Email remains one of the best performing marketing tactics, offering a massive $42 return on every $1 spent, according to the DMA.
Even so, it’s frustrating when your regular email newsletter fails to elicit the response you’re looking for, whether that be extra clicks on your website or sales at your checkout.
Thankfully, there are all sorts of tactics you can employ to keep your subscribers tuned in. We’ve gathered just a few:
1. Curated Articles
If you run a quality blog, or if you’re in an industry that lends itself to thought leadership, a round-up of the latest news is a great option for a newsletter. Not only is it a time-saving option, but it can be genuinely useful for subscribers.
Top tip: try to keep to about 3 articles (and no more than 5). Any more will only add to your subscribers’ workload.
2. Set up a Quiz
Interactive content is the way forward, and there’s no better way to get your subscribers involved than with a quiz.
Top tip: While a quiz for the sake of it is fine, try to make sure it’s super-relevant to your audience.
3. Host a Giveaway
Everyone loves the chance to win a great prize, so giveaways are a surefire way to boost newsletter engagement. But in addition to keeping your audience engaged, they also provide extra referral traffic to your website and social media, which further increases your reach.
4. A How-To Guide
Whether you record a video or write out a step-by-step guide on how to use one of your products, a how-to is a great way to foster engagement from your audience. Why? You’re positioning yourself as the person to resolve a potential stumbling block.
Top tip: be mindful of your niche. Traditional how-to guides might not work for certain industries. If, for example, you sell purses, you can film “5 outfits that work with our brown tote bag this summer.”
5. Share Your Videos
It’s a well-known fact that visual content significantly improves engagement, with videos increasing open rates by 19% and click rates by 65%.
If you already post regularly to a YouTube channel, then embed them within your email body. Or, if you’re using Gmail, insert a static image of your video with a “play” button over the top linking through to your YouTube clip.
Top tip: Don’t forget to use the word “video” in your email subject line – doing so will increase your open rate by 6%!
6. Run a “Refer a Friend” Promotion
A great way to both improve your reach and engagement is by asking your subscribers to refer a friend. In your newsletter, ask your subscriber to forward the email to one of their contacts, recommending your business. If their friend goes on to subscribe to the newsletter, they both get an exclusive discount.
Top tip: Consider making your referral promotion permanent and making it a feature in your email footer, like White Stuff do:
7. Launch a New Product or Range
Drum up interest in a new product by announcing it via your newsletter. Use your announcement to let them know the day it’s being launched, how they can buy it, and any exclusive discounts they might be eligible for.
Top tip: Make sure you include a bold call-to-action directing readers straight to your new product or range.
8. Offer a Discount
Email newsletters are the perfect platform for using discounts and offers to drive customers to your online shop.
Offers create a sense of urgency – an age-old tactic to encourage customers to make a purchase. You could even consider building a countdown pop-up into your newsletters to convey added urgency.
Top tip: Use time-sensitive wording, such as “last chance” or “for a limited time only” to grab the attention of your subscribers.
9. Share User-Generated Content
What better way to foster engagement than by sharing your own audience’s content?
User-generated content is the images, videos, or any other kind of content produced by your users that has been shared online via social media.
Start by sharing your users’ content on social media, and go on to compile some of the best to include in your next newsletter.
10. Ask for Feedback
By directly asking for feedback, you can proactively encourage more engagement from your audience, but also gain some valuable audience insight. Most people jump at the chance to share their thoughts – both positive and negative – so why not try it?
Top tip: be transparent about the results of your feedback. Showcase positive responses, and actively address criticisms.
11. Show a Behind the Scenes Tour of Your Business
Social media is great for this, and there’s no reason you can’t use your email newsletters to give a peep behind the curtain too.
Showing your subscribers behind the scenes makes them feel like they have access to exclusive content and also makes you seem like an approachable brand, both of which will help improve customer engagement.
12. Interview an Expert/Industry Leader
An interview with an expert – whether it be in video or text format – will provide your subscribers with content they’re going to love.
Whether your expert is a member of your team or an external influencer, try to ask them questions you think your customers will want to know the answers to.
Top tip: ask your subscribers to pose some questions for you to ask in advance, and reference them in your interview.
These are just a handful of many options for using your email newsletter to increase engagement among your audience. Test which emails are getting the most engagement by checking in on open and click-through rates in your email analytics, and adjust your strategy accordingly.