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At Blue Juice Design, we create a fair number of digital newsletters – weekly ones, many monthly or bi-monthly issues and adhoc editions.

As visual communicators and partners to our clients, we asked ourselves why some newsletters are more effective than others. It’s actually quite a science.

There are many variables to consider.  Here’s what we’ve discovered through asking comms teams about their processes, comparing various newsletters and analysing their statistics to see trends in effectiveness:

  1. Professional design is key to getting a users’ attention and peak their curiosity.
  2. Good content that’s well written will resonate with your audience. This comes with an understanding of your audience and knowing how to meet their need.   In today’s whizzing-world we’ve all learnt to skim read to get through the sheer amount of content we’re engulfed in.  Your content has to be concise, engaging and most important:
  3. Distribution consistency (same time of month) is key if your intention is to provide a reliable source of relevant content both for your contributors for planning, and your audience who will come to rely on the monthly issue to deliver the updates and information they need. This is the best-case scenario where you create a demand and an expectation.
  4. Don’t dilute the effectiveness of your monthly newsletter by sending loads of adhoc email messages. Create the demand by deliberately planning one really well planned and designed newsletter instead of sending many messages that aren’t consistent in design, tone of voice or relevance.
  5. Don’t make everything click through to a story hosted on your intranet or within a blog on your website. Some information should be bite size enough to be contained within the newsletter to deliver enough of the message they need. If users need to click on every story to get the just of it you’ll likely start seeing your click rate drop.  This also means the length of your newsletter is important.  Don’t overwhelm users with too many stories – bite size is best.
  6. Using an EMS (Email Messaging Service) such as MailChimp, Newsweaver or others is recommended. They’re already built for responsive view so they’ll adapt to any device screen.  And this generally gets around any software updates released for Outlook which is predominantly used and we’ve seen cause a fair amount of havoc with newsletter layouts.
  7. Tracking and analytics are important. Analyse the click rates and look for trends – what are your audience clicking most often and then push more of that kind of content.

We hope this helps make your newsletters more effective.

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