October 15, 2013

5 Open-Worthy Email Newsletters

You know by now that your brand should be taking advantage of Facebook and Twitter. But you just might be underrating an element of the marketing mix.

A recent report from Custora revealed that over the past four years, brands have quadrupled the rate of customers acquired via email. Clearly, the “old-fashioned way” cannot be discounted. Of course, it’s all to easy for newsletters to quickly turn off-putting to consumers, a nuisance that disrupts their daily lives (and goes straight to the “trash” folder). But with the right content, your emails will be messages that loyal customers can’t wait to open.

Here are five best practices for habit-forming newsletters, and the brands that are doing them right.

Write compelling copy.

If you receive an email with the subject line, “Where The Beer Is Tonight,” I can almost guarantee you’ll be interested enough to click. UrbanDaddy’s newsletters feature clear, compelling, consistent messaging, from the catchy subject line to the pithy closing line. Each issue includes a distinct brand tone–that brand-specific quick-wit. Your own opening lines should hook readers and your copy should be distinctive enough to set your emails apart from the plethora of others filling your customers inboxes.

Get more compelling copy from UrbanDaddy here.

Tell a story.

Believe it or not, there’s a way to feature products without being super promotional. Uncommon Goods does an incredible job of showing us how it’s done. Through a series of sketches, the brand tells the stories of specific products, followed by a clear (but not pushy) call-to-action.

Subscribe to stories from Uncommon Goods here.

Be valuable.

Value can mean an exclusive deal or The Richmond, VA based boutique Need Supply Co. knocks it out of the park. The brand sends regular emails showcasing product offerings and sales, but it also sends a weekly called “Moments With Sunday.” This series features top content from its diverse blog, ranging from playlists to articles about secret societies. The content entertains, informs, and overall engages.

Get more of what you want from Need Supply Co. here.

Stay on brand.

The literary powerhouse McSweeney’s doesn’t send emails often, but when it does, the email is worth the read. The newsletters are jam-packed with valuable content for the die-hard fan (deals on subscriptions, new book releases, and excerpts from upcoming magazine issues). Most notably, however, is the compelling prose of its opening paragraph. It should come as no surprise that a publisher would write exceptionally well, but McSweeney’s also nails its unique tone, mixing in tongue-in-cheek wit with compelling copy. When readers get something like this in their inbox, they know it’s from McSweeney’s–and they’re hooked:

“It’s back to school time (sorry, kids), but not for us working adults (dessert for dinner, right?!). Just because we’re not dragging our feet back to the ole classroom doesn’t mean we’re skimping on the reading. There’s too much good stuff out there. New poetry, heart-wrenching oral histories, and an all-ages fantasy novel that you can read in front of your kids who have homework to do. Or you can read it aloud to them, share the joy of reading—whatever! Who are we to parent your children? We have no idea what the latest child rearing trends are.”

Receive witticisms from McSweeney’s here.

Keep it simple.

Considering the fact that consumers are likely to skim–rather than thoroughly read–emails, your newsletter should get its point across in approximately 150 words or less. The Brooklyn-based temporary tattoo company Tattly sure knows how to keep things short and sweet. Every week, the brand sends a “Tattly Tuesday” email showcasing one of its new or relevant designs with very brief accompanying copy. It sticks to one topic to truly hold the reader’s interest. Tattly also does a great job of being consumer-focused, with openings like, “How’s everyone doing?,” a delightful sign-off (“Waving from Brooklyn), and the signature of its founder, Tina.

Join the Tattly fan club here.

Tags: Best Practices, Content Marketing, Facebook, Twitter

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