Many companies send regular email newsletters to their customers but not many of them measure the effectiveness of their newsletters and adjust them. I recently helped a non-profit organization improve its email newsletter campaign. They had been doing several newsletters each month in the past but they didn’t know if they were being read or even opened. Peter Drucker once said that you can’t manage what you don’t measure, and this can apply to newsletters too!
When I looked at the newsletters. I found that it had too many articles. These articles covered many different topics and the staff had to spend quite a bit of time collecting these articles each month. They created long newsletters and there wasn’t any focal point in them. I then looked at the email opens and click-throughs from previous newsletters and found that the numbers were very low.
As a result, I advised them to greatly reduce the number of the articles in each newsletter and focus on a theme for each month. For interested readers, we provided headlines and excerpts linking to longer articles on their blog and website.
I also noticed that they used the same email subject line for every month. The only difference in the subject line was the month. Many recipients will automatically set it aside in the hope that they would come back to it when they have time, but this may not happen unless the subject line has relevancy. I advised them to make the subject line more relevant and describe the theme of the newsletter with some curiosity and urgency for the recipients.
The results: It freed up time for the staff and the email open and click-through rates increased significantly. Now the recipients see the value and some are even anxiously waiting for the next newsletter!
So the point is: You have to regularly monitor, measure and adjust your email newsletters to make it work. Don’t give up on it – it can be one of your most powerful marketing tools.
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About Jim Wong
Jim is a digital veteran with over 10 years of experience driving digital strategy and leading multi-discipline teams for national & local brands in over 20 industries. His expertise is in leveraging digital marketing to market businesses smarter and better through a data focused, performance ROI driven approach.