3 ideas for smarter newsletters

By Lauren Rogers on September 20, 2016

By Lauren Rogers on September 20, 2016

If you’re just starting out with email newsletters, it can be a challenge to know whether or not you’re doing things the right way.

If you’re not already using these three ideas as part of your email newsletter marketing, I definitely recommend you try them out. They can make your newsletter (and you) look even smarter!

1. Link it up!

Do you have a website? Is your organization active on social media? You don’t want to overwhelm viewers with unnecessary buttons, but including links to a few of your social media platforms and your website makes sense for most organizations.

Your newsletter can be a tool to drive people to visit your website and engage with you on social media. Adding buttons to your email newsletter template makes sure that those links are present in each newsletter you send. You can do the work one time and benefit from easy access to your online presence for the rest of the newsletters you send.

2. Check your emails

No, not your inbox—though if you need to go take care of that, feel free. I’ll wait.

Okay, if you’re importing a list of new subscribers, you want to check them before you add them to to your email newsletter list. Most services like MailChimp and Constant Contact are permission-based newsletter delivery services, so you can’t use lists that you buy or rent. That’s the baseline—they have to be people who opted in to your list.

But even if people have indicated that they want to receive your email newsletters (by signing up for more information at a trade show, signing up for your newsletter on your website, or some other way) it’s best to verify that what you’ve got are all real email addresses.

You may still get some email addresses on your trade-show signup form that are misspelled or no longer in use. Or your email newsletter signup on your website may receive a few spammy submissions.

Using an email checker to clean your list can help you eliminate those email addresses that would bloat your list. If you’re going to check your list’s click-through and open rates, you’ll want your list to really reflect the people who opted into your list. Otherwise those metrics will be inaccurate. We like Email-Checker, but there are other options out there if that one doesn’t strike your fancy.

3. Send test emails!

Sending a test email to yourself before sending or scheduling a newsletter is a great way to avoid an embarrassing mistake. Check for anything you’ve accidentally left off or anything you accidentally left in your newsletter that’s out of date. Make sure your links go to where you expect them to, and that they work.

One exception: If you use built in share buttons that services like MailChimp have, but you manually link them to a blog that’s scheduled for sometime in the future, you actually want to avoid clicking most of the social media share buttons that link to that blog post. Sites like Facebook try to load the page to grab the title, description and thumbnail. But since the blog isn’t published yet, they get an error message instead and then cache that error even when the blog is live later.

Since Twitter’s post won’t have an image, you can click on the Twitter share button to make sure it displays the right link.

These ideas are simple once you get the hang of them. But they can help your newsletter communicate that your company is competent and capable. And no matter what your newsletter looks like, that’s never a bad thing.

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