What content for newsletter would make you read one?
Hi Savvy members,
I wanted your opinion on newsletters and what sort of content would actually make you want to read one.
Would you prefer something of "value" such as a blog excerpt or free ebook, a joke of the day, or discounted offer?
All ideas and opinions are welcome!
Hi Kevin. Thanks for the question
here are just a few of my thoughts on why I open email newsletters and then read them
I have a stack of other points but my list is becoming too long.
Wendy Huang ,
Full Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
Although it is very hard to predict the performance of your particular database without throughout testing I can share wit you some observations from my personal experience. The emails I usually open are the following:
- Ones that provide a self-help tid bit like - here is a way you can improve your time management today and for them to provide it to me in the actual email instead of sending me to another link (I'm that lazy)
- I click on discounts in a buying mood which is sporadic and unpredictable, but it's good to do these once in a while. I also mainly click on travel or dining deals. So the important thing is if you are going to do discounts make sure your audience is like 100% relevant, and your product is what they love to shop for. Otherwise it will become spam.
- Jokes will actually be a great test and one that a lot of companies haven't tried so it might actually work really well. I'd love to get a joke in my email.
- Also the emails I open the most often are reports/updates and invoices - so if there is a way to get your database onto something where you have an excuse to send these type of emails most likely they will be opened.
Some things I learnt from our list here at SavvySME:
- Emails that ask for help when done sporadically, perform better
- First names in subject lines actually don't have a predictable effect on open rates.
- Without adding fresh people to your database all the time,e you'll find diminishing returns at some point. This is normal.
I hope this really helps! I think it's great to just come up with a list of experiments you want to try and just get in there and experiment :) It's more fun looking at the results! Most mail programs have simple A/B testing capabilities so I encourage you to use them. Mailchimp can help you test things like subject lines, open times. They send a test group of people 2 different emails then send the rest the best performing one after a specified time. It's actually really cool and fun to use.
Let me know how you go and I'd love to maybe read an article about it from you about what you learnt through the process, since I'm sure a lot of people are struggling with the same issue, including myself :)
Ling Lee ,
at Digital Marketing and Personal Branding
Hi Kevin, in my opinion, as long as there are inboxes, there will be people who will want mail in them
I wrote an article on this a couple of days ago, feel free to have a look here
Neil Steggall ,
Partner at Wardour Capital Partners
Hi Kevin, A good question and the answer is possibly different for each person. A few ideas I try to follow include: To have impact a newsletter must "grab you" in that first glance so the visual imagery needs to be strong. If sent by email the subject line requires almost as much thought as the newsletters headline. The content its self should be king but a teaser, either a discount or a give away can help with engagement and subscriptions - use the top right hand corner. Address the newsletter to your audience - we mail out four slightly different versions Write in "speach" its more friendly, personal and easy to read. Keep the paragraphs short but allow a click for more detail Good graphics and humour work Make sure the format is sound for smart phones and tablets Ling Lee posted last week on SavvySME and I thought her layout was instantly appealing, drew the eye in and made you want to know more. I don't know how to give you a link to the post but I highly recommend it! Cheers, Neil.
Love the comments above... I am wrestling with this whole topic myself and have wrestled with it for years now. I have sent many email newsletters to my database through mailchimp and I take a lot of time to write them and they are never "salesy" always intended to actually share some useful information for my target market.. small business owners.
The one thing I avoid like the plague is writing emails with "The ten top tips for..." because I hate them myself and I don't want to add to the rubbish that fills our inboxes and so I try to write considered useful and thoght provoking pieces (sometimes more succesfully than others of course) ... but here is the kicker... it seems as if there is no rhyme or reason to why people open and click on the emails... I can not find any common threads, besides obvious ones... there seems to be very little I can do to get above 30% open rate and it virtually doesn't matter what I do, I always keep the open rate above 20%... It stumps me completely ...
Now please don't you all start sending me special offers to fix my problems... I am just interested in the discussion and the insights from people who have had expericne in the area.
There are of course tons of tactical tips for getting your newsletter opened, but in my view there's just one strategic reason a newsletter gets read: relevance to the target audience.
No amount of special offers, jokes, or stunning graphics etc. will substitute for compelling content. Get the basics right and the rest will seem easy. Research the "pain points" of the audience; walk a mile in their shoes and feel their troubles/joys.