email marketing

5 Email Marketing Principles for Digital Publishers

These email marketing principles are designed to help digital publishers improve the performance of email newsletters.

Most of the email marketing strategies you’ll read about online were designed to help retail businesses. Some of this advice remains true for digital publishers, but much of it is irrelevant to organizations that aren’t trying to sell traditional goods and services online. Instead of sifting through email marketing principles only tangentially relevant to the publishing industry, we decided to put together a guide to email marketing specifically designed for digital publishers.

Whether you have a local news website, a niche blog, or an online magazine, these email marketing principles should help you boost subscriptions and improve open rates and click-through rates.

1. You can drive more traffic to your best content by sending roundups of your top stories at regular intervals. Digital news publishers have found success in funneling traffic to their websites by creating roundup emails with samples of their top performing articles. In the newsletter-style email format, each of the top articles gets a headline and a brief introduction. The headline or title of the article should link to the full article on the publisher’s website.

2. Triggered emails are the digital publisher’s friend. Don’t let your subscriber list grow stagnant. Welcome new subscribers immediately with automated welcome emails that encourage them to sign up for other email lists or become paid subscribers. Triggered emails can be setup to go out automatically when certain events occur, like within 24 hours of a person signing up to receive your emails.

3. Emails can be a great place to embed ads. One of the biggest misconceptions that publishers have about digital advertising and email marketing is that display ads can only be placed on websites. A number of ad manager platforms now offer newsletter advertising zones, so publishers can sell advertising space right within their newsletter content. Since email clients don’t allow for javascript, there are some advertising features that can’t be used in newsletters. However, most email marketing platforms, including MailChimp, do support advertising. If you are hesitant to edit email templates on your own, consider hiring a web development service for help in getting your newsletter advertising program up and running.

4. Segmented lists always perform best. Digital publishers have audiences with all different types of interests and viewpoints. If you’re a local news publisher, your readers might be signing up for email newsletters as a way to learn more about prep sports, breaking news events, or community business news. When you give people content that’s relevant to their interests, you decrease unsubscribe rates and increase email open rates. The best way to give people what they want is to create subscriber lists that are segmented by section or interest. Send separate weekly news roundups for people who are interested in sports and people who are interested in local news. You might even find that some readers sign up for multiple lists, or all of your lists. That’s great news, because it gives you even more opportunities to market to these readers and encourage them to become paying subscribers.

5. Contests and giveaways can increase subscriber engagement. Who doesn’t want to win a special prize? Publishers can easily use email newsletters as a place to promote giveaways and other contests. How you promote a giveaway will depend on what your goals are. For example, if you are looking to increase the number of email subscribers, then you can reward subscribers with extra entries for each friend they refer. You can also purchase paid advertising on social media channels like Facebook and Twitter to give readers who haven’t already signed up to subscribe to your email newsletters a chance to win.

To learn even more about integrating email marketing into your digital news website, contact us at Web Publisher PRO.