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The Inbound Playbook

How To Create ‘Crave-Worthy’ Email Newsletters To Engage Your Subscribers.

08 Dec 2017

Did you know that currently there are 269 billion emails sent in a day by 3.7 billion email users around the globe?

And if you’re an average office worker, you’ll be receiving 121 emails in your inbox every day. Now, do you open and respond to all of those emails? Well, probably not - as per estimates the average open rate of emails across all industries hovers a bit over 24% and the average click-through rate (CTR) is 4%

Meaning, only 4 of your subscribers are visiting your site for every 100 emails you sent. But fret not, though email marketing seems a bit ‘old school’ than Social Media Marketing, it is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter and is considered as the most effective tactic for lead nurturing amongst B2B marketers!

However, if you’re sending one of those ‘One-for-all’ Email Blasts without segmenting your list or creating targeted messages, then there's high probability for your emails to land in the ‘Spam’ folder, or get deleted, archived, ignored or even unsubscribed. 

Here are a few tips you can follow to avoid such disasters and to create ‘crave-worthy’ email newsletters that your subscribers would love to read and engage with:

1. Captivate With Your Subject Lines

Your subject lines are the first glimpse of any ‘content’ your subscribers see before they read your email – and it's also your only chance to captivate or entice your audience to dig further.

This makes the headline your most important copy to reach to your audience and you best not squander this opportunity with lines like, “Latest update of the week” or something similar that’s begs to get ignored or deleted at the first sight.

The best subject lines are short, direct and succinct, and under 50 characters, which are easy to scan in an increasingly overcrowded inbox. It should be able to capture the readers by invoking an emotion they’d like to probe deeper.

Most of the high performing subject lines are weaved with words generating one or more of the elements such as: Urgency, Offers, Curiosity, Personalisation, Humour, Relevancy and Interesting Stories.

2. Don’t Pack Too Much – Keep It Simple & Focused

It's important to decide what you specifically intend to offer your readers within your email content. We have a tendency to give more to the readers by packing too much information – but that could actually be a hindrance for your subscribers as they find it difficult to choose what to absorb, rendering the entire content ‘ill-focused’ and irrelevant. 

If you have a number of options such as, to share a piece of company news, or lure them with an exciting offer, or provide them with a useful guideline – It's best you choose one topic and stick to it. 

If you feel the need to include additional topics, you can always put it briefly at the end of the main body of the email to keep your readers anticipating your next week’s email. 

Take this example below from Content marketing expert, Sujan Patel:


As you can see, here Sujan has focused his entire body on promoting a video which he made on ‘product marketing’, but he also adds another topic under the ‘P.S’ Line regarding his podcast on Growth Mapping. Furthermore, he also uses his signature section to cleverly promote his upcoming webinars. This way you can be focused, relevant and still include more for your subscribers without overwhelming them.

3. Segmentation & Personalisation

Segmentation is all about relevancy. If you’re sending a newsletter announcing the upcoming literary festival to all of your subscribers, the ‘millennial’ segment of your subscribers may not find it useful or enticing. But if you segment your subscribers and send the announcement of the ‘Sundance Festival’ instead, to your millennial audiences, it will definitely arouse their curiosity. 

As per Mailchimp, segmented email campaigns see an average of 14.99% increase in click-rate over non-segmented ones. It's about sending people the content they care about,  plus it increases the chances of capturing their attention and converting them into customers. 

Below is an example from Adidas on how email content can be segmented (in this case its ‘gender’ segmentation) to make it impactful and ‘crave-worthy’:

  

When you show the right stories to the right people, it increases the click-through rates and propels the subscribers to your website to make that purchase. 

You can segment your subscribers however you feel like, or how your marketing strategies dictate – For instance, you might want to send a particular invitation to subscribers in Australia, or you may want to engage your most loyal customers about special offers. 

Tools from applications like Mailchimp below with their pre-built segments can help you target subscribers having similar traits and behaviour:

 

 Whether they're new subscribers, repeat customers, active, inactive, male, female, – if you get into the habit of segmenting your lists, you'll be sending more relevant and personalised content that has higher chances of being opened and clicked-through. 

4. DESIGN - The Right Balance Between Images & Text

One thing is clear – even if you’ve created high quality content, it will practically be irrelevant to the readers’ eyes, if it doesn’t match up with the design. 

It's a given that human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than texts. Such Images and visuals play an important role in email newsletters – as they can accentuate the ‘appeal’ factor for your subscribers and nudge them to click-through. 

The average user is said to spend 3 to 5 seconds to decide whether it’s worth sticking around a website or not. If we apply the same ‘blink test’ for an opened email newsletter, we better make sure the design doesn’t look cheap; text heavy or is spluttered with colors that hurts the eyes. 

Take the newsletter example below from Macy’s, where the content immediately feels incoherent and seems to be competing within itself rather than providing a clear, focused and soothing experience: 

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The design is spluttered with three different competing offers, the color combination is too ‘loud’ and hard on the eye – most subscribers will immediately click back to browse other emails in their inbox or simply delete this one, before it hurts your head too much. 

On the contrary, check out the example from Buzzfeed below on their weekly Food newsletter: null

Without any doubt, this one beats the previous newsletter any day. It instantly grabs the users attention with appealing images; and for those skimmers, this delivers the story/offer in as less as 5 seconds with simple yet effective copy - which summons the readers to learn more about the content. 

Finally…

To create ‘crave-worthy’ email newsletters, most of all, it's important for your copy to have a good balance between compelling text and visual elements; and to master the art, it's crucial you constantly test and measure your click-through rates to achieve optimal outputs!

If you'd like further assistance or would like to discuss anything covered today, we'd love to hear from you.

Call Andy Fox (me) on (03) 5249 5570 or email andy@element7digital.com.au

Our Website is www.element7digital.com.au

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