Are Your Newsletters Not Converting Enough? Here’s How to Fix That
By Jessa in Blog Blog | 17 minute read
news letters Not Converting Enough Heres How to Fix That

There is something outdated about the term newsletter. We have come to find that word as being unattractive as the word ‘tape recorder.’

Maybe there are those who still find newsletters appealing. However, for most of us, newsletters are something that we avoid. So why is this term still popping up in the marketing field? I’ll tell you why. 

Newsletters are basically emails that inform the reader about a business’ activities. Companies send monthly or weekly newsletters to clients in their RSS feed informing them about their campaigns, offers, projects or achievements.

Over time, people came to view newsletters as boring and promotional. They began to abandon newsletters in favor of social media marketing such as Instagram posts and tweets. 

In as much as we find the term newsletter unattractive, the truth is that newsletters are an important component of an effective marketing campaign. Technically, newsletters are a form of an email marketing tool. As such, they have the benefit of being personal, easy to track and easy to measure the return on investment (ROI).

To paint a clear picture of how newsletters can impact your business, let’s crunch some numbers, shall we?

Email Marketing statistic

Image Source: Finances Online

It is, therefore, clear that email marketing is a technique you cannot afford to overlook in your business today. 

Better yet, if you create amazing email campaigns, you might even contribute to re-establishing newsletter’s good rep. Or, at least, have your company stand out as one of the few whose newsletters aren’t annoying and immediately deleted.

Let’s see how you can do that. 

Why Should You Consider Coming up with a Newsletter?

Well, there are numerous reasons why you should seriously consider using this highly effective tool in all your marketing efforts. Some of these include:

  1. Helps you generate more traffic to your website 
  2. Newsletters are a tool for building relationships and loyalty 
  3. Newsletters are a low-cost, environmentally friendly marketing tool 
Newsletter Gallery

Image Source: Newsletter Gallery

Newsletter Strengths

As stated earlier, a key strength with newsletters is that they are integral in traffic generation. Newsletters are a cost-effective tool for getting your audience to engage with your brand

Just as friends keep each other up to date with the events in their lives, companies can also build relationships with their customers by keeping them in the loop through email newsletters or e-newsletter. 

Newsletters help a company to nurture their existing customers. According to statistics, engaging existing customers can boost revenues by 23 percent. This is because existing customers are more likely to develop a sense of loyalty to the brand and are likely to purchase more. 

Newsletters help you maintain a constant flow of traffic. Unlike banner ads, newsletters are more personal as they reach the client’s inbox. Well-designed newsletters generate a constant flow of traffic by prompting the readers to click to the call-to-action. 

Newsletters are cost-effective. Paid advertisements such as banner advertising, Facebook ads and Google Ads are more expensive than email newsletters. Newsletter software solutions like Zapier are affordable and easy to use.

Some providers allow you to create newsletters for free. As such, they are cheaper compared to other forms of advertising. 

You can link newsletters to other marketing channels such as social media. As a result, you can reach a wider audience across any platform. 

Newsletters Weaknesses 

Newsletters that are not up to scratch can, unfortunately, have their shortcomings. First, it is easy for customers to delete or ignore emails. 

People delete emails for a variety of reasons, most notably: unattractive subject lines, irrelevant content, a full inbox, plus many more. Similar to all marketing tools, a 100 percent interaction rate is not guaranteed. But this should not deter you from using them.

Newsletters Can Convert Customers 

The secret to a successful newsletter is planning. You need to determine what you want to achieve with the newsletter and how you plan to measure the performance of this marketing technique. 

For some reason, marketing metrics have become as scary and seem like rocket science to many marketers. However, they do not need to be difficult. The metrics on email newsletters are easy to interpret and are useful in determining the success of your newsletter.

You can use data to determine which sections of the newsletter are most effective, how often the newsletters are opened, and how many people click the links embedded in the newsletter. 

Metrics will also inform you on the spam rate of your newsletters, the subscription versus unsubscription rate, plus what customers are interested in. 

With marketing metrics, you will have sufficient information to develop a newsletter with a high rate of conversion. You can dig into metrics of previous campaigns to get an idea of what works and what doesn’t. 

The key to a newsletter that converts is an effective creative strategy. You need to design a newsletter that engages your email readers. In order to achieve that, you need to be creative in terms of image, content, and presentation. 

If your newsletters have not been converting enough then you need to do the following to give them a fighting chance. These ten tips should put your email marketing efforts on a path to achieving high conversion rates.

1. Have a Goal for your Newsletter 

What is the purpose of a newsletter? This is what you first need to ask yourself before you embark on that journey. 

This is the first question that you should ask yourself before crafting a newsletter. If you do not know what you intend to achieve then your newsletter will fail in its purpose of converting. 

Some of the common goals for a newsletter are:

  • Boost sales 
  • Increase social media presence 
  • Promote a product or service 
  • Generate traffic to the company’s website 

You may have hundreds of goals that you seek to achieve with your newsletter. However, it is advisable to pick one major goal and build on it. Here is an example of a newsletter that seeks to boost sales. 

