Creating the perfect newsletter for the holidays can be a great way to let your customers know what your company is up to and that you are thinking about them. The average opening rate for emails hovers a little over 20 percent, so you’ll have to customize your newsletter properly to make sure that a good amount of your audience reads it. One-third of email recipients open emails based on the subject line alone, which means it’s important to make the subject line something that readers will want to look at.
Once you get recipients to open your newsletter, you want to make sure that it is filled with valuable information that people will actually want to read. Here are some tips on constructing the perfect newsletter for the holidays:
Pick the right newsletter software
Using the right software when designing your company’s newsletter is key to getting people to open it when the newsletter appears in their inbox. If you don’t already have email marketing software you might want to try MailChimp. MailChimp helps more than 14 million people and businesses around the world create, send and track various types of email to their clients and customers.
What’s great about MailChimp is that they have plans and pricing for companies of all sizes. If your business is small and you have very little experience with email marketing, MailChimp offers a free plan that requires no experience in coding or design. With the free plan, you are still able to send up to 12,000 emails a month to an email list of no more than 2,000 subscribers. If your business is a little larger and you understand how to use things like automated workflows, or customer relationship management (CRM) features, you may want to consider an upgraded plan, which starts as low as $10 per month.
If MailChimp doesn’t quite fit your business needs there are plenty of other options that you can look at for your newsletter, both paid and free. Check out CakeMail, Emma, StockLayouts, or research your own and see what works well for your business.
Make it festive
When picking out a template for your holiday newsletter make sure that it is evocative of the festive time of year. Decorating your newsletter properly can go a long way to keep your readers engaged in your holiday content and keep them reading until the very end. Most of the email marketing providers we suggested to create your newsletter (like MailChimp) come with Christmas and holiday season themed templates built right in, so some of your work will already have been done for you, which is always nice this time of year. Pick a template that is appropriate for the season and will grab your readers’ attention.
What are you up to?
The point of a newsletter is to, well, bring your customers and reads up to speed regarding news and updates within your company. However, this is a holiday newsletter and can be used somewhat differently. For example, you could review the year that has passed and explain what your company has planned for the future. Tell your customers where your company was successful and also how you plan to improve in the new year. Spotlight any customers that have been helpful or integral to your business or any that deserve a special mention.
This is also the time to tell your customers what your company is doing during the holidays, on a personal level and also a promotional level. Let people know what kind of traditions you have around the office, or what charities you will be supporting. Also, let people know about special holiday sales, holiday hours, gift guides, final shipping dates for gifts, and anything else that they may need to be aware of.
Make sure your newsletter addresses each reader by their name. A personal touch goes a long way in connecting with your readers and also increases the open rates of email by 26 percent and deliver 6 times the transaction rates. MailChimp used something called Merge Tags to make this easy.
As technology continues to advance and become a part of our everyday lives, it becomes more and more important to make your emails and newsletters mobile friendly. Email analytics show that 55 percent of email is opened on a mobile device. Sending email that is not mobile compatible can be frustrating for readers and lead to them to unsubscribe from your newsletter.
It’s also important to organize your information so that the eye-catching news is at the beginning. People on mobile devices have a short attention span and while they may open more emails than someone on a desktop, they only spend 0-3 seconds going through each email. If you organize your newsletter properly and make it mobile friendly you are much more likely to have people open and read what you have to say.
Other tips for your holiday newsletter include avoiding spammy words in subject lines, don’t use ALL CAPS, and consider which holiday greeting is appropriate for your audience. Remember, people are bombarded by emails during the holiday season and won’t open an email unless they deem it important or it catches their attention. If you follow these tips you will be well on your way to sending out a successful holiday newsletter.