Email newsletters are great for keeping in touch with existing customers and potentially converting users who have yet to purchase anything from you. Before you start emailing people, however, you need to invest time into developing a strategy for your newsletter plan.

Newsletters are not only great for keeping in touch with users, but they also keep them aware of your company and showcase your expertise and authority in your particular industry.

Email newsletters are a useful marketing tool which can help market your product or services more effectively. Whether you send them out to subscribers on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis, they are very useful for engaging and informing your existing and future customers. Company newsletters also help strengthen the relationship with your subscribers.

Before we go into details about email newsletters, let’s first talk about email marketing for a bit.

What is email marketing?

Email marketing involves using email as a medium to promote your company’s products or services. However, email marketing can go beyond just that, and it can also help you develop relationships with current customers, as well as connect with potential customers.

Email marketing is a great way for businesses to keep their audiences informed and customize their marketing messages accordingly. It is one of the most cost-effective forms of digital marketing, as well as one of the most conversion rich.

Let’s go ahead and look at some email marketing statistics to convince you of just how valuable it can be for your business.

  1. Widespread usage of email – there were 3.9 billion email users in 2019 and the number is expected to rise to 4.3 billion in 2023.

Email has come a long way from a simple messaging system between academics to a global means of communication between every-day people. If the number of email users in 2023 reaches 4.3 billion, that is about half the world’s population. That is clearly a very convincing argument for email marketing and the opportunities and reach it offers.

If you are doing business in the developed world, it is a pretty safe bet that most if not everyone in your audience is using email. Regardless of how small your business is, email gives you the opportunity to reach people 24/7, 365 days a year.

  1. Billions of emails are sent every day – there were over 293 billion emails sent and received each day in 2019 and the number is expected to rise to over 347 billion in 2022.

This just goes to show that email is not going anywhere, in fact email use is increasing. This means that email marketing will be even more relevant in the future.

Despite many new forms of communication emerging throughout the years, email use has consistently remained strong and even increased. Email marketing has grown with it and trends show that it will continue to be relevant and effective for a long time.

  1. High ROIs using email marketing – 2019 statistics showed that for every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average ROI of $42.

It is no surprise that with how widespread and popular email is, the ROIs are massive. A well-thought-out strategy can make email marketing extremely profitable useful for your business.

  1. Using email for content distribution – 87% of marketers used email marketing for organic content distribution in 2019.

With such high ROIs, email marketing is of course one of marketers’ preferred method of content distribution. The 2019 statistics put email marketing in third place as far as content distribution is concerned, behind social media at 91% and companies’ websites or blogs at 89%.

Email marketing is so beneficial for content distribution that some marketers go beyond simply using it organically; around 32% of them also engage in paid collaborations to promote their content to their partners’ email audience.

Email is so popular among marketers that the top metric for evaluating content performance is actually email engagement. Nine out of ten marketers consider email metrics such as open rates and click rates more relevant to determine a piece of content’s success than even website traffic or social media analytics.

  1. Email marketing can help you grow your business – a 2018 study showed that 81% of SMBs (small and medium-sized businesses) relied primarily on email as their primary channel for customer acquisition and 80% of them for retention as well.

This is not to say that social media isn’t important for your business and marketing efforts, but for direct impact and reach, email marketing is king.

  1. Welcome emails have a very high open rate – a 2018 study showed that the average open rate for an email is 21%, whereas another 2017 study showed that the average open rate for welcome emails was 82%.

You can use this information when building your email marketing strategy. With such high open rates for welcome emails, you can make sure to include important information that you want your audience to know about in that first email.

  1. Personalization in emails works great – emails with personalized subject lines had 50% higher open rates in 2017.

While emails would normally have a 21% open rate, simply personalizing the subject lines can get that figure up to 50%, which is an incredible boost for a minimal effort. In this case, personalization could simply mean including the subscriber’s name in the subject line.

  1. Abandoned cart emails are very powerful – a 2018 study showed that sending 3 abandoned cart emails instead of one resulted in 69% more orders.

Abandoned cart emails are follow-up emails sent to potential customers who have added items to their cart but left the website without actually purchasing anything. There are many people who add items to their shopping cart and leave without making a purchase, maybe forgetting they were going to in the first place, or perhaps they were simply undecided.

While most businesses might send just one abandoned cart email, it turns out that sending three is 69% more effective. Psychology has shown us that the more someone contemplates making a purchase decision, the more likely they are to buy that product. If you keep reminding potential customers about the items they left in their cart, they will spend more time thinking about purchasing them and this will increase the likelihood that they actually do.

  1. Interactive emails are the way of the future – data from 2017 shows that adding videos to an email can increase click rates by 300%.

Your emails should engage your users and email marketing campaigns no longer have to be limited to simple newsletter formats. Interactive content provides much better user engagement. Marketers also tend to include GIFs, sliders, graphs, and more to make their emails more aesthetically impressive. Do not forget to ensure that your emails are optimized for mobile devices.

  1. Customers like hearing from you – in 2017, 49% of consumers say they would like to receive promotional emails on a weekly basis from their favorite brands.

This statistic is particularly helpful when you are worrying that you might be sending customers emails too often. Your audience seems to like hearing from you and it looks like they’re happy to hear from you by email.

What your newsletter should include

In order for your newsletter to be engaging, there are a few aspects you should keep in mind when crafting it:

  • each newsletter should have a specific theme or topic
  • craft creative and informative subject lines
  • ensure your content is useful, informative, and concise
  • provide links to your website where people can learn more
  • include your company’s business and contact information

Most importantly, remember that your newsletter should be visually pleasing, and it should match your company’s branding and content.

