Email newsletter dos and don'ts

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Many successful businesses use email newsletters to connect with their customers. Here's a list of dos and don'ts for creating effective email newsletters.

1. Do write for your audience

First, think about what customers would want to hear from your business. Focus on interesting content before announcing your most recent promotion. Do some research and spend some time on creating relevant content. Don’t forget to note your sources if you are sharing content or quoting information.

Providing high-quality content to your audience will keep them from unsubscribing.

2. Do tinker with the subject line

The size of your subscriber base doesn’t matter if only 10% of your readers are opening your emails. The subject of your e-newsletter is like the headline on a news website. The goal is to get people to open the email.

Don’t deceive your readers with clickbait, but write something interesting and informative. For ideas, refer to some email newsletters that you recently opened and read.

Some email marketing engines let you do A/B testing, so you can hit the right note every time. A/B testing involves creating emails with different subject lines. The marketing engine then tests their effectiveness on a small sample of your subscribers. The email with the more successful subject line is then sent to the rest of your subscribers.

3. Do focus on quality over quantity

Engagement with your e-newsletter is as important as the number of people who open it. Short, snappy content beats long articles any day. Think about the kind of content you enjoy on the internet. The key to a successful newsletter is providing high-value content in a compact space.

4. Do track unsubscriptions

Your newsletter content will differ every time, so don’t be afraid to experiment. Just make sure you track the impact of each email campaign. If an email results in more people unsubscribing, check the content to understand why.

Law and etiquette

Now, here are some things to watch out for to make sure you follow New Zealand law and internet etiquette.

1. Don't make it hard to unsubscribe

One way to lose a customer is to make them jump through hoops to unsubscribe. You can’t trick people out of unsubscribing. The law is clear about how unsubscribe links should work. There's more information on the Department of Internal Affairs website

2. Don't send unsolicited emails

Just because someone has emailed your business doesn’t mean you can add them to your subscriber base. Otherwise, you could be breaking New Zealand's Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act. They first need to consent to receive emails from you. If you don't know whether your subscribers have agreed to receive emails, brush up on these rules. Read more about the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act

3. Don't make your newsletters too long

Email newsletters provide a concise snapshot of your business. They're great for highlighting your latest offers and news. Yet when it comes to writing email newsletters, deciding how much to write can be difficult.

People are often pressed for time, so they won’t engage with long-form content. Keep your email newsletter sharp and to the point. Since most people are reading on their phones, keeping things brief is key. According to Fluent's 2018 Inbox Report, 59% of respondents check their personal emails on the go. Download the full report

4. Don't send emails randomly

Customers will look forward to well-executed email newsletters. Exceed their expectations by sending emails at regular intervals. Remember, the newspaper comes out at the same time every day. Your newsletter should be just as reliable.

Schedule your emails to send at an optimal time. The best time and day varies from business to business, so do a quick online search. While research varies, these sites provide a great starting point: