Email newsletters have become a primary engagement, dissemination and revenue generating tool for modern newsrooms and publishers. With a wide range of benefits from reader loyalty to audience insights to revenue generation, it’s easy to see ‘why’ a newsletter is used. But, what's harder to see is the ‘why not’.
Far from the never ending scrolls and stream of articles, emails delivered exactly what we needed to know from a trusted source. For a newsroom, newsletters helped to target the efficient readers to show their content and branding. And thus, email newsletters have remained a constant stream of reader acquisition for years.
As per statistics, more than 75 trillion emails are sent every year, which is projected to reach 90 trillion annually by 2019. This increment in the number of newsletters sent have increased the reader’s expectation to read something new and interesting, thus, creating more competition.
Relevance, authenticity and data driven emphasis are more central to a newsletter’s success. And before you strategize or use any tool to launch and re-launch the newsletter, ask a question to yourself first Why do you want to curate a newsletter in the first place?
Let us look at the ‘why not’ of creating a newsletter
1. Newsletter helps to improve audience loyalty
E-newsletters can be used in conjunction with loyalty cards or other membership driven programs, thus, helping you strengthen your commitment to the readers’ satisfaction.
2. Newsletters drive traffic to your primary news platform
If you want readers to visit your website, it is not enough to hope that they will gravitate to the website. Your newsletter plays an important role in itself. Include strong CTAs and ensure the email is well targeted.
3. Newsletters drive sales
E-newsletters can be used effectively to highlight the product, explain the benefits and connect them to a point of sale. Also, including an incentive like a coupon or a free reading material, can leverage your stature.
4. Newsletters boost social media following
Emails with social share button have a 158% higher click-through-rate. Thus, email newsletters are highly effective for building your community and get readers active on social media sites.
5. Newsletters help to deepen audience engagement
Subscribing to E-newsletter demonstrates that the reader is interested in a one-time interaction with a content. Therefore, it is a perfect place to introduce the subscribers to other relevant information and offers like company news, event invitations, etc.
Whatever your intention is, there are strategies which can help you build, iterate and circulate newsletters in order to achieve desirable outcomes. Once you have identified the highest priority for your newsroom, simply monitor it through the lens.
Keep your content on the reader’s regular schedule - Sending your newsletter on a continuous basis will create an expectation of value. If your content is suitable, interesting and valuable, readers will make time to read your content and set aside time for engagement.
Make your content responsive - Content which isn’t coded and optimized for viewing across multiple screens and devices, is a complete brand kill. Infact, 42% of readers will unsubscribe if it doesn’t display on their screens properly.
Be transparent - Let your readers know what they will have access to after subscribing to your content. Give them the opportunity to make the choice by being open and clear of your content subscription pattern and access model.
Be flexible with your subscription terms - Enable your readers to customize the plan always. Example, offer them daily or weekly digest, segment the newsletter as per different topics, interest or regions. This will serve with interest and preference. Also you get the opportunity to gather information on reader’s individual interest.
Look for long and short subject lines - When it comes to crafting the perfect subject lines, using 60-70 characters is referred to as the ‘dead zone’ of subject length. According to a report, subjects with 60-70 characters have lesser open rates or click through. However, subject lines with more than 70 characters are tested to be more beneficial to engage readers. Also, subject lines with 49 characters or below will have a better open rate. Subject lines with less than 10 characters have an open rate of 58%. Now decide, go long for click throughs and go short for open rates. But avoid the 60-70 characters ‘dead zone’.
Give some content for free - Readers love free content! Give some freebies along as the reader would definitely ask ‘What’s in it for me?’. To keep them engaged, giving a little for free is not bad.
Determine the frequency of sending newsletter - You might lose your readers if you publish very frequently. Give the readers an option to choose the frequency of receiving newsletters. Test which day of the week, what time of the day and time of a year are most effective.
Develop your subscriber contact list - Generate awareness of your newsletter on your website, social media, outside or third party communications. Make sure to collect a quality contact list. Review the anti-spam regulations to comply with the rules.
Now that your strategies are ready and newsletters are sent to the readers, measuring the efficiency will give you a better idea of its success or failure, thus helping you conceptualize, personalize and optimize the content.
There are multiple ways to track and analyze the performance. The metrics to measure the impact of your newsletter will depend on the goals you are trying to achieve. But there are certain analytics that can be used as baseline indicators.
Open rate - Number of subscribers opening the email in their inboxes.
Overall click throughs - The total number of times reader clicks on the link to read additional content.
Time span between click throughs - The total number of people who saves your email and goes through it later.
Number of unengaged subscribers - Total number of readers who do not find your content relevant or interesting to read.
Activity patterns of those who open or click-through on specific topics - This helps you analyze the reader’s area of interest.
Correlation between active subscribers and opportunity stages - This reveals the subscribers who are worth nurturing for further sales.
No matter what your content goals, creative ideas and topic of focus is, a newsletter will help you build a connection with your audience and keep the line of communication open.
Quintype, a finely detailed CMS, fosters your newsletter development. We convert your collection of stories to RSS feeds which can be sent down the pipeline to third party newsletter vendors like Mailchimp. We help you automate the process of creating personalized newsletter which is then sent to your readers as per the criterias chosen by you.
To try out this impressive feature of automation, schedule your free demo.