Chistmas Email template Idea

Image Source: Chamaileon

The goal of this newsletter is clearly to promote sales. However, even before you set your goals, you need to establish an emotional bond with your customers. According to Harvard Business Review, customers are 52 percent more valuable if they are emotionally connected to your brand.

This is because emotions influence consumer behavior. One way to create this emotional bond is to use visuals. Lifestyle photos, for instance, can boost sales by driving an emotional connection. 

2. Design a Newsletter that Encourages Readability 

You need to encourage your readers to engage with your newsletter. For you to achieve this, the newsletter must be presentable. Your first step then is to get the right email template for your newsletter. This template should be mobile-friendly, with a consistent color code and strong visual hierarchy. 

What do people expect from your brand? Once you answer this question, you will be able to craft a newsletter that does more than act as a sales pitch.

For example, if you are designing a newsletter for a financial company with a long history in the field, then you will have to design a formal newsletter with a reasonable number of links. If the newsletter is for a start-up, then you would focus on authenticity and personal content. 

Some of the main tips to bear in mind is:

  • Use short words and short sentences: 8th-grade level writing is what you should be aiming for. Use simple words and focus on the main point. Remember that less is more when it comes to readability. 
  • Use legible fonts. Your font should be legible no matter what audience you have in mind. You have to consider people with visual impairments as well. If your font gets blurry when a magnifier is used, then you haven’t considered people with visual impairments. Additionally, opt to break text by incorporating images and shorter paragraphs. This makes the content easy to read. 

The recommended spacing for text is at least 1.5. Not only is this spacing visually appealing but also legible for people with dyslexia and visual impairments. 

The color scheme of your newsletter is also an important factor that affects readability. Furthermore, color schemes are linked with emotions and can positively contribute to brand identity if done well.

The color red, for instance, is associated with romance. Alternatively, the color green is associated with freshness, growth, and harmony. 

Once you decide on the message that you want to send with the newsletter, you should choose the right colors accordingly. 

Generally, bold contrasting colors make the newsletter more memorable and appealing. Alternatively, there are colors associated with the seasons. For instance, orange and light yellow for fall, dark blue and white for winter. 

You don’t have to use a host of colors. Just choose the right color combination that gives the newsletter a fresh appeal. 

Create a Catchy Subject Line 

Subject lines are the first thing that determines whether your email gets opened or not. When crafting a good subject line, you need to think about the character count. 

Almost half of the emails are opened via mobile. As a result, it is advisable to avoid long subject lines. Try to keep it about 30-50 characters long. 

Consider developing a subject line that gives a sense of urgency or value. Remember that most of your subscribers are busy. Therefore, you should consider using words that create a sense of urgency for example, “offer expires tonight,” or “only 2 slots remaining.” Give your audience a reason to click on your email the minute they receive it.

Avoid using the word ‘newsletter’ in the subject line. Research reveals that open rates decline by 18.7 percent when the word newsletter is used. One reason behind this is because people have a negative perception of newsletters.  

You can determine the success of your subject line by conducting an A/B test over a few variations of the subject line. You can test the length of the word, the word choice, or the tone of the subject line. 

There are a variety of ways to approach the subject line. Some of the ideas you can explore include:

  • Controversial
  • Personal 
  • How-To 
  • Sneak Peak
  •  Question 
  • Catchy 

4. Your Copy and Your Tone 

Your copy and tone should be consistent throughout the newsletter. To achieve the right tone, you need to picture your reader in mind and determine how you want them to feel. You need to use words and design to get through to your audience. 

There are fields where you cannot use an informal tone, for instance, health and religion. If you are an entrepreneur communicating with users in similar fields, then you have to use a professional, friendly tone. 

A professional tone does not mean being harsh. Rather, it means adopting a tone that sends the message that you know what you are doing and what you are talking about. 

5. Content 

The content that you use in your newsletter determines whether your emails will end up being marked as spam or not. The reasons behind this include copywriting errors and poor word choice. 

Words such as ‘free, get rich, win, or make money,’ are likely to get your audience to spam your email. Such words should be avoided as much as possible. 

When choosing the right words for your newsletter, you should opt for: 

Simple and catchy words: We are all busy bees and we’d like to spend as little time as possible sifting through our emails. Therefore, keep the content simple and straightforward. The Skimm and Mailchimp newsletters, for instance, are a great example of newsletters that keep content short and to the point. 

The Skimm

Image Source: The Skimm

Your audience may not know what to expect from the newspaper so you can engage them by incorporating trending topics in a casual, interesting and digestible way. 

The newsletter does not only have to focus on content about your company but can also include third party content. In fact, this is a great way to align your brand with industry experts. Try incorporating quotes, links or tweets to content from your favorite brands or partners. 

6. List Segmentation Helps Achieve High Newsletter Conversion Rates

Email segmentation is a personalization technique that helps you deliver more relevant marketing content to your subscribers. This approach will help you achieve dramatic results with your newsletter. 

A segmented email list has a 14.31 higher chance of open rates compared to non-segmented campaigns. The reason behind this is that by segmentation, a firm is able to develop content that is more relevant to their audience.

