Tips for Making Sure Readers See Your Email Images



E-Newsletters are an excellent way for your niche publication to stay connected to readers. One element that is necessary to any e-newsletter is the image. Pictures immediately draw the attention of the recipient, which means it is crucial that your images not only be remarkable, but able to be seen as well. Take a peek at a few tips for making sure readers see your email images:

Niche Media

Take a peek at some tips for making sure readers see the images in your emails.

  • Check the weight and size: One of the first things you should do when making sure readers can see your email images is understanding the size and weight requirements. Get a better idea of what makes an image too big by talking with your email service provider to learn more about what the requirements are.
  • Use meaningful tags: The text that goes along with an image is just as important as the image itself. Make sure you are using meaningful tags for your images in order for them to reach full potential. Consider using tags as an opportunity for a call to action to help readers get involved.
  • Test it out: It is crucial to test your email with images to make sure you know how it will look when it hits your readers’ inbox. This will also give you a better idea of what readers are seeing when they open the email so that you can adjust it accordingly.
Having a great e-newsletter is important to your niche magazine. Make sure you are taking every step to help it reach the full potential.

 

 

Photo from Free Digital Photos

A Page Out of Our Yearbook: Email Marketing Subject Line Tips



Email marketing is an integral part of your niche publication’s content marketing strategy. Having well put together e-newsletters and emails is important in order to make sure they catch the attention of the reader. Part of being attractive to your audience members is creating great subject lines. Take a look at some tips for email marketing subject lines:

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Check out some tips for creating great email subject lines.

  • Length: The length of your subject line is very important and should be taken into consideration. It is best to keep your email subject lines between 45 to 60 characters in order to avoid it being cut off by browsers. You should try to be as descriptive as you can within this character limit to avoid readers trying to figure out the purpose of the email.
  • Punctuation and symbols: Using symbols and punctuation in your email subject lines is also a good way to attract attention. For instance, instead of using the word “and” use the ‘+” sign to draw attention to the email and make it stand out among others.
  • Numbers: In addition to using symbols in your email subject lines, you should also use numbers to catch attention and generate interest. Numbers are short, to the point and let readers know right away what they can expect for the email.
Having good subject lines for your email marketing is crucial in order to see success. Email marketing is also very important in generating readers for your niche magazine.

 

 

 

Photo from Free Digital Photos

Top 5 e-Newsletter Elements to A/B Split Test



Are you using A/B split testing to evaluate key elements of your e-newsletter? If not, you’re merely playing a guessing game when it comes to content and design decisions. No matter how big or how small your e-news audience, you should be taking advantage of this simple method of testing to fine-tune your e-news product and stop gambling on hunches and guesses when it comes to important e-marketing decisions.

If you’re new to A/B Split Testing—don’t panic—the concept is quite simple and easy to implement. When putting together your next e-newsletter chose one element that you’ve considered changing, but rather than just blindly going ahead with the change, send the altered version of your e-newsletter to only a segment of your subscriber list, then compare the response rates with those from your current unaltered e-newsletter.

If you have a small subscriber list (<5,000-10,000) you’ll need to do a true “A/B” split and send the altered test version of your e-newsletter to half of your list in order to have a reliable test pool. The larger your subscriber list, the more complicated A/B split testing you can experiment with in any one issue, as you can segment out multiple batches of control and test groups within your audience base. Check out this article from ClickZ if you’re completely new to A/B split testing: http://www.clickz.com/clickz/column/2144332/steps-effective-email-testing

Here are our top five most interesting elements that produced dramatically different results in recent A/B split test case studies:

