How to get your customers to read your newsletter

Newsletters via email are still an important way to communicate with your customers.  So how do you make the most of your email newsletter?

Most people will use the incredibly popular (and free for the most part) MailChimp.   MailChimp is an incredibly easy to use web based newsletter generator.  It allows you to inform visitors about new offers, teasers and generally anything you can think of to get a conversion.

The main problem is that you need to convince visitors to subscribe and create regulars newsletters that are actually worth reading.

The tricky part is how to get visitors to not only subscribe and ultimately open a newsletter, but to click the links and finally convert on your website.

How to make a successful newsletter

The company GetResponse created an email marketing report and showed stats from their users:

Newsletter statistics from 2019

You must pay close attention to these metrics and work out which parts of your newsletter is working or failing.

Open Rate
Simply put, this figure tells you what percentage of your newsletter subscribers actually clicked your email and opened it.

Click-through Rate
This identifies the rate at which people actually clicked on a link within your email taking the visitor to a landing page on your website. This is important as it shows that subscribers not only received the email, but have taken action.

Click-to-open Rate:
Some newsletter apps show how effectively you are converting over email.  So for the people who openend your newsletter, what percentage of them actually followed your call to action

Unsubscribe Rate
These stats will show you how many people have unsubscribed from your newsletter. Perhaps you sent out a recent newsletter which resulted in a much higher unsubscibe rate than normal.  Take notice of this metric and learn from it.

Increaing Your Newsletter Open/Click Rates

So now you understand your metrics, how do you get more clicks?  Learn how to read the data and you’ll be able to get more people to sign up for your newsletter, open it, and click to your website.

When You Don’t Have Any Signups
Your newsletter subscription form is key.  How it’s shown on a website is very important.  Is it as a pop-up? If so, this could be an immediate problem.  Visitors are flooded with pop-ups, cookie consent requests and site abandoment warnings.   They just want to see your site and will click the close button without even viewing the content.

Does the signup form stand out or is it lost within the website?  Are you asking for too much information?   Here is an example of a good signup form:

This form is VERY easy to complete and includes encouragement and trust.  It actually hints at what’s on offer too.  Nobody will sign up if they don’t know what they are signing up for!

Displaying the subscriber count and showing exclusive offers and competitions are the best way to start a relationship with the person subscribing to the newsletter.

Newsletter Design

When a newsletter first hits your subscribers inbox, the first thing they will see is the subject line. Quite simply this has to be very engaging and make the subscriber want to open the email. A poorly written subject line will put all of your hard work to waste.

The subject line needs to be short and inviting.  You can use emojis here too.  If you think something is off and that your open or click-through rates should be higher try some A/B testing (using two different versions of the subject line in this case). You may be surprised by what you find.

The design of your newsletter is incredibly important.  Ensure you have a good colour palette, your images are sharp and your chosen font is easy to read.  Remember that this design needs to work well on all devices including tablets and mobiles.

This may sound obvious but you must ensure that there is something of value within the newsletter, not just blogs or long pieces of news which should really belong on your website.  Keep your text content down to a minimum.

Also consider the length of your newsletter.  You need the newsletter content to be straight to the point, valuable, and readable if you want people to click your links.  If you can, use a mixture of plain text and graphics with overlayed text to get your message across.

Check the newsletter example below:

Jins Newsletter demo

  • Striking image with company name clearly at the top
  • Nice bold strapline with short paragraph which is straight to the point
  • Rows of alternating content with clear call to actions on each row
  • No waffle
  • Social icons at the bottom and easy unsubscribing
  • Not too long!

Final Landing Pages

The final part of a newsletter strategy is to ensure that your website landing page lives up to the expectation of what has just been clicked.  For example, if you are offering 15% off something, then you need to ensure that the landing page clearly shows the 15% off and is not hidden away or confusing.

With good analytics software you should also be able to track conversions from your newsletter and accurately gauge how well your newsletter is performing.  You can then make adjustments accordingly.