Segmentation helps you reach the right audience at the right time and with the right content. This, in turn, will boost your conversion rates as your audience feels that you developed the newsletter with their interests in mind. 

Segmentation also helps with personalization. You can create emails with subject lines that mention the client’s name and are likely to get clicked. 

7. Get Your Audience to Subscribe to Your Newsletter 

The greatest challenge is getting your audience to subscribe to your newsletter. But before we get to that, let’s see what you can expect from having a solid email list. 

A study from SmartInsights ranked open rates of emails from various industries in the market. Check out how your industry performed below:

Statistic Source for Email Marketing

Image Source: Smart Insights

These numbers may not be encouraging depending on the industry that you are in. However, one point to note is that the key to maximizing open rates is to make the email personal and interesting. 

One way to achieve this is by using your first name in the email. In a survey that explored what makes most people open an email, a majority of them stated that they look at the “from line” more than they look at the “subject line.” 

Email Marketing Tips

Image Source: Email Marketing Tips

The “from” line tells the reader whether the email comes from someone reliable. A majority of people are willing to open an email from a real person rather than from a questionable company. 

Now let’s take a look at how you can get people to subscribe to your newsletter. 

Truth be told, pop-ups are annoying. A 2016 survey revealed that 50 percent of the participants cited pop-ups as being “extremely annoying,” and “annoying.” 

But just because some pop-ups are annoying doesn’t mean that they cannot work. When done right, you can use pop-ups to generate a subscriber list and to boost readership to your newsletter.

According to  Gary Vaynerchuk, the best pop-up can give you an over 40 percent conversion rate. Alternatively, you can add a subscription option to your footer. Subscription options appear less spammy to your readers and a great way to boost subscriptions. 

You can get people to subscribe to your newsletter by promoting it via social media. 

Lastly, offer a free sample of your newsletter. Even the most popular newsletters such as Daily Pnut offer a free taste of their content to prove their worth. 

8. Choose the Right Images 

There are several best practices to consider when developing an effective email newsletter. The first one is to opt for images that stand out and set the right mood. If the purpose of the newsletter is to introduce a new product or service, then the best way to attract your audience is to incorporate images that sell the product or service.

In the newsletter below, the designer uses text on images to appeal to his target audience’s senses.

Mailer Lite

Image Source: Mailer Lite

Images are integral for setting the mood in emails. They also support and reinforce your message. They can also be used to show personality or even ask questions as shown in the image below.

Mailer Lite

Image Source: Mailer Lite

Such images help your audience to identify with your company and to develop that emotional bond. 

9. Craft a Killer Opening Line 

The opening line is just as important as the subject line. It is the first line that people see once they start reading your newsletter. Therefore, it has to be personal and authentic. One way to approach crafting the opening line is to get right to the point. 

You may say:

“Hey Jacob, I noticed that you are interested in the Hearts Charity Foundation. Here’s the deal……”

By using the first name, the email appears authentic and personal. 

Most email browsers currently display the subject line and a portion of the first line. This means that when your reader accesses their inbox, they see a portion of the email before they open it.

There are mobile devices that also allow this l. Therefore, it is important for you to avoid appearing chatty and getting directly to the point. 

10. Be Consistent without Annoying Your Subscribers 

When people subscribe to your newsletter, they expect to hear from you regularly. Ensure that your audience gets their newsletters on time. If it is weekly, make sure that they get it every single week without fail. If it is monthly, then monthly it is. 

The moment you become inconsistent in delivering your newsletter, your brand reputation will definitely suffer. One of the top reasons that consumers report spam is when they get too many or random emails from a company. Therefore, you have the task of keeping your promise of delivering the newsletter within the stipulated time. 

Moreover, people report spam when they are no longer interested in your brand. The key to keeping the spark alive is content. Work towards developing content that captures the latest trends and interests of the consumers. 

Bonus Tip: Use the Right Integration Tool

If you have an extremely long mailing list then you know how difficult it is to manually send emails or newsletters. To get the best out of your email campaigns, you can use integrations such as Salesforce to ConstantContact. This tool comes in handy to help you engage your prospects, clients, and partners in real-time. Check out some of its features here.

Every time you send out a newsletter you are communicating that your brand exists. This gives you a great opportunity to develop a bond with your audience while promoting your brand. As you work towards developing an effective newsletter for your company, bear in mind these three main goals. Keep it relevant, interesting, and valuable. 

You can collaborate with other businesses to expand your subscriber list. Look for business partners that have newsletters with a similar target audience and try to collaborate with them to promote your newsletter.

Alternatively, if your audience is large enough, you can partner with them to promote their brands in your newsletter. 

Remember to take customers back to your site by adding links to your newsletter. Irrespective of your goals, you need your readers to visit another site to make a purchase, read, or follow something. You can make this easy by adding links to your content.

However, do not overdo the links as it will make the newsletter look unsightly. It is important to note as well that segmenting your audience properly will help you determine who gets what. This will prevent your readers from getting useless links.  

For example, Lacoste newsletters commemorate their client’s birthdays. Once the customer receives this email, they feel special and are more likely to click on the call-to-action. Adding a personal touch to a newsletter goes a long way. You should try it sometime.

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