5 Steps to Creating an Engaging Email Newsletter

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By Caitlin Ramirez

It’s a Monday morning and you’re scrolling through your inbox, coffee in hand. You’re probably picking and choosing which emails you want to open based on how enticing each subject line is, right?

Writing a compelling subject line is a rule of thumb for email marketing, but you can’t stop there — getting your subscribers to open your email is just the first step. After all, having a high open-rate doesn’t mean much if readers don’t convert (in other words, if they don’t respond to your call-to-action with a desired action). Whether that means making a purchase, visiting a landing page or filling out a form, meaningful conversions should be the primary goal of any email marketing campaign.

As experts in managing direct marketing newsletters for our clients, we’ve learned a few tricks of the trade from experience, Ann Handley and our team to help make your emails powerful and effective. Here are five tips on how to create more engaging email newsletters.

1. Get personal with your subscribers.

Readers are 35% more likely to open emails that are “sent” from a specific person, rather than a company. Your subscribers want to feel a connection with your brand and are more likely to engage with content using “I,” “we” and “our,” rather than content written in third person. It’s also important to use personalized lingo to keep the reader immersed in your brand, while keeping the content in a relatable voice. Starbucks does a great job of this with their email marketing.

2. Make sure your emails are reaching your audience.

According to a study by SuperOffice, only 79.3% of emails in the U.S. actually reach someone’s inbox. To ensure your emails get delivered, you can use a double opt-in feature, meaning your subscriber will verify they want to receive emails from you. Another option is to ask your readers to add you to their trusted address book, which can decrease the chances of your email being flagged as spam.

3. Keep your subject line short, but interesting.

Although you want your subject line to draw in a reader enough to open the email, subject lines that are too long can get truncated, which may cause your reader to misunderstand or ignore it. This is especially important to pay attention to on mobile devices. Retention Science found emails with the highest open rate had subject lines with 6 to 10 words, making the “ideal” subject line about 8 words long. Keeping this in mind, we recommend subject lines to be less than 90 characters.

4. Don’t be afraid to link to your social platforms.

Email is the only platform where an algorithm isn’t in control, making it a great place to link out to your other content. Did you publish an Instagram post that you think more people could have seen, but didn’t because of its algorithm? Link the post in your email—it’s a guaranteed way to get it in front of your audience.

5. Switch up your creative for different target audiences.

Segmenting your email list is a very underrated tactic. By looking at your analytics, you can see what your subscribers’ behaviors are and then gear your email to a specific demographic. Switching around a few words or graphics can make all the difference in getting someone to click. Triumph Motorcycles shows this below with switching up their campaign assets based off their subscribers’ habits for a new release.

Want more insight on email marketing? Check out this webinar for a lot of great resources from one of our favorite digital marketing pioneers, Ann Handley.