E-Newsletter Best Practices

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The email newsletter, or e-newsletter, is one of the most effective ways for businesses to interact with their customers, providing valuable updates to a tailored list of partners, advertisers, or any group with a dedicated contact list. Email newsletters are also great traffic generators, functioning almost as a “portable” version of your website that can be delivered directly to the target audience, often directing that audience to the actual website.

But what should be in your e-newsletter, and perhaps more importantly, when should you send it out?

Your e-news content should be just that - content – actual, directly beneficial to the customer, content. Giving an individual on the receiving end of a mass email a reason to open it (and a reason to click links) is extremely important. An e-newsletter cannot not just be a billboard for your company. Give your customer something in return for their contact information.

Content, such as blogs, news articles, photographs, and links to unique areas of your website are great to use as the “meat and potatoes” of a good e-newsletter. There is nothing wrong with including advertising space, just remember that your e-newsletter needs to be engaging to the reader. Offer them something worthwhile.

There is some debate over the best time to send out a mass email, aiming to maximize opens and link clicks. The specific numbers vary slightly from study to study, of course, and it is always a good idea to trust your own metrics.

AWeber reports Saturday and Sunday as the highest open-rate days, at 41.1% and 36.7% respectively, while many other sources (including dashhelp.com and getspeedymail.com) report Wednesdays and Thursdays as the most productive days for e-newsletter opens.

The disparity lies in the target audience. The average customer has more free time on the weekends, and is therefore more likely to check, and read, their personal emails. Business or medical professionals however, often using business-related email addresses, are far more likely to be opening emails during the workweek.

Wednesday, as the middle of the week, is a logical leader for email opens. Mondays are too hectic. Tuesdays are spent catching up from Monday. While Thursday is still relatively high on the list, Fridays are one of the worst days for email opens, because everyone is prepping for the weekend, and more than ready to get out of the office.

As a general recommendation, sending your email broadcast on Tuesday or Wednesday is the best practice for connecting to readers during the week. For reaching your audience at home, sending an e-newsletter on Friday or Saturday will most likely yield the best results.

Every email newsletter will be targeted at a different audience, and the open/link click behaviors will undoubtedly vary from group to group – again, trust your own metrics and get to know the habits of your unique contacts. Happy Broadcasting!

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