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Allyson Kapin 6 min read

10 Fast Tips to Boost E-newsletter Performance

Let’s face it: People have a love hate relationship with their email. It’s a time suck, yet we are addicted to our in-boxes -- even if it’s just to quickly scan emails to stay up to date. Given the email clutter your subscribers battle daily, how are your organization’s e-newsletter open and click-through rates looking these days?

Here are some useful tips to increase your e-newsletters performance rates.

1.    Dig Into Your Data: Look at your statistics and find out which subject lines are generating the highest open rates, and which articles and subjects are generating the most clicks. The top area of any e-newsletter is prime real estate. How are standard links at the top (such as Tell A Friend) and content areas (such as a Letter From The Editor area) performing? Poorly? That’s a big red flag that you need to change things up.
2.    Survey Your List: Ask your subscribers which subject areas they are interested in reading about. Do their answers match up to what people are clicking on in the e-newsletter? Gather demographic info if you don’t already have it.
3.    Ask For Feedback: Ask subscribers what they would like to see in future e-newsletters. Ask them what they like and dislike about your current e-newsletter.
4.    Short And Scannable: Develop a style guide and make e-newsletters concise, to the point and scannable. Many e-newsletters are too long and not well organized. Headlines should be short. Incorporate a “Read More” link after a brief blurb on the topic you are highlighting, to help decrease clutter. If readers are interested they will click the “Read More” link.
5.    Punch It Up: Think about incorporating “Top 5” lists around an issue you want to highlight. For example: “5 Things You Can Do To Break Your Bottled Water Habit.” [Did you notice the title of this blog post, by the way? “10 Fast Tips…”]
6.    Use Graphics Strategically: Graphic elements such as photos break up cluttered text, highlights key content areas and makes e-newsletters easy to skim.
7.    Get Interactive: Ask people to take a poll or share a story.
8.    Segment Your Subscribers: If you have the staff resources and a lot of subscribers, think about segmenting your e-newsletter subscriber base, and then tailoring different versions of your e-newsletter for each segment (e.g. by age, interest, activism level).
9.    Give Options: Offer subscribers a web version of your e-newsletter. Some email browsers like Gmail don’t render images properly and some people prefer to read e-newsletters on the web instead of via email. This also gives your organization the opportunity to archive e-newsletters and allow web visitors to read your e-newsletters even if they don’t subscribe.
10.    Experiment with A/B Testing: Try sending out two different versions of your e-newsletter to small samples of your list -- either with different subject lines, different copy or both. Track the open and click-through rates of each version to see which does better, and then send the more successful version to the rest of your list.

Follow any or all of the above tips, and you are bound to see better performance. And then circle back and tell us about your experience here on Frogloop!

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Allyson Kapin

Allyson has been named one of "Top Tech Titans" by the Washingtonian, one of the Most Influential Women In Tech by Fast Company, and one of the top 30 women entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter by Forbes for her leadership role in technology and social media. As Founding Partner of Rad Campaign, she leads the firm's client and online strategic services. For over a decade Allyson has helped non-profit organizations and political campaigns create dynamic and award-winning websites and online marketing and recruitment campaigns. She works side-by-side with her clients to meet their web needs and maximize their online effectiveness to create real world impact.