Email marketing is one of the best methods to connect with customers, build trust, and gain their loyalty.
Despite the advent of social media and other forms of marketing, marketers still rely heavily on emails.
The other reason is that consumers engage with emails more than most other forms of correspondence, with 78% of marketers saying email engagement had increased over the last year.
Unlike fleeting interactions and likes on social media, email newsletters can be personalized to suit the receiver and leave a lasting impact. Personalizing your email newsletters include embedding meme videos, images, and a lot more!
Newsletters give marketers the chance to perfectly address customer desires. Whether they want a short product highlight, a daily round-up, or a lengthier informative piece, newsletters can do them all.
In this article, we’ve addressed why newsletters are important, the types of newsletters, and listed the top 7 ways to gain more subscribers.
Why newsletters are important for businesses
Marketers can’t just send an email saying “hey, buy our product/use our service” multiple times a week and hope for the best. The emails they send need to provide value and convince readers that your brand is worth the investment.
Newsletters allow marketers to show consumers that your brand is human (not run by a bunch of money-hungry robots) and knows what they’re doing (has expertise in their field).
More importantly, they allow consumers to build a connection and engage with the brand, just like chatbots, meaning they’re more likely to try products or subscribe for paid services and spread the word if the product is good.
Online publication Wired, for example, revealed that a visitor referred via search is 1/19th as likely to subscribe as visitors referred by a newsletter.
This process of giving useful information via newsletters and receiving buyers and referrals in return is a great way to drive organic business growth.
Good newsletter marketing also leads to more subscribers, allowing you to gain information about prospective buyers and grow your email list.
To sum it up:
- Newsletters help build awareness of your brand and give a better understanding of your company.
- Showcase your company’s expertise.
- Highlight new products and releases
- Gain consumer information and grow your email list
Types of newsletters with examples
This type of newsletter is sent daily, weekly, or monthly and highlights the best content of the week on your website or platform. It links readers to this content, so you gain organic website visitors.
Here’s Medium’s Daily Digest, which shows readers a collection of hand-picked stores for them to check out.
This gives readers in-depth information and talks about a specific topic or concept.
Artist John P Weiss delivers a weekly newsletter with his pick of the article of the week, where he focuses on one artist.
A promotional newsletter typically highlights a product or a range of services. It serves as a general announcement and gains customer attention.
Here’s how Grammarly urged users to check out their iPad app:
Event and updates newsletter
This is a generic newsletter that states relevant information about upcoming updates and events. You can use individual newsletters for each of these or use them together when needed.
This newsletter from History of Yesterday is an example, where the author reveals upcoming changes and announces a live stream.
The above are just some basic types of newsletters; there are many other types as well.
Of course, every company must personalize their own to suit their target audience and combine one or more elements listed above. For example, E-commerce brands can follow these practices for their newsletters.
7 ways to grow your newsletter subscribers
#1. Offer Incentives
The best way to garner and retain user attention is to give them something in return. Use your newsletter to provide offers on products or click-through links that give automatic discounts. For example, when subscribing to Orizaba Original’s newsletter, they instantly offer you a 15% discount on your next purchase.
You can also use newsletters to promote a referral program, where users get discount codes or some other type of offer for referring your product/ business to their friends and family. If you’re sending a newsletter to promote your referral program along with other products or services, make sure you don’t clutter it and overwhelm your audience by adding too much information. Using QR codes with logo in your newsletters is a great strategy to pack in a lot of useful information within a shorter space and make the emails more engaging.
Promotional newsletters are great for pleasing your existing subscribers while simultaneously gaining new customers.
You can also offer contests and rewards for subscribing to the newsletter.
Offering incentive keeps readers interested and gets them involved with the brand.
Just make sure that your newsletters aren’t cluttered and filled to the brim with products. Keep it neat, minimal, and enticing.
In this email, True Blue Life Insurance opts for a very simple yet effective email marketing strategy.
They simply list the reasons why the customer should complete their purchase of life insurance.
#2. Cater to customer needs
Focus on what your target audience desires. This might seem obvious, but it’s easier said than done. You must communicate effectively what you have in mind.
As of November 2020, the average open rate for emails across all industries was just 16%. Some brands might have higher open rates than this, some lower.
