The Anatomy of the Perfect Email Newsletter

SnapRetail email newsletterBy Jessica Moretti

Consumers are under a constant barrage of advertisements and promotions, making it increasingly difficult to capture their attention. In a world full of noise, a good way to stand out from the crowd is to send a message that isn’t focused on selling, but instead works to nurture the relationship with your customers. One of the best relationship building tools at a retailer’s disposal is the good old-fashioned email newsletter. With the changing colors of the fall leaves, it may be time to revamp the look of your present newsletter or to launch a new email campaign. Here are four essential elements to consider.

The Subject Line

You can spend days on end scouring the Internet looking for advice when it comes to writing subject lines, and you’ll find hundreds of conflicting opinions. Keep it short. Make it long. Do this, but don’t do that. One of the most important things to remember, however, is that consistency is king. An easy way to create uniformity is to name your newsletter and always use the name to start your subject line. This will help a reader recognize it every time it hits his or her inbox.

Equally important is to answer the question every reader wants to know, “What’s in it for me?” What will your reader get from viewing your newsletter? Maybe it’s the lowdown on the latest trends, seasonal tips or an exclusive coupon. Be very clear, and let consumers know how they’ll benefit from reading your newsletter. An example of a subject line that follows these two rules is, “ShopTalk: Fall Trends Inside.”

The Human Connection

People are attracted to people, and the easiest way to build and nurture a relationship is to establish a human connection. Use your newsletter to share personal stories about you and your employees, such as birthdays, engagements and new additions to the family.

Another way to create a human connection, and to keep your audience eager to read your emails, is to do a special feature on your most loyal customers. You know the ones: Betty Sue, who, at 73, stops in every Thursday morning to browse your newest book arrivals, carefully selecting one to read to her husband that week; Tom Jones, who loves surprising his wife with little trinkets and treasures he finds at your store; and Jane Smith, whose children are often rewarded for any good deed with a stop at your store. You can’t go wrong by sharing stories like these.

The Constant

A good email campaign, as with all good marketing materials, complements human behavior. Humans tend to be creatures of habit, so, just like keeping your subject line consistent, you want to keep a constant in the newsletter itself.

One way is to develop a column dedicated to a specific topic. Give it a name, and include it in each of your newsletters. If you’re a garden center, you may want to have your constant focus on what’s in season or on what your readers should plant that month. Boutiques could focus on the latest fashion trends or give accessorizing tips. This is a great segue for promoting new product arrivals.

The Call-to-Action

Finally, but most important, the perfect newsletter always contains a call-to-action, a clear and direct way of letting your readers know what it is you want them to do. It can be a simple as, “Stop in today to save 20 percent on a single item,” “Enter to win a free gift basket,” or, “Give us your feedback.” Keep it short and to the point, and don’t clutter your message with information that will take away from the desired result.

Email newsletters are a great way to foster a relationship with customers. By incorporating these quick and easy elements into your email campaign, you’re bound to see an increase in open rates, click-throughs and customer engagement.

Jessica Moretti is marketing communications manager of SnapRetail, a ready-to-use marketing solution that caters exclusively to retailers and their needs. SnapRetail is an easy to use system that helps retailers engage and sell to customers using email, social media and exclusive offers.

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