The two minute newsletter check

I was sent an email over the weekend from a company promoting products in their online store. I was really keen to check these out and could may even been a potential buyer. But not ONE image or piece of text in this company's email was linked to their website. 

I was clicking on the images, which simply expanded into a light-box rather than sending me to their website, and I scoured the body text of the newsletter several times in an attempt to find a less obvious link. Nothing. Such a shame and a lost opportunity for this company with me, and I'm sure many other subscribers, being ready to be taken on a sales journey through their site.

This missed opportunity made me think: what are the top must-haves for newsletters? Here’s my checklist:

1. A call-to-action

The key point of sending a newsletter is to direct your audience to exactly where you want them to go, and make it appealing for them to want to go there! This might be to a lead page to download your e-book, to your new product range on your website, to your latest blog post or your tickets for sale.

Whatever it is, include this call-to-action VERY obviously in your email and more than once is a good idea too - towards the top of your newsletter for those in your audience who are ready to click straight away, and at the end of your email, which will capture those in your audience who need a little longer to be convinced (which you do through your fabulous writing!).

2. A link to your website

You may not have thought about it as it's rather instinctive, but the logo in the menu bar of a website generally takes you back to the homepage, doesn't it? That is the psychology that comes into play for the top banner image of your newsletter (typically your logo and/or other brand elements). Make sure you put a link behind this image to take your audience to your website.

So often I click on these banners and it simply makes the image larger, rather than sending me somewhere. Some people may not be interested in clicking onto a particular call to action in your newsletter but they want to explore your website or go directly to your product range, contact page or other. Make the most of click habits and get more of your newsletter audience exploring your website!

3. An option for your audience to unsubscribe

It's a legal requirement that you have a clear option for your audience to unsubscribe from receiving future emails. If there’s no unsubscribe link in your newsletter, your audience may instead mark it as ‘spam’, thereby causing your newsletters to be more harshly judged by spam filters. This means, more ending up the in 'junk' folder and not being read!

You are allowed to send your audience to one page to choose which newsletter lists (if applicable) they want to unsubscribe from but you aren't allowed to make your audience visit more than one page to unsubscribe. Treat your audience well in all of their dealings with you to build a better business.

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Emily OsmondComment