If you're like most people, you get dozens of emails per day but how many of those emails do you actually open and take the time to read? People don't really have the time to read through every single email so a well designed newsletter along with a captivating subject line is pivotal to ensure your email doesn't get lost in the not interested bin.
The first thing to keep in mind is that in 2014 more than 50% of all people open their emails on their mobile devices so designing a newsletter that is responsive (meaning it renders the same on all browsers and mobile devices) is a given. Even then if you don't take certain measures, people will open your email, look at it for a few seconds and move on.
As mentioned earlier, having a captivating subject line is a must, but that is only for the sake of not having your email deleted before the user even opens it. Stay clear of buzzwords and phrases that mention free, check-out, smiley faces or exclamation points. Not only are these words in subject lines outdated but they also trigger spam filters that hinder your well elaborated newsletter from even reaching its destination!
Newsletters shouldn't be just about talking about specials (at least not on the surface) they should offer the reader with useful tips and valuable information that will have them aware of how knowledgeable your shop or store is. Be sure to not sound too verbose with the content, remember quality over quantity and put yourself in the reader's shoes, do you really have time to read a long monotonous email?
Also, be sure to visually highlight key message as well as ask questions, implement images and provide useful information based on previous feedback. Make sure they know you listen to the little guy and have their best interests at heart. A lot of us think that just because we have thousands of addresses in our email list that it will mean more people will open and read your newsletter. While there is logic in this theory, what good is it for you if the email is long and boring, chances are readers will instantly hit unsubscribe not to mention your click through rates will be disappointing.
Portray yourself as well as your shop as a place they can connect to, personalize your emails (if you can, we know it's tough) writing your emails as interesting and as brief as possible. Picture yourself having a conversation with the reader as opposed to giving them a long dull speech. Your reader will appreciate your efforts and look forward to your next email. So make sure you are consistent with the emails you write and let them subtly let them know of specials and how important each and every one of them is.
Remember it's better to have 100 interested readers looking forward to your weekly/bi-weekly/monthly newsletter than an email list of thousands and abysmal click through rates.