The monthly (or bimonthly, or weekly, or even daily) newsletter is a well-known pillar of chamber communications. Chambers of Commerce use this content piece to educate supporters about their latest achievements and projects, keep members engaged over time, and to lead them to deeper levels of support.
With the outrageous number of messages that the average person receives online, chambers need to optimize their emails or risk ending up in the trash folder. Here are several tips to make sure your chamber newsletter reaches supporters and keeps them engaged.
Establish the Right Frequency
The frequency of your chamber newsletter can make all the difference between staying in subscribers’ inboxes and ending up in their trash—or, worse yet, being unsubscribed from altogether. The key is to send consistent, relevant content often enough to stay top of mind without annoying readers.
Unfortunately, there’s no single correct frequency for all newsletters. Every chambers’s subscriber lists have different makeups, so you’ll need to perform tests to understand how often to communicate with your audience. A good starting point is to send an email at least once a month, or once every two weeks. You can then continue to conduct tests on samples from your subscriber list to determine an emailing frequency that generates the highest open and click-through rates.
Focus on the Subject Lines
Without a great subject line, all of the hard work you put into crafting a fantastic email can go to waste. A generic “January/February/March Newsletter” likely won’t cut it; it’s crucial to invest the time and effort to come up with an intriguing subject line for each of your emails that will make readers want to click.
Your subject lines should be clear, descriptive, and tell readers exactly what they need to know and why it matters. Brevity is also key. Always aim for under 50 characters, but given that the majority of email opens occur on mobile, you may want to focus on subject lines that are 20 characters or less to account for smaller screens.
In any case, you want to deliver the most important information at the beginning of your subject line so that it can’t be missed. With such little real estate, make sure to cut out any words that don’t add value or let readers know why your email is worth their time. Also consider playing with subject lines that create a knowledge gap, intriguing readers to click through to learn more.
Prioritize Attractive Design
Your email design should be clean, simple, and easy to read. Its design should guide the reader’s eye linearly from top to bottom, and it should be easy to quickly scroll and read through on a mobile device. For this reason, opt for a single-column layout. This will keep smartphone users happier, since readers on smaller screens would have to scroll horizontally to see a full multi-column email. In any case, you should be delivering responsive emails that adapt beautifully to any screen size in order to accommodate readers who are on the go.
All of your chamber newsletters should reiterate your visual branding elements, such as fonts, logo, and signature colors. When you keep these elements consistent across your communications, you reinforce your brand identity, boost your professionalism, and help readers recognize your messages.
Make It Scannable
Your readers are typically on the move, especially if they’re reading from their mobile device. Combine this with the fact that the average attention span maxes out at eight seconds, and this means that most people will only spend a few moments reading your email. To sustain their attention and increase your chances of readers clicking through to your website, your messages need to be scannable.
Here are a few tips:
A well-crafted, beautifully designed newsletter can be a powerful tool to keep members and supporters engaged with your work. As you optimize different elements of your email, it’s important that you continue to run tests to find what content, delivery schedule, and design work best with your subscriber list. Some extra attention can improve the overall open and engagement rates of your chamber newsletter and ultimately power your success.