For more than two decades I’ve been designing “e-newsletters”. If I’m not designing them, I’m consulting on designing them. It reminds me of the old saying,
The only thing more boring than golfing, is watching someone golf.
Let’s cut to the chase, your newsletter isn’t working. Here are four things you can do to fix it. (Preface: If your content sucks, that’s on you.)
1.) Make mobile a priority.
75.2% of consumers say they are ‘highly likely’ to delete an email if they can’t read it on their smartphone. That’s a huge portion of your customer base that may develop a bad habit of immediately deleting the content you’ve worked so hard to create.
Single-column templates display best on smartphones and tablets.
Make sure you have links that are easily ‘thumbable’ — meaning readers can tap them with their thumbs on a touchscreen. Note: “Thumbable” is even more accessible than “tappable”. For example, ‘button links’ — bold shapes with simple messages like ‘Read’ —are easy to tap on a phone.
2.) Provide a true value by making it personal.
As soon as the customer feels that they are not getting value from the newsletter, they will either unsubscribe or immediately delete going forward. You must customize their experience to the content they want. Use analytics and create specific segments and group within your lists.
If you have only one type of content, it may be the context or tone they don’t appreciate.
Many time companies have newsletter writers. They are not the same people writing the website content or marketing materials. I disconnect happens in context and tone.
It’s tempting to send the entire distribution list the same email newsletter. Each person has a different history and experience with the brand. This means that newsletters should be opportunities to create personalized and relevant conversations.
3.) A/B Testing is critical.
A/B testing can help determine which versions of content and design resonate most with individuals. You must test and KNOW what designs are the most effective.
4.) Trigger newsletters at key moments.
Timing distribution is key. Research shows that if you send EVERYONE the same email at the same time of day 70% of your audience will not see it. The timing of an email newsletter makes all the difference between relevance and irrelevance.
A welcome email after opting in to receive your newsletter signals to the consumer that they can expect to hear from you. This alone increases the likelihood they will open your newsletters. Consider each customers’ engagement habits with your brand. Use analytical tools to determine the optimal time for publishing to each segment.
If you like this article, please share. Email is dying. Bad emails are why.