The Keys to Newsletter that Work Effectively

In Email Newsletter Marketing, the secret is to send timely, targeted and valuable messages that people want.

Easier said than done:

The cold reality is that not every newsletter you send is opened. The average open rate as per experts at is around 25-30 percent across all industries. That percentage doesn’t really tell the complete story either. Unless you really dig into your metrics, it’s unclear which 25-30 percent is opening your emails. It’s also likely it’s not the same 25-30 percent opening your emails every time.

One way to give your newsletter a better chance of getting opened and read is to send reminder emails. Even better, sending reminder emails personalized for each subscriber.

Here’s an example. My wife and I have been shopping from XYZ (an eCommerce retailer) for a couple of years. One of the perks of being old valuable customers is an added benefit – a coupon for free shopping. We recently made a few big purchases that were large enough to earn a decent-sized dividend ($100 to be exact).

XYZ sent us a nice direct mail piece with a big “coupon.” I glanced at it, thought about going to redeem it and then it vanished. Like most mail in our house, it just seemed to disappear.

Then, a few weeks later, I received this email from XYZ. The subject line read: Remember – You have $100 to spend!

I opened the email. I clicked on the “Shop Online” button. Seven minutes later I had a new t-shirt and a few items for my children.

This newsletter worked. I opened clicked and purchased. If you are on the email marketing team at eCommerce retailing company then its win-win-win practice for you.


But why was it effective? Let’s break down the email:

From name: 
XYZ.  It’s a name I recognize and trust. It’s an email I get regularly and one that consistently delivers on its promise of value.
Subject line:

Remember – You have $100 to spend! Leading with the word “remember” did just that, it reminded me I had something important to review. Adding the amount of coupon in the subject line helped the email stand out in my bombarded inbox.

Email copy:

The headline read, “REMEMBER TO SPEND YOUR $100“.  All caps. White text on a highlighted background. It stood out. The rest of the copy was simple, direct, and actionable: Because you are most valuable for us, you’ve earned a coupon. Find something to spend on—you still have $100. Shop now

You can redeem your coupon in-store, online or by calling 1-800-444-8090.

This was followed by two buttons — “Shop Online” and “Find a Store” — which were clear and easy to click on.

Interpret that as you may, but my take is this campaign is effective in nudging members to redeem unused benefits.

Newsletter Emails like the XYZ example don’t always have to remind members to spend unused dividends. Reminder emails can be for any action you want to nudge your subscribers about — upcoming webinars, discounts on online courses, eBook downloads and so on.

An effective reminder email focuses on three components:

1. Subject line: 
While compelling, creative subject lines can be effective when it comes to reminder emails, the more direct and actionable, and the better. The goal is to have your subject line sufficient to remind your subscriber what they already know about (but may have forgotten).
2. Copy:

Again, there is a time and a place for a long, creative, cutesy copy. Reminder emails are not one of them. Focus on a short, clear and concise copy. No fluff. Don’t mince words. Tell your subscribers why you are emailing them and direct them to the call to action.

3. Call to action:

As mentioned above, the copy should lead directly to the call to action — a button, a link, or both. Don’t make your subscribers have to hunt for the action you’d like them to take. Make it simple, easy and obvious.

Not every email gets read. Sometimes your subscribers need that extra nudge. When done right, reminder emails can be the perfect prompt to get a subscriber to take action. 


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