The biggest mistake that many businesses make is to think that sending a newsletter is enough. It should be a tactic in service of the strategy, which should be to increase engagement with customers. You can ask questions to make sure that your newsletter is equally valuable for you … and your readers.
What's the main goal of your newsletter?
To increase newsletter engagement, you must first identify the dominant goal of your newsletter. Is it a marketing tool to convert prospects into paying clients? Is it a relationship-building tool to strengthen the relationship and reinforce the value your business provides? Is it to make sure your business (and all of the services you offer) stay top-of-mind with your readers – so that when they think of ___ service, you’re who they call? While your newsletter will probably be a combination of goals, the primary goal needs to be at the forefront.
What benefits do your newsletter subscribers get?
Once you know the main goal of your newsletter, the next step to increase newsletter engagement is to understand why they are reading it. Are you sharing information that’s of value to them? Is it inspiring or educational? Is it in a format that is visually appealing and easy to consume? Are you providing a clear call-to-action (CTA) that directs them to do something?
Be sure to answer the most important question: WHY should they open your email? How will their lives be enriched by spending time reading your newsletter? (This, by the way, is the golden ticket 💴to successful email newsletters).
How do you know if your newsletter is effective and engaging?
Metrics, such as open rates, click-throughs and unsubscribes, will give you a rough idea of how effective and engaging your newsletter is. But it will not provide the entire picture (and that’s a topic to cover in a different article).
A NOTE ABOUT OPEN RATES: Do not assume that every subscriber will open every email. They won’t – and don’t get heartbroken about it. It’s business. Some subscribers will open all, while others will miss an issue from time to time. That’s perfectly normal, and there is a big benefit associated with just seeing your name as the sender (again, a topic to cover at another time).
Most email newsletter services offer subscriber insights (as long as you have the paid version) where you can see how engaged a particular subscriber is with your emails. This is incredibly valuable information.
However, in order to fully understand the impact your newsletter is having on readership engagement, you’ll need more insight. These metrics include:
- Subscriber insights (as noted above)
- Subscriber list growth rate
- Unengaged subscribers
- Email forward/sharing rates
The above-listed data is a level or two deeper than the dashboard report that most email newsletter services show, but it is critical in helping you determine how engaging your newsletter program is. Don’t be afraid to drill down into your analytics!
BONUS IDEA: Wondering how effective or meaningful your newsletter is to your readers? Just ask! Ask your readers to “hit reply” and tell you what they think. This “hit reply” technique opens the door for you to have a conversation with a reader.
Your newsletter program can be engaging! Figure out how effective your newsletter is by asking these three questions. If you’re not satisfied with the answers, it’s time to update your strategy. Need help? Schedule a consulting session with me.