A regular email newsletter is one of the best ways to consistently get your content in front of the right people. After all, email acts as a direct line to your audience and makes it easy to update your audience about valuable content. That’s why 83% of B2B marketers use email newsletters for content marketing, according to Content Marketing Institute.
The challenge? It’s hard to create newsletters that compel your subscribers to open, read, and engage with your brand. Your audience likely receives many email messages, so it’s important that you’re delivering valuable content that speaks to their needs and desires.
If you’re a content marketer looking to improve how you use email newsletters in your strategy, we’re here with advice. Let’s cover a few simple ways to keep your subscribers interested and engaged so that you can stay focused on creating amazing content.
Here’s what you need to know:
Personalization boosts email open rates
You can increase your email open rates by 50% simply by putting your subscriber’s name into a subject line. More opens mean more eyes on your newsletter, which will ultimately drive more engagement with your content, ultimately leading to more traffic to your website.
With most email service providers, this is very straightforward. First, make sure your signup form collects at least a first name field. Then, use a tag when building your subject line to automatically pull in the subscriber’s first name. Make sure you also use a fallback in case you’re missing anyone’s name from your records.
Of course, there are many more ways to personalize an email (we cover a few ideas in this guide). But simple personalization—like adding a first name—is a great way to get started.
The right send cadence can prevent unsubscribes
Studies show that as many as 67% of your unsubscribes come from recipients that are getting too many emails. As a content marketer with a lot to share, you need to address how often you send emails if your content marketing strategy is going to succeed.
Once you realize the importance of developing the right send cadence, the next step is to determine what the timing should be for your own audience. You might be inclined to jump over to Google in the middle of reading this and search, “how often to send email newsletters.”
Well, despite trying their hardest to give you an answer, no blogs or guides have the right solution for your specific business. However, you can work to figure out the right send cadence for your unique audience.
Send cadence should be based on your audience
No one knows your audience like you do, so no one can understand your audience like you can. Don’t take so-called “best practices” as the be-all and end-all. Instead, test for yourself and see how your audience responds.
This is where your email service provider reporting can provide the insights you need to optimize your newsletter send cadence.
Start with a lengthier timeframe, like a monthly newsletter. Run this a few times to get a baseline for how your audience responds. Track not just open rates, but also click-through rates to see how your audience is engaging with your content.
As you track your audience engagement, you can begin to ramp up your newsletter frequency. Keep your eyes peeled for a decrease in engagement—whenever you begin to see a dip, this is likely the send threshold your newsletter frequency should stay under.
Rolling Stone uses a weekly cadence for their email newsletter, showing relevant events that are coming up.
Newsletter creation should be quick and easy
The crux of your content marketing strategy should hinge on your content. This means you should use whatever means possible to make your newsletter creation quick and easy.
Over 68% of content marketers spend over a week creating a single email. That time adds up fast. So what else do you need to know about email newsletters? How to save time while still creating impactful and relevant messages.
- Use a template
Using a template makes email creation faster and easier. There are plenty of resources out there to help you make your template look great and follow principles your subscribers are looking for. The biggest way to make your content email stand out will be to use quality images and compelling copy.Resy uses a very simple single-column template with a beautiful full-width photo. Their copy sits very plainly and easily below the captivating image.
- Use a drag-and-drop editor
An email’s design is what catches your reader’s eye and encourages them to interact with your content. A thoughtfully designed email can help your audience look where you want them to, drawing them toward the content they’re interested in. With the right tools, designing an email newsletter can be pretty easy. And that’s important since you’re striving to make great looking newsletters quickly and efficiently. Campaign Monitor helps you make beautiful emails that elevate your brand and highlight your content. With its drag-and-drop editor, you can easily move different elements in and out of your newsletter, putting your email together in minutes. Cut your design time without losing quality.
- Use great photos
With so many quality stock photo repositories, finding great photos to showcase your content shouldn’t be difficult. Make sure they’re consistent with what you’re communicating and inline with your content headlines.If you’re already using images in your work, resize or rework the hero images from your content to tie into your content emails. This is a great way to keep those consistent and save some time in the process.
- Use strong, compelling copy
Your copy should entice your readers to view your content. Don’t give away the entire piece in your headline or teaser, but provide enough information to lead your subscriber to click the link. This email from parkrun takes advantage of participant stories as a piece of their content marketing strategy. They use a quick bio sentence to create intrigue and provoke interest in the rest of the story, compelling subscribers to engage and learn more.
Email newsletters can—and should be— a powerful component of your content marketing strategy. Don’t forget that you hold the key to your email success. Find the right tools to keep you moving through email creation efficiently and effectively, leaning on reporting along the way to keep your subscribers engaged.
Ready to ramp up your email newsletter conversions? Don’t miss our take on The Anatomy of a High-Converting Newsletter.