So how do you grab a new user’s attention and make sure they read through the newsletter to take the desired action?
One way to go about it is to engage readers from the very first email.
When a new user registers an account on your website, you can send them a “thanks for signing up” email with links to any useful resources, your store/services, and newsletter subscriptions. Or when asking your site visitors to subscribe to your newsletter, a good idea is to give away a free guide, like ZenMaid is doing.
You can also use platforms like VoilaNorbert to find the email addresses of potential customers and send them an informational newsletter to get them hooked.
Another way to understand what your customers want is to send them feedback newsletters. You can ask for customer feedback about your product, your company, or even your newsletter.
This will show you exactly what your customers want to see in your newsletters or what they look for in your products, and you can cater to it. Using a suitable business intelligence tool for gathering and managing data is a good help in gaining insight on your customer needs.
#3. Make it easy
Follow the general rules of email marketing from your very first newsletter to keep your subscribers engaged.
These rules include basics like non-cluttered emails, avoiding walls of text, properly spacing out images and text, and getting to the point right away. You can even use customized printable newsletter templates to make life easy for you as well as for your subscribers.
If you want someone to become a subscriber, you need to make it convenient for them.
Use the right tools to embed the email form and call-to-action button within the newsletter, rather than leading users to a separate page. Once they’ve subscribed, you can take them to a new page where they can customize preferences or check out your site.
Also, test out your newsletter copy, button placements and colors, and other aesthetic aspects until you get the right combo. You might think this is unnecessary, but colors play a major role in purchase decisions.
#4. Automate your newsletters
One thing about email marketing is that you need to be consistent. Whether you’re offering a daily newsletter or a weekly one, they must go out on time.
Rather than sending one email a day or week, you can follow in the footsteps of Buzzfeed, National Geographic, Medium, etc., and send out specific newsletters depending on the day of the week, in addition to the daily one.
For example, NatGeo sends out an Animals themed newsletter on Thursdays.
Doing this keeps you in your audience’s mind and again gives them the information they desire. It shows that your brand is willing to go the extra mile to cater to them.
In 2021, there’s no need to manually send newsletters one by one.
Instead, you can use marketing automation to make your brand more efficient, productive, and above all, more profitable.
Using automation, marketers can dictate how newsletters go out and when without wasting precious work hours.
#5. Give control to the users
The days of bombarding users with newsletters with the hopes of click-throughs are over. It’ll just land your emails in the spam folder. You must also ensure that online privacy of users is kept intact.
These days it’s all about mutual agreement. While it’s okay to send a few uninvited newsletters to attract new customers, always include an “unsubscribe” or “update preferences” option at the bottom.
Let users decide what they want, be it bi-weekly emails or just product newsletters, or newsletters about a particular section of your website.
This is less likely to irritate users and builds trust between them and the brand. Spamming them will just lead to them unsubscribing or blocking.
#6. Use social media
While newsletters are primarily sent through emails, you can use other forms of marketing to bring attention to them and amplify their impact.
Users who follow a brand’s page on social media are already invested in what the company offers. Use this to your advantage to attract new subscribers.
A tweet or Facebook post with a brief summary of the newsletter, along with a subscription link, is enough to build awareness. Anyone interested can sign up for future newsletters.
#7 Write subject lines like they’re meant for social media
Social media is brutally fast-paced, and the only way to get user attention is to write tweets or posts that are short and engaging.
Use this same policy when you’re writing the subject lines for your email newsletters. You have one line to impress readers enough to open the newsletter. Use it well. See how Gilisports is doing it? The use of emojis, a few words, their subject lines are friendly and attractive.
You can also think of it as a headline to a blog post. It can be direct, or it can make readers curious to find out more. Regardless, it has to be concise and get the point across. One study on subject lines found that the subject lines with 3 or less words in them have better performance compared to longer ones.
We get that gaining new subscribers for your newsletter is hard, but your best chances are using the tips above.
Always remember that the headline/ subject line has to hook the readers in, and the content has to be insightful, so the readers take the desired action.
Vikas is a product-led growth hacker and B2B Marketing Specialist skilled in SEO, Content Marketing, and Social Media Marketing. He is a mentor at 500 startups and Newchip Accelerator. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.