How many emails have you received and deleted today?
If you’re a typical business email user, you send and receive about 100 a day, and you probably delete about 48% of them. So as the emails pile up in your in-basket, do you find yourself asking, does anyone read e-newsletters any more?
The answer is an overwhelming “yes”, as long as the companies creating the newsletters follow a few simple rules. We’re also assuming that you’re starting with an up-to-date list of subscribers that at some point have opted in.
Getting someone to open your newsletter is the first step.
First of all, understand what that needs to happen when you create your newsletter — after your message reaches the recipient’s inbox, the recipient must open the message, read at least some of it, and then act in the way you’re expecting.
Let’s look at open rates. The news is pretty good. On average, MailChimp research tells us that e-newsletters (under the category of email campaigns) have a 30% “open rate”. Some industries, i.e. manufacturing, religion, government and not-for-profit, are as high 48%. Daily deals and e-coupons around 19%.
The open rate is mostly dependent on who the email is from and the subject line. This leads us to the first two rules: Make sure your company name is clear, and writing a good subject line is one of the most important steps in the process!
Rules to get your newsletter read:
Rule 1: Give something of value to your recipient – interesting research or information related to their business (not yours), something they feel is useful and relevant, or offer something they actually want (like a free downloadable tool). As one researcher put it, “Your goal is to make them live in fear that if they delete your newsletter, they’ll miss some insight that would have made a significant impact on their success.”
Rule 2: Keep it short and simple. Making one point that gets remembered is better than overwhelming the reader with multiple messages.
Rule 3: Always offer a call to action. It could be a free download, an invitation to get in touch or click on a link, even a suggestion that they forward the newsletter to a colleague.
e-Newsletters make an impact on a regular basis.
Rule 4: Make it mobile friendly. An astonishing percentage of people will see your newsletter first, if not only on their phone or tablet. Make sure it’s readable!
Use your time wisely.
One study showed that people spend an average of 51 seconds reading a newsletter (actually skimming it) and only 19% read the entire piece. Current market research says that your newsletter will get at least partially read, as long as it contains quality content. The lesson here? You’ve got 51 seconds to make an impact – which is pretty good. It means that a newsletter sent bi-monthly gives you almost 6 minutes of undivided attention.
Now, hopefully you’ll pass this on!