  1. Subject Line: Possibly the most important element in your e-newsletter—if your readers don’t buy into the subject line, they’ll send your e-news offering straight to the trash before any of your fabulous content or design ideas even have a chance to win them over. This makes consistent subject line testing well-worth your time. My Emma recently tested a long-versus-short subject line; betting on the short subject line to win, due in part to the increase in views on mobile devices, they were surprised to find that a longer subject line had a 3% greater open rate.
  1. Button Color: Try a red or orange button color for your call to action—whether it is “Buy Now,” “Register,” or “Subscribe,” tests have found something as simple as bright colors increase response rates dramatically. GSM Mobile found a 5% increase in response after changing their “Buy Now” button from green to orange.
  1. Navigation Menu: Try testing the removal of your navigation menu or other elements that are cluttering up your e-news layout. You’ll be surprised how often less is more when it comes to design and layout. Yuppiechef recently saw conversion rates jump 100%, from 3% to 6%, when they removed their navigation menu.
  1. Pop-up forms: They may be annoying and you might have sworn you’ll never use them, but try testing before you make this decision. Visual Website Optimizer saw a 50% increase in response with the addition of a pop-up form to solicit subscriptions to their e-newsletter.
  1. Content Shifts: While content is the most time-consuming and resource-intensive element to test, it might just be the most effective change you can implement in your e-newsletter. Sensing that your topics are too stuffy and wanting to lighten-up the tone of your articles? Concerned that your content focus is leaving out large segments of your potential audience, but too worried about losing your current readers to experiment with new content? Try A/B split testing before you make any major shifts in editorial content and then you can tweak your editorial focus with confidence.

The beauty of A/B split testing is the security you’ll feel in knowing your e-marketing decisions are backed up by solid data and not mere shots in the dark. Instead of your marketing team crossing their fingers and blindly hoping for good results, you can rely on testing results to feel confident in your e-marketing choices, and that confidence is well-worth the extra time and effort it takes to conduct A/B split tests on a regular basis.

 

This originally appeared as part of our Vitamin E e-newsletter for e-newsletters. All the articles:

e-Revenue: 6 Ways to Improve Your Ad Sales e-Newsletter

E-Newsletter Layout: Three Things that Should Appear in the Preview Pane View

Top 5 e-Newsletter Elements to A/B Split Test

How to Use Video to Increase e-Newsletter Revenue

Carl’s Capsules: Top 10 Reasons to Attend the Unconference

E-Newsletter of the Month: Condé Nast’s GQ Pulls off a Daily e-Newsletter with Simplicity, Style, and Sales Savvy

e-Toon

Re-run: Mastering QR Codes to Increase Subscriptions

E-Newsletter of the Month: Condé Nast’s GQ Pulls off a Daily e-Newsletter with Simplicity, Style, and Sales Savvy



Is your e-newsletter looking a bit dull these days? Check out GQ’s free daily e-newsletter for a few ideas on how you might simplify your design while maintaining reader interest and increasing opportunities for free-to-paid subscriber conversion.

When you sign up for GQ’s e-news, you might be a bit perturbed to find out it is a daily e-news offering. Do I really want tips on men’s fashion, sports, entertainment, and politics along with pressure to be uber-stylish nearly 365-days a year?! But the amazing thing about GQ’s e-news design is how simple and non-intrusive it feels.

We here at Niche signed up to receive the e-newsletter, as part of our ongoing e-news research, and while many e-newsletters have caused us to hit the “unsubscribe” button long ago, GQ’s e-news somehow manages to strike the balance between offering just enough interesting content to keep us reading, while not bombarding us to the point of unsubscribing.

So how do they do it? GQ utilizes three simple elements that accomplish everything they need their free e-newsletter to do:

Less is More: GQ’s e-newsletter opening page is strikingly simple. The “above the fold” section of the page always contains one large graphic with the title and a sentence or two from the featured daily article. Below the fold you’ll find four more article links on the left-hand side, designed with a single uniform-sized graphic for each article and only the first sentence of the piece, along with a “read more” button. This leaves the lower right-hand corner of the e-newsletter open for a large “subscribe now” button with a free gift offer.

Address Reader’s Diverse Interests: If GQ was only going for simplicity and counteracting reader burnout in their e-newsletter design, they might focus on just the featured article and the subscription offer—yet, by throwing in the four links to other articles they are able to draw in their reader’s attention and cover diverse interests. Just when your reader thinks “I’m not really into men’s fashion” and is ready to unsubscribe because the feature article is on how brown is the new black for Spring suits, he sees a link to an interview with Jeremy Lin and an analysis of the latest presidential debate and you’ve maintained a subscriber without adding too much clutter to your e-news format.

