classic Mailchimp are Sendinblue, GetResponse oder das französische Produkt Mailjet.

When is the best time to send your newsletter?

You should send out a newsletter regularly, but only if there is really something to say. It is best to think beforehand about which topics you want to cover with content communication via newsletter. Then you set a rhythm, for example every week or every other week. Generally speaking, mornings are a good time to send e-mails. Some newsletter tools suggest suitable mailing times. But don’t lose sight of your target group when it comes to making this decision, choose the time based around when your customers have time to read the message. This can be different for SEO managers with two children than for students in the first term.

However, the content is more important than the timing, and a beautiful design. As is the case in content communication - if the content is not worth reading, the whole thing is a waste of time.

Talk to us if you have any questions about your newsletter!

greatcontent creates industry-specific content - and has done so for over ten years. We look forward to working with you.

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