Type into Google “are newsletters…”
- the first three autofill responses are “are newsletters effective”, “are newsletters dead”, and “are newsletters actually effective”.
People are all asking the same question - am I getting any bang for my buck with these newsletters?
Okay, so maybe you’re not paying for that e-mail newsletter. Maybe you’re writing it yourself, or you’ve got some sad sap in the marketing department to shell it out every month. Either way, you’re using valuable time to complete a marketing tactic you don’t even know works. So what gives? Are e-mail newsletters really dead?
The real answer? It depends.
E-mail newsletters are dead if all you’re doing is creating it for the sake of having content pushed out monthly to subscribers. E-mail newsletters in general however are alive. When someone tells me “Oh, you’re still doing e-mail newsletters? You know that using e-mail newsletters is a dead technique right?”, I ask them about the constant flow of information that comes through their e-mails. How many are they subscribed to and how many do they read on a daily basis. You don’t hear people saying the NY Times newsletter is dead, or the HubSpot newsletter is dead. People subscribe and will continue to subscribe to content that they find is interesting.
I'm a writer, not a graphic designer.
So the real difference between whether or not your newsletter is dead lies in whether or not you’re providing good content to a specific targeted audience. Is your e-mail list made up of people who’d actually want to read your content?
First off, 80% of smartphone users actively check their e-mails on their phone so if your newsletter isn’t even formatted properly to fit the mobile screen, you are gravely missing out my friend. Check whether or not your newsletter is easy to read. People inherently go for the most convenient option. If your newsletter isn’t minimalist, and straightforward. Chances are the people who even bother to click on it move on pretty quickly.
I’ve read a lot of blogs on e-mail newsletters as I’m sure you have. There is some pretty good advice out there, and there are useless ones that do nothing but waste your time. We both know that unless it’s your single job to analyze metrics, most business owners don’t have the time to watch every metric. So, we’ve picked the biggest indicators of whether you need to change up your e-mail newsletter.
1) Subscribers list
Are you losing subscribers? Is your e-mail list growing? What is the growth rate?
If you’re losing subscribers, and your e-mail list growth is slowing down, you may have to rethink your subscriber strategy. Brainstorm ideas on how to capture e-mails without misleading your consumers. Having a big e-mail list is pointless if your captures send the newsletters to the junk box.
2) Open Rate
Your open rate refers to the percentage of people that open your e-mail newsletter out of the people you’ve sent it to. If the answer is low, something is not working and you need to determine where the problem is. Is your e-mail address sketchy? Your subject line generic? Or maybe people just hated your previous newsletters? And they’ve learned their lesson. Narrow down the problem by making sure the address you’re sending from is professional. There are countless scammers on the internet and people have learned to take precaution before loading anything. If your e-mail handle sounds fishy, chances are your subscribers won’t take the dive. As for subject heading, don’t think that anything generic will do. Run tests, and read up on the psychology behind wording sentences. There are tons of resources that are available to you for free. We’ll cover all the best ones in the next blog though, so keep your eyes peeled.
3) Low click-through on your main call-to-action
There must be a goal to why you’re sending out these newsletters. Perhaps it’s just to be an informative Samaritan, providing tips on life. But most people leverage newsletters for potential sales. Is your call-to-action obvious? Again, convenience is the key. If your call to action isn’t popping out to your reader, then you’ve done something wrong. HubSpot does a great piece where they give tips on getting that click-through rate up.
And that's really the main three. Monitor these three metrics and you should have a clearer idea of where your e-mail newsletter is going. The most important advice I can give is to not make the mistake of thinking that just because you have a monthly newsletter you're set for gaining customers. The newsletter you're sending needs to satisfy the main requirement newsletters are supposed to achieve: they provide valuable information to targeted readers.
So my question to you is... Is your newsletter dead?!
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