Plug Your Product with a Clear and Simple Offer: While your e-newsletter is always going to succeed or fail based on the quality and relevance of its content—don’t pretend to be too cool to sell your product while you’re at it. If you are delivering the content your readers want, then they won’t mind a simple and direct sales pitch along with it. GQ gets it just right, as they never fail to include a large and tempting “subscribe now” offer on the lead page of their e-newsletter, but it’s one simple pitch accompanied by quality content, so the e-news offering never feels like a sales-pitch-in-disguise. If you’re sending your readers free, quality content on a consistent basis, they’re sharp enough to know that your company is not merely offering a public service, but has a product to sell, and they won’t mind if your e-news contains that sales pitch—as long as it doesn’t invade the editorial message or take over your e-newsletter’s core content.

 

This originally appeared as part of our Vitamin E e-newsletter for e-newsletters. All the articles:

e-Revenue: 6 Ways to Improve Your Ad Sales e-Newsletter

E-Newsletter Layout: Three Things that Should Appear in the Preview Pane View

Top 5 e-Newsletter Elements to A/B Split Test

How to Use Video to Increase e-Newsletter Revenue

Carl’s Capsules: Top 10 Reasons to Attend the Unconference

E-Newsletter of the Month: Condé Nast’s GQ Pulls off a Daily e-Newsletter with Simplicity, Style, and Sales Savvy

e-Toon

Re-run: Mastering QR Codes to Increase Subscriptions

What Pinterest Can Teach Us About e-Newsletter Design



Potent protection against dull e-newsletter design

You’ve probably heard the latest social media buzz about the Pinterest craze: what started out as a site to bookmark and share recipe, decorating, fashion, and party ideas—mostly among women—has exploded into one of the most popular new social media outlets on the web. While Pinterest’s 12 million unique visitors per month doesn’t even come close to rivaling Facebook’s 167 million—the time spent on the site per visitor (an average of 1 hour and 17 minutes) beats Twitter, Linkedin and Google+ combined. This means that Pinterest is a site to watch as it is significantly driving web traffic and broadening its user base rapidly.

Not just for “ladies’ interests” any longer, Pinterest is now being used by companies as diverse as home builders, such as Brookfield Homes San Diego,  to t-shirt manufacturer Sevenly.

While the site’s potential for corporate promotion is still in its infancy, what is obvious is the instant appeal of Pinterest’s simple and streamlined design. Why not take a hint from this forward-thinking site and incorporate a few of these elements in your next e-newsletter redesign:

  • Chronology is out: Try moving away from Reverse Chronology in your e-newsletter, blog, and website design. While Facebook and Twitter rely on the default organizational style of “newest-to-oldest” when it comes to organizing information, Pinterest’s popularity shows us that alternative modes of organization might just be the wave of the future. This can help great content from feeling “old,” just because you posted it last week and allow you to get more mileage from your most valuable content.
  • Hierarchy is out, Uniformity is in: Part of Pinterest’s appeal is the “flattening” of information that refuses to tell readers what content is most or least important. The site’s style utilizes a uniform post-it style design and size for each “pin” on a user’s board. This creates a streamlined and visually appealing look that many e-newsletters could take a lesson from.
  • Streamlining is in, Clutter is out: How many e-Newsletters have you seen that look like a cluttered mess of indiscernible text? From a design standpoint what is so appealing about Pinterest is its streamlined visual presentation that relies heavily on graphics. The site is not bogged-down by extensive text. Users browse the site visually, then click-thru to other websites to read the details of only the content they want to know more about. Certainly the content of your e-newsletter will be the most important aspect to your readers in the end, but if your design is off-putting readers won’t take the time to discover your content gems. Use streamlined graphics and titles on your e-newsletter’s opening page and save the lengthy text for another layer of your website or blog which your readers can access only after clicking on a “read more” link.

