So, “split-test” subject lines - measure which your target market prefers. Most customer relationship management systems (CRMs) enable split-tests and reveal opening rates and bounce rates, Iseli-Hall says, and points to MailChimp, Sendpepper, AWeber, and Constant Contact. Whichever you use, remember to put the recipient's first name in the subject line to boost the opening rate, she says.
2. Keep the newsletter short and sweet, Iseli-Hall says. Her reason: long newsletters often get filed for “later reading”, destined for oblivion. Be brief and your audience will get used to your message and open it because it takes minutes to read.
3. Never lead with your branding. “This one is huge,” Iseli-Hall says. Even design agencies get this wrong, she adds.
If you put your branding at the top or all over your newsletter, it will look “super-salesy”: a no-no.
“Most people don't care about your brand - they care about what's in it for them,” Iseli-Hall says. Branding should go at the bottom with your contact details.
4. Make your newsletter personal, Iseli-Hall says. Speak to your recipients as if addressing one person instead of 1000. So, rather than saying, “Hi everyone, how is everyone?” say “Hi <first name>, I trust you are well...”
Also personalise your newsletter by giving contacts a reason to “connect”. People want to know what you have been doing. So, include a sentence that shows you are human. If, say, you are learning to surf, mention that.
5. Convey valuable knowledge, Iseli-Hall says. “Make sure your newsletters are stacked with valuable information.” Skip blatant selling or people will opt out of your database. Instead, in the bottom of your email, feature a client testimonial. That tells your prospects and clients that others are getting results and might need your product or services.
6. Conduct target market research, says business advisor Alex Pirouz. Find out how many newsletters customers actually want to receive. Most people bungle by sending too many or not enough. Ask up to 300 clients how often they want to be communicated with each week. Then, listen to the market and follow that structure.
7. Segment your database, says Pirouz. Filter your contacts into categories to ensure the content they get strikes a chord.
8. Avoid attachments, says Pirouz. Attachments may mean that your marketing emails are automatically treated as spam. Embed a link instead.
9. Before hitting your whole database perform at least three vital “dry runs”, Pirouz says. Each test group you target should contain 100 contacts, minimum. Assess the feedback you get.
10. Ensure your newsletter comes from a reputable domain name. Remember: many spammers send e-newsletters from personal accounts such as Hotmail, Gmail and Yahoo.
Fail to send your newsletter from your business domain name and it may be marked as spam and never reach that crowded inbox.
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/small-business/smallbiz-marketing/get-your-newsletter-read-10-hot-tips-20120124-1qf70.html#ixzz2Lyq3eqZF