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Email marketing is still one of the best strategies for connecting with current and potential customers or stakeholders. It’s the marketing channel that delivers the highest ROI, data show. When you publish an email newsletter, you can showcase your brand personality, send tailored messages to prospects, gain deeper brand engagement and increase sales. Yet, you’ll only get those benefits if people subscribe and take the time to read.

Just as you undoubtedly took time to carefully craft customized content and unique insights in your newsletter, you need to be just as careful in crafting the elements designed to boost your subscription and open rates. Here’s how:

Focus on Simple Sign-ups With High Visibility.

Add an e-newsletter sign-up call to action in a prominent place on your website and social media pages and posts. Keep the form simple and easy to submit. Avoid asking for too much personal or time-consuming information. It’s also good practice to describe what kind of content people should expect – and how often.

Spark Interest on Social Media.

Along with your e-newsletter sign-up prompt, include snippets of the type of content you’ll feature, especially if you have a lot of followers. Social media is a great place to tease longer-form content as well as share photos, updates to previous newsletter content, event details and more, which can complement email communications well.

Personalize Promotion Efforts.

Potential readers need to know why they should open your e-newsletter in the first place and follow future updates. On your website and social media sign-up prompts and in your subject lines and preview texts, your goal should be to express explicitly what you’re offering and its benefits to the reader.

Make Sure Your Message Is Mobile-Optimized.

More than half of emails are read on mobile phones. That means your e-newsletters must be easily readable and eye-catching on a mobile device. How can you ensure they’ll meet mobile readers’ needs? Keep your design clean and simple with minimal images. Stick to short sentences and paragraphs and keep overall content concise and impactful. Use call-to-action buttons instead of links. And, make sure those buttons direct readers to mobile-friendly webpages, as needed.

Draw Readers With a Powerful Preview.

Once you’ve sent the e-newsletter, you want to promote readership – of both that and subsequent messages. What are some of the easiest ways to evoke interest among people likely bombarded with daily emails?

  • Personalize your subject line and preview text. Depending on your intended audience, this may mean including numbers and data you know the reader will care about, creating a sense of urgency with a promotion deadline and/or including a funny or clever pop culture or current event reference.
  • Avoid salesy language or jargon. Stick to a friendly, conversational tone.
  • Keep it concise. Successful subject lines tend to be under 10 words. And, because many people open emails on mobile devices, the shorter the better. The same goes for preview text. Many mobile email apps only display about 40 characters under the subject line, so make them count.

Let Them Know What to Expect.

Even after recipients have opened your e-newsletter, you need to ensure they take time to read your content and stay on the lookout for your next communication. Remember, overly promotional or salesy content is a turn-off for most readers. You want to educate, inform and help your audience in some way. Focus on their potential needs or probable goals. Maybe that means simplifying sometimes complicated investment options, helping them understand how new healthcare policies affect them or giving them an easy way to reconnect with their old campus.

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