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How to Improve Your Newsletter Open Rates

Vee Banionis

at Audience development

How to Improve Your Newsletter Open Rates Based on a case study done by MailChimp, the average newsletter open rate for publishers is 22%. If you’re publishing hobby-related content, your newsletter open rates should jump all the way to 27%. If you’re not getting these numbers, this blog is for you!

Email open rates keep your mag alive

How to Optimize Your Newsletter

a. Before you start to optimize your newsletter, make sure your newsletters aren’t going to spam. If your newsletter open rate is below 5%, they are most likely going to spam, which means you should change your sender address or your email marketing software. Additionally, you can check if your domain is blacklisted here.

b. It’s also very important to maintain your mailing list well. It should be up-to-date and have more data than just an email address if possible. If your mailing list is old and you’re seeing big bounce rates, you should clean it up. You can’t expect to get good open rates if you don’t deliver the message to the right people or don’t deliver at all.

c. Make sure your content has no typos and that your mailing list data is clean: names not starting with a capital, all caps, and other similar issues.

d. Optimize your subject lines. The subject line is the #1 factor that makes people open or ignores your newsletter. Try to personalize the subject line if possible, then go with one of these 3 types of subject lines to help optimize your best open rate:

  • Fear of missing something
  • A hook question that prompts curiosity
  • Something humorous

e. Optimize the first sentence. The first sentence is the second most important factor that determines the open rate. If you look at your own inbox, you’ll see the sender name, the subject. and a bit of the first sentence.

Here are some of the best practices for subject lines:

  • Start with something positive
  • Go right to the point
  • Use strong statements
  • Tease

It’s very important to try a blend of different subject lines, personalization, and first sentences to see what works the best with your audience.

Protip: Try to collect a much data as possible and personalize every email in order to deliver relevant content that looks like it was written by a human specifically to that recipient. 

What’s the Best Time and Day to Deliver Your Newsletter?

a. The worst weekday to send a newsletter is Monday. Multiple different studies show that the open rate is lowest on Mondays. Also keep in mind that if your content is not hobby related, you may want to avoid sending your newsletter on the weekend.

b. The best days to send newsletters are on Wednesdays or Thursdays. Curiously, we tried sending a newsletter on Sundays at about 2 pm and got quite good open rates.

c. Based on the studies conducted by MailChimp and GetResponse, the most popular times to send Newsletters are from 9 am to 2 pm.

d. Group your audience into micro-audiences if you have enough data and personalize emails to those groups. For example, if you’re running a global magazine group, sort people by countries and send relevant content for them on special occasions.

 

All of the above are great practices to get your newsletter open rates to average levels or to get to a great starting point. The key to optimizing your specific newsletter, however, is to experiment and find the best day and time that works for your audience. Sometimes your best bet is to send your newsletter when nobody else is sending so that you don’t have to compete for attention inside the recipient’s inbox.

One thing to know when sending your newsletters:

“As our last research proved, a large portion of subscribers read your email the same day they receive it. Most of them read it within the first 60 minutes, and after 24 hours the chances that your newsletter will be opened are close to zero.” – GetResponse.com

How Much Email is Too Much?

a. You should learn to recycle the same content at least a few times. This will help you run proper tests, collect more data, and to not go mad creating more and more content. Resend the same newsletter with a different subject line and first sentence a few times. For example, send one newsletter to everybody on your mailing list, then change the subject line and the first sentence and resend it to those who didn’t open the first one, then do the same thing one more time.

b. Do newsletter recaps. Simply send a new newsletter on Friday or Saturday saying, “In case you missed it…” and send over the same content you sent during the previous week.

c. Use automation to handle your email marketing for you. Sit and plan your weekly email marketing campaign on Mondays using the plan above and you’ll see new increased open rates for your newsletter.

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Email marketing campaign optimization is a fun and addictive process. You can get very competitive against yourself trying to beat the previous campaign open rates. Always remember that you are communicating with real people and treat everyone on your mailing list as that special someone.

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