81% of SMBs still use email marketing for customer acquisition and branding purposes. A focused look at email marketing and how to grow your newsletter audience, promote subscribing on homepage, and increase open rates and CTRs.
By 2022, more than 347 billion emails will be sent each day. Emails come in many forms: newsletters, product updates, news and advice columns, sales rep emails, and automated emails, to name a few. Email marketing is used by 81% of small and midsize businesses (SMBs). On average, emails have an ROI of $36 for every dollar spent, higher than any other marketing channel.
Email marketing is the solution for strengthening a business’s pipeline and growing the brand. While there is no one size fits all approach to an email marketing strategy, iterating and personalization are key. Here are some ideas on creating, scaling and measuring an email newsletter that will result in exceeding your marketing goals.
Email Content is King
The typical marketing strategies also apply to newsletter marketing. Knowing your audience is the base of your email marketing campaign. Catering your content directly to a target audience will ensure your newsletter is opened and read while creating brand affinity.
Going a step further to more finely target and personalize your newsletters will result in higher engagement. Segmented emails make readers 50% more likely to click on a link within the email. It’s important to understand what different audience personas are looking for when they engage with your brand. This will help you craft content and offers that will attract your subscribers to respond to your call to actions (CTAs).
Once you know your newsletter audience and have segmented your emails accordingly, it’s important to continue to serve them up what they want and need. This will take some iterating but here are some examples:
- Try out subject lines that stand out.
- Design emails using your brand guidelines.
- Allow your brand personality to shine through.
- Set a cadence and keep it.
- Cross promote your emails across all of your brand channels.
- Don’t send out too many emails.
This is a process to refine what works and what doesn’t and can be finely tuned via metrics.
Grow Your Newsletter Audience
Once you have created an email marketing strategy for your current subscribers, it’s time to grow your audience. An easy way to do that is to ask your current subscribers to share your newsletter with their networks. Your subscribers are interested in what you’re sharing so they will know others who are as well. Create an easy way for new people to sign up for your newsletter, and be sure to minimize the number of clicks it takes to subscribe.
Another way to grow your newsletter audience is to promote subscribing to your email list on your homepage and include an easy email sign up feature on every subsequent page on your website. If visitors are coming from another source to your website, send them to a landing page with a top-performing offer and don’t be afraid to ask them to subscribe to your newsletter, too.
Once a person subscribes to your newsletter, be sure to optimize your thank you page. Create an offer that will get them excited to engage with your brand; offer them something of value for free; and reward them for getting someone else to subscribe. Make them know your email isn’t just another email because it offers them value.
A key fact about newsletters: mobile devices account for about 60% of Constant Contact’s email opens. Review your metrics to see where your subscribers are reading your newsletters. Make your newsletters easy and enjoyable to read on mobile devices. Most email marketing software allows you to view what your emails look like on different devices and you can always send a test email to your inbox to check as well.
One last note about your newsletter content—don’t make it all about you. Be sure to share information that is of service to your audience, such as research, case studies, stories, and industry insights. You want them to know you are the top source of information for your industry. Be sure to add your insights into why this information is important and relevant to your readers.
Metrics Worth Measuring
Traditionally the email marketing metric goal has been to increase open rates and CTRs. An open rate is the percentage of how many people open an email out of the number of people who received the email. A CTR is the percentage of people who click on a link in your email out of how many people opened your email.
According to 2019 research from HubSpot, the average email open rate across all industries is 20.9%; meanwhile, the average CTR is 7.8%. Each industry has different rates, but none is immune to the Apple Privacy Protection feature released in September 2021, which makes open rates less reliable. This means marketers need to focus on other email marketing metrics to measure success going forward.
Not all emails are the same and therefore they can’t be measured as if they were. Different emails need to have their own goals and key performance indicators (KPIs). Here is a list of KPIs brands usually use for email marketing:
- Delivery rate
- Open rate
- Click-to-open rate
- Read rate or read time
- Unsubscribe rate
And here is a list of some additional KPIs brands should consider adding into their benchmarks:
- Conversion rate
- Ongoing user journeys
- Leads/MQLs (marketing qualified leads)
- Opportunities beyond sales
- Revenue per email
- Revenue per subscriber
- Subscriber lifetime value
- Return on email marketing spend (ROEMS)
- Email list size and growth rate
- Email production time
- Device and client usage
The use of these metrics should align with your overall marketing and business goals. As always, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for every business, just like there isn’t a one-size-fits-all email for every subscriber. All of these metrics should be considered and subsequently vetted to enable a proper evaluation of your email marketing strategy.
A solid email marketing strategy considers content, audience and metrics. Each of these are a piece to the puzzle that customizes a solution just right for your business. The key is to understand what matters most to your brand and continually iterate on your ideas in the constantly evolving digital marketing landscape.
Feature image credit: Talha Khalil via Pixabay