This post is part of our monthly Vitamin E(newsletter) – a newsletter all about e-newsletters. To read more from this month’s e-newsletter:

eDistribution: Email Deliverability Tips & Myths (Part 2)

AntioxiDesign: What Pintarest Can Teach Us About e-Newsletter Design

eContent: 10 Fresh Content Ideas to Perk Up Your e-Newsletter (Part 2)

Carl’s Capsules: Have You Filled Out Your Own Contact/Subscribe Form Lately?

e-News of the Month: Pregnancy Weekly

(r)e-Run of the Month: e-Newsletter Revenue Generation

eToon: Free Doughnuts

eTube: Use Your e-Newsletter to Boost SEO!

Read All About It: E-Newsletter Checklist- Part I



E-newsletters are still a very essential role in content marketing strategies. If done correctly, e-newsletters are wonderful for maintaining audience attention as well as generating new leads. Creating an effective E-Newsletter for your niche publication can be somewhat difficult if you aren’t accustomed to it. We’ve rounded up a few tips and tricks for putting together the ideal e-newsletter. In this section of our two part series, we will discuss the beginning steps of the process, take a look:

Niche Media

Creating a good E-Newsletter involves various steps and actions.

  • Planning: Before you do anything else with your e-newsletter, it is crucial to have a solid plan for it. The last thing you want hitting a reader’s inbox is an unorganized E-Newsletter that will upset and confuse them. It is often best to plan your E-Newsletter strategy to match your overall content marketing strategy so that the audience feels the same tone and goals as they do in your publication.
  • Design and layout: After your initial planning is done, it is time to consider the design and layout for the e-newsletter. Create a streamline and organized E-Newsletter in order to get more out of readers. Stick to neutral colors and a good combination of pictures and text.
  • Readability: A well-designed e-newsletter is nothing without it being able to be read by audiences. In order to keep the content readable, keep paragraphs short and sweet and learn to summarize items rather than include everything. Also be sure the font type and size is consistent throughout and use bullets or other dividers to make scanning easier.
E-newsletters are a wonderful way to stay connected to your audiences while also giving them pieces of information they may not receive with the original publication.

Adapted from an article by George Passwater of Passwater Media and originally posted on the Content Marketing Institute blog here.

Photo from Free Digital Photos

How to Connect with Your e-Newsletter Readers



By Melanie Kirin, e-Newsletter World Conference Director

Are you making the most of your e-newsletters? 69% of studied e-Newsletter readers said that they look forward to receiving at least one e-newsletter, and most readers said an e-newsletter had become a part of their routine [NN/G Email Newsletter Usability Study].  More than websites, social media, and traditional media, e-newsletters create a bond between the sender and the recipient. How can you impassion your readers and future readers? Make it, and keep it, about the users. Here are four ways to do just that.

Phone-friendly design guidelines

1.  User Generated Content:  Read blog posts, such as industry blog sites, and the associated reader responses to find compelling content for your e-newsletters.  Joe Pulizzi gives all the pros and cons here.

2.  User friendly subscribing and unsubscribing:  Don’t hide the unsubscribe link.  If some readers don’t want your content, let them go. This will give you more accurate data regarding your readership, and you won’t be wasting time, money, and effort reaching out to people who aren’t interested.

3.  User designed content and structure for mobile readership:  Many e-newsletters are scanned on mobile devices during ‘down times’, so ensure the design of your message is developed for mobile scanability. Next month we will take a detailed look at mobile design and talk details.  This graphic from Mass Transmit has the basic guidelines to get you started.

4.  User defined length and frequency: How long and how frequent?  If it is all about your readers, ask them.  Then deliver, test, and refine. Create usability groups, segment your content by user group, and continue to test the outcomes of your efforts.

Have a technique that has worked well for you and your market? Talk about your  successes and join the conversation @ LinkedIn.

 

Other articles in Niched Out – January 2012:

• Ad Sales Mania: Boost Ad Sales with a Unique Value Statement
• Custom Content Oz: Open New Revenue Steams with Custom Publishing

• Success Story of the Month: Texterity’s Help with Rich Media and Mobile Paves Peloton’s Road to Success

• Niche Notes

• Niched Out Magazine of the Month: Manure Manager
• Email Marketing Tip of the Month