20 Ways to Make Your Email Newsletter Great

I received this email recently and was taken by its overall content and design. It is an email from The Fountain Bistro & Drive-Thru in Bellingham (a favorite night time haunt for the wife and me). It has most everything I’d want in an email newsletter so I thought it’d be worthwhile to dissect it step-by-step for you.

If it’s too hard to read in it’s shrunken state here, you can open a full size in a new tab/window by clicking here.

  1. There’s a boat load of information here but it is all visually broken down into bite-size sections (pun intended). This makes it easy for each recipient to skip to what’s important to them. I would like to see one or two more pictures given the amount of text.
  2. Social media links at the top to encourage sharing. My only complaint is that I thought they were links to The Fountain Bistro’s profiles at each site.
  3. The sender’s identity is established right away and the visual brand reaffirmed right away. They’re not letting anyone wonder who the heck this is about. I’ve seen many newsletters that don’t tell you this until you get to the bottom thus wasting all opportunity to associate the information with brand.
  4. Nice use of white space. This encourages the recipient to start reading.
  5. Gets right to the crux of the matter, creative menu items. Lots of details because, after all, this is what’s being sold.
  6. Social events are highlighted. 50% of the population are extroverts who require socialization after hours to rejuvenate after a tough day (unlike the other 50% of us who need our caves).
  7. Club building! Giving people another way to belong and capturing their information so they don’t get left out or behind in the future.
  8. Giving people a reason to come in with mid-week specials. Ask anyone in the restaurant business, if it ain’t Friday or Saturday, it’s anyone’s guess how busy they’ll be.
  9. Links to always updated information. Don’t assume people won’t retrieve your emails weeks or months in the future.
  10. Mobile marketing! Are you kidding me? Who wants a latte deal right now? ME! ME! And I don’t need a high-priced smart phone to take advantage of this.
  11. Placing links to the most important elements of the web site into the email. Who knows if your followers will be motivated to visit your web site any other time? Let’s toss ’em a bone while we have their attention.
  12. Promoting trade partners. There’s nothing like generosity to help people like you better than they already do.
  13. “Find Us?” Maybe this should say “Follow Us?” I’ll let you tell me what you think in the comments.
  14. Links to social media profiles. Yea us!
  15. What the near future holds. Planting the suggestions now so you can be first one on their calendar. I bet reminder emails will be sent too.
  16. Forward-to-a-friend link. “Hey co-workers, let’s all go down for ‘Wine Wednesday’ this week. Who’s with me?”
  17. One-click unsubscribing. Brilliant, shows respect for the audience.
  18. Using Constant Contact is a great way to stay out of the spam and junk mail folders. Email service providers like CC battle daily to ensure this. If you’ve been sending bulk emails from your company email server, there’s a good likelihood you’ve been blacklisted due to no fault of your own (well, at least not intentionally) and Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo! and others automatically send your emails to your customers’ junk mail folders or, in some cases, don’t even deliver them at all.
  19. Physical address is included. It’s nice to be CAN-SPAM
  20. And to make it a nice round 20-item list, the color-scheme and text size make this easy to read. As the majority of our population have reached 60 years of age, this becomes more important.

So those are my kudos to whoever The Fountain Bistro has preparing their emails. What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.


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