Like so many other digital channels, email newsletters are constantly evolving. It’s up to publishers to stay on top of the latest changes. If you’re interested in sending better newsletters, then your email strategies should be optimized based on the latest, relevant data.
Ask yourself: Are you sending newsletters that people actually want to read? Could the engagement on your newsletters be improved?
To help put your best foot forward and start sending better newsletters, we dug into the research to uncover five data-based strategies for email newsletter optimization. However, it’s important to remember that a one-size-fits-all approach rarely works in the world of online magazine publishing. When it comes to best practices for sending better newsletters, it’s important to consider your audience and your goals.
Sending Better Newsletters: 5 Data-Driven Strategies
1. Develop Around the Email Client
Surveys tell us that people in 2021 are using a wide variety of email clients, and user behavior can vary quite a bit depending on which email client is being used. For example, a survey by Hubspot found that 28% of Apple Mail users read an email, compared to 57% of Android users. The more you understand about the email clients your readers are using, the more targeted you can be in your approach to optimization.
If you know that half of your subscribers are viewing your newsletters on an iPhone, then you’ll want to make sure the features in your newsletters are viewable on iOS devices. Trade publications and B2B publishers may notice that many readers are using Microsoft Outlook. Keep that in mind as you develop your newsletter design.
2. Design Scannable Emails
If you want to start sending better newsletters, it’s time to simplify. According to research from Litmus, 46% of people open their email on a mobile device — nearly 30% higher than email opens on desktop computers. The best way to appeal to mobile users is with a streamlined design that’s easy for the human eye to scan.
Newsletters that look like a repurposed template aren’t the answer here, even if they look more simplified than other designs. The data-driven approach to sending better newsletters tells us that publishers have the best engagement when they send newsletters that have been specially designed to appeal to readers on mobile devices, with plenty of white space and fonts that are easy to load.
3. Segmented Audiences
One of the biggest reasons why readers unsubscribe from business emails is because the content is no longer relevant. How can publishers combat that, to ensure that the content they’re sending in email newsletters is relevant to an audience with diverse interests and opinions?
One way is by segmenting audiences and creating multiple email lists. Rather than sending one email newsletter to your entire list of subscribers, segment your subscribers based on their interests or demographics. Then, you can create multiple versions of your newsletters that appeal to those groups directly. The specifics here will depend on the publication. However, a good example of the targeted approach to email optimization might be a regional magazine that sends city-specific newsletters based on a subscriber’s location.
4. Personalized Subject Lines
Emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened. Sending newsletters with relevant subject lines is an effective strategy to increase subscriber retention and email engagement.
Personalized subject lines often include an inserted keyword or detail that’s relevant to the individual subscriber. An example of this might be including the subscriber’s name or location in the subject line. The best place to collect the information you would use in personalized email targeting is on your email sign up form.
The most popular email automation platforms all include personalization tags that publishers can add to their newsletters based on the subscriber field data they have collected during the sign up process. Email recipients don’t see the personalization tag, they just see their name, or other personalized detail, as part of the text in the subject line.
5. Personality Equals Engagement
When it comes to email newsletter engagement, personality gets clicks. News round ups and email blasts that add context perform better than newsletters with generic lists of headlines and links. The more a reader feels like the email is written directly for him, the more likely the reader is to engage with the content.
Surveys make it clear that publishers benefit from using a conversational tone in email newsletters. B2B magazines and trade publications, in particular, see an increase in engagement when they adopt a more conversational tone.
To learn more about email newsletters, read The Must-Have Business Tools for Newsletter Publishers.