Hey, Aren’t Newsletters Dead?
While it’s true they don’t have the punch they once had, they still are proving to be a very effective marketing tool. Studies indicate that 99 percent of us check our email every day, with many of us clicking on e-newsletters.
The type of newsletters today that have the highest open rates in the U.S. are those that relate to hobbies, everything from husbands that like to cook to classic car enthusiasts. These have an open rate of about 30 percent, which is considered very good.
Open rates among B2B industries tend to hover around 20 percent, which is not bad but can be improved.
So, to answer our question, aren’t newsletters dead? The answer is no. What is dead is the old format of delivering them.
Here are some ways to turn things around and get more visitors to read your newsletters:
Personalize the newsletter subject line.
Subject lines can make or break open rates. Some e-newsletter distribution services (like Constant Contact) now allow you to put the recipient’s name in the subject line. It’s important to do this.
These newsletters have better open rates. If you have not collected names, try something like this: “Hey HVAC Professional: Here’s How To Save Big on Installations,” assuming this newsletter is going to people in the HVAC industry.
As silly as it might seem, subject lines that include an emoji tend to have higher open rates. Here’s a website that allows you to cut and paste them and place them in your subject line, further helping to personalize it. Just be sure and select those that are fun but professional. If you don’t like emojis, even doing something such as adding a string of stars – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – tends to improve open rates.
Most of us are guilty of this. Prospects or consumers contact a company, sometimes just by using a chatbot, and before you know it, they are getting newsletters from that company. Even though this common practice, once again, studies report that those marketers that have asked permission first to receive an email from a company tend to have better open rates.
Make them Mobile-friendly.
By now, most of us realize the importance of having a newsletter that can be easily viewed on mobile devices. Mobile “opens” now account for nearly half of all email opens, and more than a third of business professionals now read their emails on a mobile device. This applies not just to emails, but e-newsletters as well.
Easy on the razzle-dazzle.
Remember, when many websites had a fancy, streaming introduction every time you visited the site? Marketers thought the razzle-dazzle would delight visitors. But what we found was they were fun the first time; interesting the second time; boring the third time; a bother after that. The same thing has happened to newsletters. While images, even quick videos, can be useful, too much razzle-dazzle typically turns readers off and means it too long for the newsletter to download. The more time it takes, the more likely the recipient will move on.
Check the metrics.
Some organizations with large distribution lists break their lists into multiple parts. Some recipients get newsletters using one set of subject lines, while another will get another subject line. Some newsletters will be in a very basic format. Others will have more images and colors. Still, others will have four or more posts in the newsletter, while others will have just one or two. They then check the open rates, looking for two things: which newsletter formats did best, and second, why.
If your company is struggling with a newsletter and wondering if newsletters are dead, before throwing in the towel, try making some changes. Newsletters don’t die; they get old. Before you toss them aside, try some of the ideas presented here.