Your email newsletter database is valuable. After all, these people signed up to receive your content. They must be eager to consume it, right?
And yet, the average email open rate in 2020 is 18% . That means less than one out of every five subscribers you earn will see the content you submit.
Some brands that receive the daily e-newsletter have had better success. Morning Brew, theSkimm and The Hustle have risen to the top of the newsletter game with open rates approaching 50% and the total number of subscribers makes the rest of us jealous. Hustle has built something so good that marketing software company HubSpot recently bought it in a deal. worth $27 million.
How to get people who have expressed interest in your branded content to open and (hopefully) read it? Here are some lessons content marketers can learn from the successes of this email newsletter.
Table of Contents
1. No click required
That may seem counterintuitive to marketers. However, if the target your content If you want to build a valuable relationship with your audience, it makes sense: Don’t make your audience work harder on your content than they have to.
Each newsletter also gets to the point quickly. For example, theSkimm aggregates its several-hundred-word feature story into a simple paragraph that appears at the end of the main article. Here are some of the effects of the pandemic on women and mothers:
The pandemic has exacerbated flaws in the US system that has frustrated women and mothers. And it continues to highlight racial inequality. Now, some lawmakers are taking the initiative to tackle decades-old issues.
By carefully designing your e-newsletter with your audience in mind, you can better address diverse reading habits. Create subheadings and excerpts for skimming readers , while also providing longer passages and additional resources for the in-depth reader. Remember: Readers don’t exhibit the same behaviors every day. Someone may be short on time one day but have more time to read another day. Or one topic might capture one reader’s interest but leave another less engaging.
Create subheadings and excerpts for quick reading, and provide longer sections and additional resources for in-depth readers, said @AnnGynn via @CMIContent. #EmailMarketing #Newsletters Click to Tweet
2. Create custom – and consistent headlines
Even though they signed up to receive your content, very few people will search for it in a crowded inbox. Make it easier for them to recognize your e-newsletter – express your brand voice your and visual identification in subject lines. A consistent look is more eye-catching than random words.
Both The Hustle and Morning Brew use emojis in their subject lines. Hustle chooses an emoji that matches the content of the day.
Morning Brew uses the same emoji – a coffee mug – in all of its daily newsletters. The image intelligently matches its branding.
Although it ignores emojis in the subject line, Skimm stays consistent by putting “Daily Skimm:” at the beginning of each subject line.
Consistent brand headlines benefit each of these newsletters. I like Morning Brew’s consistent emoji for a number of reasons. It repeats the brand name and takes up less space, allowing more news in the subject line. I’m not a fan of using “Skimm” twice in its emails – the sender and subject line seem like overkill when capacity is high.
Visual consistency helps you #EmailNewsletter stand out in crowded inboxes. @AnnGynn said @MorningBrew’s coffee emoji cleverly echoes the brand name, @AnnGynn via @CMIContent said. Click to post a Tweet
3. Acknowledge your voice
Naming the people behind your content lets your audience see that your brand is made up of living people – not a faceless corporation that only cares about sales.
All three newsletters incorporate that human aspect by attributing the people behind the news – incorporating them at the end like the credits used for the movie. Hustle includes a link to each writer’s social media profiles and uses a nickname where appropriate.
Here’s what a recent line of credit looks like:
Well, the short writing lines give credit to your writers. But using only the strikethrough line eliminates other valuable parties in the publishing process (editors, proofreaders, designers, artists, etc.)
4. Let readers have happy moments
Even if the focus of your content is informational or educational, you can still give your subscribers a chance to have fun. Morning Brew includes a game section featuring Brew Crosswords.
Not all newsletters need crossword puzzles, but most can benefit from a light touch of content at some point. Think about including a joke, a meme, a video or even a quote – as long as it’s relevant to your core theme and matches your brand voice.
5. Ask your readers what they think
Open and click rates are useful data. But that data determines the action a reader took – not whether they liked the content or not. The data also does not indicate the general opinion of readers about the newsletter.
In each newsletter, The Hustle asks readers to let them know what they think – without having to fill out a form or send an email. They offer three intuitive options that are simply one click away. (Clicking will take you to a thank you page with an optional blank to explain the vote.)
Feedback from readers can be a challenge, and it tends to come from a certain type of audience – people who don’t like something. You might also get some feedback from your biggest fans. By making feedback as easy as The Hustle, you can get more feedback from the team in the middle. Results from a survey like this can be viewed daily to gauge a topic and quarterly to see what performs better and what doesn’t work well overall.
6. Turn your email audience into influencers
Most newsletters ask readers to like what they read to share or invite others to read or subscribe. And most brands consider that invitation only slightly better than a small text to come cancel registration .
The Hustle, Morning Brew, and theSkimm all make better use of their interested readers. Each share program rewards readers who invite others to receive their emails.
theSkimm tracks referrals so readers can see how far they have to go to get Skimm’bassador status, 10 referrals required. (As the name suggests, Skimm’bassadors are brand ambassadors invited to participate in online communities and private events and receive exclusive content.) This is the landing page from Skimm for the “sharing” community. its:
Asking readers to forward emails is an OK step. The sharing incentive program makes it easy to keep track of who shares your newsletter (and with whom). Make it simple with pre-populated fields (like theSkimm does). You’ll find readers will be more likely to share and do so more effectively.
Think before you hit send
You invest time and resources into creating an e-newsletter. Regardless of your end goals, you must first get the recipients to open them. By considering these six lessons from some of the best in the business, you can make smart adjustments to help your email open rates grow and your subscriber base grow.
Cover photo by Joseph Kalinowski / Content Marketing Institute