Stats on email newsletters

Email newsletters are among the most widely used types of email. Let’s go ahead and take a look at some statistics that demonstrate how popular they are:

  • 87% of marketers used email newsletters for content marketing in 2020
  • 77% of B2B companies use email newsletters as part of their content strategy and 79% of B2B marketers consider email the most successful channel for distributing content
  • the average open rate for email newsletters across all industries is 21.33%
  • 81% of B2B marketers prefer email newsletters over other types of content marketing
  • email marketing is the most effective way of nurturing existing leads, with 31% of businesses saying email newsletters are their best-performing tactic for lead nurturing

Best practices you should implement

Whether you are just now starting to use email newsletters or revamping your current strategy, here are 13 best practices that you should consider for the best results:

  1. have clear expectations from the start – when customers or prospects first sign up for your email newsletter, ensure that they know exactly what to expect. Not only should you tell them what type of content you will be sending them, but also how frequently. Better yet, if possible, try to offer them a choice about how often they will hear from you.

  1. balance your content – the best performing email newsletters are those which contain around 90% educational content relevant to their audiences. Try including articles on topics of interest to your audience, as well as informative content to help them get the most out of your products or services. That leaves you with about 10% of purely promotional content.

  1. craft personalized and enticing subject lines to make your emails stand out – while your subscribers have already made the first step and subscribed, that does not mean that your job is done. You still have to entice them to open your emails and engage with your content. Try giving them a glimpse of what is inside to get them interested.

  1. make your preheader count – many email newsletters begin with a text snippet along the lines of “if you are unable to read this email, click here.” That is also the text that appears below the subject line in an inbox, so it serves as a sort of small preview that is wasted on that message. Try and write something interesting and enticing before your newsletter’s header and before that text snippet so that your newsletter is more attractive right from the inbox, before users even open it.

  1. keep newsletters short and sweet – avoid having long and wordy newsletters that may overwhelm or bore readers. Full-length articles are obviously not a good idea. Instead, try to produce concise and catchy introductions that send your subscribers to your website. Additionally, a general email design best practice is to ensure that there is enough white space throughout the newsletter so that it does not appear cluttered and is easy to read.

Also consider designing custom graphics for each newsletter. There are tons of options to choose, like charts, photos, GIFs, etc. Adding videos to your newsletter can also improve your engagement metrics.

  1. design your newsletter with mobile devices in mind – as with websites, newsletters should be responsive as well and adapt to the different screen sizes they may be read on. Studies show that over 40% of newsletters that are opened on mobile devices and do not display well get deleted, so it’s critical that you avoid that.

Other mobile optimized design practices include single-column designs, large fonts for improved readability, and CTA buttons which are large enough to be easily tapped with a finger. In addition to the interesting and informative plain text you put in your newsletter, try to also use various colors and fonts to make the content easier to read.

  1. add alternative text to the images in your newsletter – a large portion of your audience is likely to have images disabled for emails, whether they are on computers or mobile devices. That means that when they open your newsletter, all they will see in place of your images are blank spaces. That is why alternative text is so important; it will signal to your users what they are missing in those blank spaces if they do not download the images. If your CTAs are images, alternative text will ensure that they can be clicked or tapped even if images are not enabled, as it allows users to interact with the alternative text instead of the CTA image.

  1. treat your newsletter subscribers to exclusive offers and discounts – this is great for getting subscribers to open and at least scan through your newsletters. People are also more likely to sign up to your newsletter in the first place if they know they will receive certain benefits. These benefits might also come in the form of content that is exclusive only to subscribers.

  1. deliver personalized content to subscribers – personalization always pays off. Try to go beyond just using subscribers’ names in the subject line or content and try to tailor the newsletter’s content based on different subscriber segments. For example, you can segment your subscribers based on demographics and purchase history. If you are also using a rewards program, be sure to provide subscribers with links that take them to their personal rewards page.

  1. include social sharing buttons and links to your social media pages – this will make it easier for your subscribers to share your content and it will help get the word out about your brand. It will also increase your social media following and your email subscribers, especially if you also promote your email newsletters on social media, along with your website, blog posts, and even your email signature.

  1. send your newsletters consistently – for example, if you are sending a weekly email newsletter, send it on the same day each way, at the same hour. This way your subscribers will know exactly when to expect it.

  1. ensure your email newsletter is CAN-SPAM compliant – to do this, always give your subscribers a visible and easy way of unsubscribing from your newsletter, and always include a mailing address in your emails’ footer for a way to communicate with your company. These measures help make your emails compliant and reputable, as well as improving their deliverability and ensuring they do not accidentally get marked as spam by email providers.

  1. track, test, and optimize – do you know what works best for your audience? Do you know whether short and funny subject lines increase open rates instead of long and informative ones? Or what frequency and cadence (timing and pattern) lead to optimum performance, without increasing the unsubscribe rate or getting marked as spam? To ensure you maximize your ROI from your email newsletters, always monitor your newsletter metrics and test and optimize various elements such as subject lines, headers, CTAs, layouts, designs, sending frequency, and so on.

Final thoughts

The best practices outlined above should serve as a great guide for creating an email newsletter marketing plan that will impress customers and improve your conversion rates.

Remember to perform some A/B testing in order to find the best possible version of your newsletter and to also create a marketing calendar to ensure you stay on track with your email campaigns.