How Media Publishers Can Create a Winning Newsletter Strategy

Newsletters have been around since the very beginning of internet marketing. They are simple, versatile, and highly effective when it comes to communication with readers.   99% of consumers check their email every day, and 59% of individuals say marketing emails influence their purchase decisions.

Email marketing offers:

  • great ROI (every $1 you spend averages a return of $32)
  • an ability to personalize content
  • an opportunity to increase revenue as much as 760% with segmenting.

5 Elements of an Effective Newsletter Strategy

Newsletters are a great way to share what’s going on with your brand. They typically highlight pertinent information in a short brief that engages your audience with snippets of what they need to know. Sent out daily, weekly, or bi-weekly, newsletters help consumers keep up to date with your brand, and they can contain virtually anything.

Some publishers send out recaps of all the recent stories and articles they’ve published with links back to the original content. Other publishers share roundups of case studies or product updates. No matter the case, a newsletter is an effective way to share your content with your community while increasing readership.

Why are newsletters still relevant in 2019? We gathered 5 elements of an effective strategy that make newsletters a key tool to attract, communicate and engage with your audience. 

1. Treat Newsletters as an Additional Publishing Platform

The first step of an effective newsletter strategy is how you treat it. Many publishers place emails at the bottom of the barrel for their marketing strategy—it’s something you do when you have time. However, that’s exactly the wrong attitude.

Compared to social media, email newsletters can be far more valuable to your bottom line. The engagement rate for Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter is just 58%. On the other hand, email open rates across industries are 22.86% with a 3.71% click-through rate, according to Optinmonster.

So, it’s essential that you treat your newsletters as a valuable publishing platform that should be highlighted in its own right. The more attention you give to your weekly or monthly newsletter, the better your results will be.

2. Segmentation and Personalization

Personalized emails, particularly those with personalized subject lines, generate 50% higher open rates. They also increase customer engagement, improve conversions by 10%, and increase click-through rates by an average of 14%.

The good news is that segmentation makes it easy to personalize your newsletters. All you need to do is segment your email list by crucial customer data such as demographics, past purchases, online behavior, or interests.

Then, create unique, personalized newsletters for each segment based on the type of content you think they’d most like to receive. You can even set up a preference center in your email marketing software that allows your subscribers to pick the content they want most.

As for personalization, beyond giving them the content they want, you can personalize your emails in many more ways.

  • Include the subscriber’s name in the subject line.
  • Add specific subscriber information to the email such as, “Since you enjoyed video A, we think you might also like article B.”
  • Use images that match the subscriber’s information (location, preferences, activity).

And personalization doesn’t have to take much time if you have the right software set up to automatically pull in the details you need.

3. Incorporate Videos into Your Newsletters

Adding videos to your email can increase click rates by 300%. That’s because videos offer a quick, interactive way to share and consume content with little to no effort on behalf of the recipient. The key is to create high-quality videos that either offer an overview of your recently published content or enhance a particularly popular piece of content.

Adding at least one video to every newsletter will help ensure your audience enjoys your content and gets the most out of it. And the good news is that you can include the video either as a static image with a play button that links to the video content wherever it’s hosted, or you can embed your video directly in your email using HTML5 coding.

In either case, the video will enhance your newsletter making it more clickable.

4. Make it for Mobile

Emails are highly mobile. In fact, 49% of emails are opened on mobile devices according to IBM. So, if you want your consumers to open, read, and engage with your newsletter, it needs to be mobile-friendly.

The key is to work with email marketing software that offers access to email templates that are designed for mobile responsiveness. You want a newsletter that looks sharp on every device, opens quickly, and always shows all the content.

Also, because mobile is used so often, your content also needs to be mobile-friendly. This means:

  • Short subject lines.
  • Concise messages that don’t require a lot of scrolling.
  • Calls to action that are central to the piece.
  • Easy-to-load pictures that include descriptive tags in case of loading issues.
  • Videos that play vertically.

5. Promote Your Newsletter Across Your Online Channels

Your consumers receive dozens if not hundreds of emails a day. In 2017 alone, 269 billion emails were sent and received each day with 333 billion expected by 2022. That’s a lot of noise and makes it difficult to stand out in the crowd, which is why it’s so important to promote your email newsletter on other online channels.

Social media is a valuable outlet for reaching your audience and getting the word out about your newsletter. Don’t be afraid to share a link to your newsletter or signup page whenever you send out your email. This double whammy will ensure that your content reaches a wider potential audience.

Example of an Excellent Publisher Newsletter Strategy

One great example of an excellent publisher newsletter strategy is Hachette. By using a video creation platform for publishers such as Wochit, Hachette was able to reach a wider audience with their essential newsletter content.

They tested nine newsletter campaigns, each featuring between six and nine items in the email—everything from articles to video and landing pages. In the end, they determined that their Wochit video was the most clicked link in three campaigns (30-35% of clicks), and the second most clicked (12-18%) in three others. Now, Hachette uses video in every newsletter.

hachette newsletter strategy

Final Thoughts

An email newsletter is one of the most effective ways to share your content with your audience, and it’s particularly valuable for publishers. The key is to make sure you collect the data you need on your subscribers so that you can send them the type of content and personalization they’re looking for. By doing that, and including videos in every newsletter, you can expect a healthy boost in your bottom line.

Video creation isn’t available through mobile

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