There are a lot of factors that go into making a well-read email newsletter, including a catchy subject line, a thoughtful intro and useful content. The most important ingredient? Consistency, says ecommerce consultant Kurt Elster.
Elster noted the best email newsletters are predictable. They land in your inbox on a specific day and at a specific time. Being consistent with your email newsletter lets people know when they can expect your content, said Elster, who leveraged his own email newsletters to build a thriving Shopify consultancy.
“When I committed to a schedule and then never skipped it, that’s when open rates went up and reply rates went up,” Elster said.
Elster admits writing a regular email newsletter is tough. Once you hit send on your latest newsletter is written, it’s already time to write the next one. How do you keep pace? Elster offered the following tips on a recent episode of home-dev.rasa.io’s Pushing Send podcast.
1. Set an email newsletter schedule.
It’s important not to let too much time pass between emails to customers. First, determine how often you will send your newsletter, Elster said. Consider how that aligns with your other email marketing efforts. Next, pick a day and time to send your newsletter, and stick to it.
Elster said a lot of businesses wait until they feel like they have significant news to share before sending their next newsletter. That approach allows too much time for your audience to forget about you and your work, he added.
He recommends sending a newsletter at least twice a month to start, and increasing frequency over time.
2. Hold yourself accountable.
Elster noted people who subscribe to your email list expect to receive consistent content, whether it be a newsletter, original videos and podcasts, or promotional offers.
When people sign up to get emails from you, follow up with a welcome email that reaffirms what content they can expect to get from you and how often they will get it. Doing so engages the reader at a point when they’re most excited about your offering. It also acts as a kind of accountability contract, pushing you to deliver what you say you will.
“That’s when they’re like, ‘Alright, what’s this guy got to offer?’ They’re basically saying, ‘OK, I’ll give you a shot. Impress me. Sell me,’” Elster said. “That’s your opportunity to jump in there and start building that relationship.”
3. Send more emails.
Elster said many email newsletter marketers early in their careers are afraid to annoy people with too many messages in their inboxes. Many writers might let a month or more lapse between email newsletters, which is “a lifetime in inbox years,” he added.
“You don’t want to be spammy, right?” Elster said. “But by virtue of being worried about being annoying or spammy, you will 100% end up doing yourself a disservice.”
Sending more emails keeps you top-of-mind and out of the spam folder, he said.
“If someone signed up for your list and they don’t have the email for a month, there is a 99% chance they have forgotten who you are,” Elster said. “They’re gonna hit unsubscribe like they’re flushing a toilet and then mark you with spam.”