A lot has happened since email went out of fashion. Media went social. Memes went viral. Influencers influenced.
But now, marketing has come full circle. Email is back.
A newsletter is a great way for small businesses to connect with customers. It keeps your brand top of mind — but only if your customers read it. So how do you break through the inbox clutter and get your customers to open? Easy: A killer subject line.
As OnDeck examines in our new infographic guide to small business newsletters, a great subject line should be short, active and emotional. Choose a digestible phrase that will leap from your customer’s inbox as they scroll, creating a sense of urgency — whether it’s fear of missing out or the feeling of a gift. But keep your approach on-brand and pay off on your promises, or it’ll be the last time the recipient opens your mail.
Pajamas, Cheese, and Emails
The UK sleepwear brand Desmond & Dempsey excels at this approach. Their regular “Leisure Letter” and occasional emails with fun subjects like A Lesson In Cheese or Fast Cats, Slow Days build the brand indirectly through recipes, intimate reflections and mouth-watering recommendations.
Only in the footer, or occasional time-sensitive emails with titles like NEW PRINT ALERT! or SAMPLE SALE!, does the brand cash in on this goodwill with a prominent sales pitch. These latter examples may sound generic, but note that both ‘print’ and ‘sample’ offer something more unique than, say, PAJAMA SALE! — especially in the context of a long-sustained email relationship.
In other words, a small business newsletter is not just where a company shares its brand but where it develops it — an intimate dialogue with a committed customer base. Kept simple but bold, informal but structured, visual but informative, an email earns the kind of attention and engagement that keeps the form valuable nearly 45 years after the first mass email campaign was launched.
OnDeck has created the only guide you need to start a small business newsletter. We’ve incorporated winning examples, tips for best practices, a comparison of the best email platforms to use, and the calculations you need to determine whether your newsletter is doing what it should. Because once you’ve achieved the task of having a customer open your email, you face the epic task of keeping them reading.
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