person reading an email newsletter on their mobile device while on a coffee break

5 Ways to Get Subscribers to Read Your Email Newsletter


Email marketing is a very popular form of digital marketing in today’s online world. Everything from digital coupons to notices of upcoming sales, brands and marketers are taking advantage of the power of email marketing. And why wouldn’t businesses want to use email marketing?

  • Companies earn $38 for every $1 spent on email marketing.
  • Marketers report a 760 percent increase in segmented email campaigns.
  • Email is 40 times more likely to get a new customer than social media.
  • Revenue per email was about 11 cents in 2014.

These are just some of the results that come from various email marketing campaigns. Large and small retailers, B2B firms and well-known brands understand the effectiveness of the email.

But if you really wanted to maximize the efficacy of email then there is one feature: newsletter.

Email newsletters are what spice up email campaigns, complement marketing strategies. If done correctly then newsletters can enhance your relationship with your customers, improve your brand’s reach and increase your sales numbers and overall bottom line. Newsletters may seem like an archaic form of marketing, but it has certainly been given a 21st century makeover.

You may be skeptical of newsletters because of people’s limited attention spans these days. However, with the right amount of engaging content, a conservative number of images and a nice sum of savings, you can make your newsletters intriguing every time you send them out.

In other words, your customers will wait in anticipation for your weekly or monthly newsletters.

How can you get your subscribers to read your email newsletters?

Here are five ways to get subscribers to read your email newsletter:

  • Educational Content vs. Promotional Content
  • Concentrate on Crafting a Subject Line
  • Bring Out Your Brand’s Personality
  • It’s Time to go Mobile
  • Something for Something – Give Something Back

Educational Content vs. Promotional Content

As you’re penning copy for your newsletter, you have to keep a ratio in mind for your content: 90 percent educational content and 10 percent promotional content. This is an important ratio.

Let’s be honest: your 100, 1,000 or 10,000 subscribers don’t want to constantly hear about your products. Indeed, they understand why they subscribed to your email list, but they do crave some variety. Simply put: consumers want unique content that is not sales-driven.

Think of it this way: you go out with someone for coffee and the entire 90 minutes they’re just talking about themselves. This is boring, isn’t it?

Here are some content ideas for your email newsletters:

  • Tell a story about your industry, try to include your brand and mention a promotion.
  • Provide your insight into the latest news related to the products you sell.
  • Have a spotlight of a dedicated customer who shares your brand online.
  • Profile a member of your workforce.

There are so many ways to produce content that isn’t salesy. And this is what your clients want.

Concentrate on Crafting a Subject Line

The subject line is a preview of what your email newsletters will entail. In order to get your subscribers to click on your email newsletter, you need to have a catchy subject line that entices them to open the email and even read the content inside. It’s a little bit tricky to achieve.

It is estimated that one-third of all recipients decide to open an email based on the subject line.

Here are several tips for creating the subject line possible:

  • Make it Brief: the key to an effective subject line is to keep it short and sweet. The subject line should only have between 11 and 20 characters. The longer it is the less they’ll read.
  • Don’t be a Robot: we don’t like talking to robots on the phone. Why would your subscribers like communicating with one by email? The truth is they don’t. What this means is that you should always use a familiar sending name as opposed to “” Instead, what you should want is Art Vandelay from Kramerica Industries.
  • Special: you will always want your customers to feel special. So why not incorporate that desire to feel special in your subject lines? Everything from “thank you, our most appreciated customer” to “to our beloved client of 5 years” will suffice.
  • Urgency: the sense of urgency is one of the oldest and most effective tricks in the book. If you inform them that they only have 24 hours to save 35 percent or the biggest sale of the year is today only then they will react.
  • Spam Language: in order to combat spam, email providers have advanced their system so that when a certain word or phrase is used then it will be triggered. Here are a few examples: “meet singles,” “earn $,” “fast cash,” “stock pick” and “click here.”

When it comes to copywriting, perfecting a subject line is the hardest task of them all.

Bring Out Your Brand’s Personality

Whether we admit it or not, we all have a personality. Although we like to shield it from the rest of the world, nothing is more appreciated then when you showcase it to the rest of the world.

Ditto for brands.

Email newsletters are your opportunity to share your brand’s personality with your customers and subscribers. Whether it’s being light hearted or showing off your creativity, a unique personality is what can separate you from your competitors. Most importantly: it will give your subscribers a smile for the day, which can be more important than cost savings at specific times.

How can you spotlight your personality in email newsletters? It’s simple here are a few of tips for your newsletter template:

  • Utilize the power of color, but do not go overboard with colored font and punctuation.
  • Have one large image at the top of your newsletter that is related to your email.
  • Tell a story about how you came to start a business in this niche (see above).
  • Insert modern storytelling features: memes, cartoons, tweets and photo captions.

Anything that can prevent you from being timid and shy can help your brand.

It’s Time to go Mobile

Did you know that more than half of all emails are opened on a mobile device?

This is a very crucial fact for all businesses. It doesn’t matter if you generate $100 a month or $100,000 a month. All companies have to adapt to this growing trend in the marketplace today.

Simply put: it’s time that your brand, your emails and your newsletters go mobile.

And here is how you can design and optimize your email newsletters for smartphones:

  • Only use a single column template for your responsive newsletters.
  • Have one clear call-to-action (CTA) button within the mobile email.
  • Refrain from using minuscule fonts that are hard to read.
  • Take advantage of white space so it’s easier to click on links.
  • Avoid including too many images so it isn’t long to load and doesn’t eat their data.

Google understands the importance of mobile, which is why they altered their search rankings and search engine optimization so websites took mobile-friendly websites more seriously.

You need to take it seriously, too. We’re all smartphones, tablets and phablets for our Internet needs. This is something you need to consider as you’re designing your email newsletter.

Something for Something – Give Something Back

There is a popular Latin phrase: quid pro quo, otherwise known as something for something. Essentially, this means that you should give your subscribers something from time to time.

You don’t have to offer your subscribers a $250 product for free. But you can provide your clientele with little trinkets that can make them feel appreciative of your business.

This can consist of white papers, free ebooks, a 30 percent discount, a free sample, a consumer profile and the list goes on. You could even send them a thank you note once in a while.

Sometimes, for being a loyal customer, your clients want to be rewarded from time to time. And this is definitely the best way to accomplish this.

Final Thoughts

It is true that our attention spans are shorter than that of a goldfish. It’s a depressing fact, indeed.

Just because the Internet attempts to treat us like a bunch of monkeys, it doesn’t mean that you should insult your audience’s intelligence with eye candy and something flashy. Despite the cynicism, you can prove this respect by sending out crisp, clear and concise newsletters.

You can produce email newsletters that your subscribers want to read. With a little bit of imagination, some creativity and educational content, your email newsletters can become one of the highlights of your subscribers’ lives. Don’t forget to hand out a discount on occasion!

One Response to 5 Ways to Get Subscribers to Read Your Email Newsletter

  1. Josh says:

    Wow, thanks for this information!

    I am still working on building an audience and subscriber base, but I have saved this article for future reference. In the future I will use these tips to plan out a month’s worth of emails so that I am sure to tick every box while still staying fresh and not annoying the readers.

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