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Nobody signs up for a newsletter these days – we all have more than we can possibly read in our inboxes, so the secret is to offer something of value to get the right people on your list.

Secondly, there are loads of newsletters, but the open and read rates are often disappointing.  On the other hand, there are people who have enormously successful newsletters.  What makes theirs stand out?

Here are my top 10 tips:

  1. A catchy subject line: It’s the first thing people see and needs to grab either their interest or trigger their curiosity.
  2. Lead with value: If the first article has something of value to your reader, they’ll keep coming back for more.
  3. Know your audience: There are two aspects to this, the first is to ensure that the people who sign up to your list are the right people.  The second is to know what they want and deliver content that ticks their boxes.
  4. Make it interesting: That means using images, graphics, video, infographics and interactive elements like quizzes, surveys, useful documents that can be downloaded, etc.
  5. Mobile friendly: Most newsletters are created using online software and the default is desktop.  The good ones have the option to view your newsletter in mobile format.  If they don’t find a platform that offers this.  Most people view on their mobiles, so it must work in that view.
  6. Special offers: Give your readers something others don’t get (and use this feature when you’re asking people to sign up).  Discounts others don’t get, early access to new products, services or material, unique content nobody else will see, etc.
  7. Social proof: Use your case studies, testimonials and social media comments to underline your value.  Third party validation is powerful and builds in trust.
  8. Make it easy for people to take action: When you want them to do something – visit your website, download something or complete a survey or questionnaire – make it bold and embed the link to make it a one-click action.
  9. Make sharing attractive: Encourage people to share it with others who may be interested.  Maybe offer an incentive or reward for sharing or subscribing too.
  10. Monitor, Measure and Manage: Keep track of opens, test what works and what doesn’t.  Be open to making changes if what you’re doing isn’t getting the results you want.