Since the dawn of the internet, newsletters have been the cornerstone of any successful email marketing strategy. A newsletter is a tried and tested format that predates email by many centuries, but newsletters have recently had a resurgence with many companies catching on to their power. Platforms are also driving this comeback, including newsletter subscription service Substack, Twitter’s new editorial newsletter service, Revue, and Facebook’s soon to be launched, Bulletin.
While social media continues to dominate our devices and attention, email newsletters have officially made their way back into the spotlight, with studies showing that newsletters are 40 times more effective in acquiring new customers than Facebook and Twitter combined.
Aside from being a great conversion tool, newsletters also provide brands with an opportunity to share stories, offer business insights, connect with an audience and demonstrate that they care. You can use newsletters to curate bite-sized news articles and industry updates, or send out brand stories, customer testimonials or even thought leadership pieces.
However you choose to use them, there’s no denying that the newsletter is here to stay. Want to know how and why the newsletter became cool again? Here are 4 reasons to use newsletters in your email marketing strategy...
Newsletters are a great conversion tool
Newsletters are a great way to build your brand, connect with your customers and show your audience what you have to offer. But, they’re also a super effective way to further your reach, generate leads, increase user engagement and increase conversions.
In fact, according to the Content Marketing Institute, 74% of content marketers say that emails (such as newsletters) are the most successful way of helping their businesses reach their specific conversion goals. With 91% of all US consumers still using email daily, newsletters are one of the most efficient ways to put your products in front of your customers. Plus, emails are said to prompt three times more purchases than social media posts, with their average order value also being 17% higher.
You can use newsletters to send out sales, deals or promotions directly, or take a more subtle approach by including brand stories, industry updates or thoughtful questions to initiate insightful conversation and prompt signups or click throughs. Newsletters can also be a great way to feel out your audience and find out more about your target market. As with any other email campaign, there are several main email marketing metrics to keep in mind when tracking the success of your newsletter:
- Open rate
- Click-through rate
- Engagement level
- Bounce rate
- Unsubscribe rate
There are many different ways to optimize these metrics for better conversions. For example, an eConsultancy study found that emails with emojis in the subject line generated a 60 percent open rate. As a rule of thumb, by using an eye-catching subject line, utilizing personalization, adding eye-catching visual content, and sending out emails consistently, newsletters are sure to help you increase conversions for your business.
Newsletters Connect with Your Audience
While great for converting customers, newsletters are so much more than just a conversion tool! They also provide a great opportunity to connect with your audience and show that you care. In a report by Salesforce, 84% of customers said that being treated like a person, rather than just a number, was an integral factor in winning their business. This goes to show that connecting with your audience on a personal level shouldn’t just be a bonus, but a necessity for growing your business. An easy and effective way to connect with a wide audience is through personalization.
Readers enjoy receiving real, raw thoughts from a brand or business they love. By using personalization the right way in your newsletters, you can simulate regular personal interactions with your customers: for them, it can feel like getting a long, heartfelt letter from someone they know and respect every week! Done right, using newsletters to connect with your customers can ultimately translate to a more loyal and valued customer base.
As well as getting a bit more personal with their customers, brands have also begun incorporating personalization into their marketing strategies to connect with their audience and stand out in their customers’ inboxes. Email recipients are more likely to click on a message in their inbox if it includes a personalized subject line, while personalized calls to action are two times more effective than generic calls to action.
Something as simple as using a customer’s first name in your newsletter subject line or body text every once in a while can be a great way to catch their attention, connect with them and show that they’re valued.
Newsletters Provide Industry Updates & Business Insights
Using your newsletters to curate news updates, industry insights and thought leadership pieces can be a great way to engage your subscribers and add interest beyond your brand or business. By including summaries of news stories and linking out to reputable sources, you can instantly offer information that’s compelling, digestible and relevant – in an easy-to-read, bite-sized format.
To put together a must-read newsletter that captivates your customers every time, you need to make sure you’re creating or curating content that’s relevant to them. Whether it be through instructional content or how-to articles that help them accomplish a goal, listicles that provide them with a collection of tips, trends or products, or roundups that recap your company’s recent news, accomplishments or updates, using your newsletter in this way is a great digital marketing tactic to repurpose content that already exists and package it up in a way that’s truly valuable.
A great example of this done right is from UXPin. Aimed at designers, it rounds up a range of articles and updates relevant to UXPin’s mailing list. Clean, clear and easy to scan, this style of newsletter provides a headline, an introduction and an eye-catching image, which immediately draws in the reader and encourages them to click and learn more.
Newsletters Share Your Brand Story
Every marketer knows that the key to any successful campaign is a strong and recognizable brand – and a big element of developing a brand is coherent, consistent and compelling storytelling. Newsletters present the perfect vehicle to share your brand story, add depth to your business, and show your customers who you are and what you stand for. By revealing little snippets about what your brand is all about, what goes on behind the scenes, where you came from and how you came to be, your audience will stop seeing your business as a faceless entity and start paying attention to the real people involved.
Instead of using your newsletter to push products (you can use targeted ecommerce emails for that), try sharing inspiring customer stories and testimonials, mini profiles on your employees, words of wisdom from your founders or company executives, or even infographics showing business impact. Readers will enjoy the fact that your newsletter is more than just an advertisement for products. And the more they get to know who you really are, the more their loyalty to your business will grow.
Vimeo did a great job of sharing their brand story in their 20 stories of 2020 email. Centred around celebrating Vimeo’s community of film-makers by featuring their work and the stories behind it, this was a highly visual piece of brand storytelling including animated elements, infographics and hover effects to really highlight the success of their creative community.
Over to you!
And there you have it! Four fantastic ways to use newsletters to cut through your customers’ inboxes. To optimize your email marketing campaigns or email design, you can access all the digital creative assets you need with Envato Elements. From mobile optimization and accessibility to eye-catching animated elements, everything you need to create super effective and clickable email campaigns is right at your fingertips. Good luck with your next newsletter!