Guest post by Nadya Khoja
Have you ever sent out a newsletter to your subscribers, only to realize that your open and click-through rates are far below average? And as a result, you’re not seeing the results you need when it comes to conversions?
You get a sinking feeling in your gut and start losing hope? Not sure if you’ll ever find the willpower to send out another email newsletter again?
The truth is, we’ve all been there before, and the sad reality is; not every campaign we send out will be a huge success. So I decided to ask a number of marketers (some even email conversion experts) to share their best email marketing examples with me. Hopefully, these newsletter ideas will provide you with some inspiration when putting together your next newsletter template.
I had the opportunity to speak with Matteo Gasparello of Strategico on an email campaign that performed really well for the company.
Matteo created a series of emails to make up an email course about “How to Win with Content Marketing and SEO”. Rather than using his campaign to push people to buy immediately, he decided to focus on the goal of engagement.
“It's an email course, and my readers can join this sub-list via a popup, a landing page, or after they read other specific content and they unlock this list.
The first email of my email course has an opening rate of 90%.
The second email has an opening rate of 77%
The open rates decrease email after email, but that's not a problem because it's natural that only highly engaged readers will keep on reading - anyway the last bonus lesson I send out (lesson 7) still has an opening rate of 67%!
For this specific email series I don't focus on click rates, simply because I want to teach people and build my personal brand, and I have nothing to sell.”
This is a great example of using email to focus on the user experience and providing as much value to them as possible. As a result, Matteo saw really strong email open rates over the span of 7 emails!
Many people forget that the people who subscribed to a newsletter are still seeking information and aren’t necessarily ready to make a purchase immediately.
Here is the exact email that Matteo sent which resulted in a staggering open rate of 90%! That's the highest on this list of newsletter ideas.
Subject Line: LESSON 1 - Why the old world of SEO is not working anymore
Another smart way of using email is to push your users to upsell to higher-priced plans or products. At Venngage, the team noticed that a percentage of users were paying for high-tiered plans on a monthly basis.
They knew that those users would save more in the long-run if they switched over to a yearly plan instead. Furthermore, if users were on a yearly plan, it usually meant they would retain for longer.
By leveraging a captivating email subject line and showing the user what they could do with the money they were saving, Venngage was able to push almost 8% of users who saw the email to a higher priced plan.
Subject Line: You're spending $120 more than you need to a year
As we learned above from the Strategico example, being able to produce content that engages and educates your subscribers can go a long way and can lead to more trust overall from your followers. Andy Crestodina wrote a great guide on email marketing strategies for engaging your email list, if you’re looking to learn more on the subject of newsletter ideas.
But to take it a step further, Ross Simmonds recommends adding something as simple as “Your” to your subject line in order to add a layer of personalization.
“Although the click-through rate wasn't amazing here, the key insight was that when you're more personalized and directive (Your data, Have You done ABC, Do you plan to XYZ?) -- People take notice.”
As a result, Ross’s email saw an open rate that was 30% higher than the average open rate from his readers.
Here’s the exact email he sent, for your reference:
Subject Line: Your Facebook Data
Our advice would be to look at opportunities to improve your email marketing efforts and start testing them out. Email service provider Moosend has an interesting feature to help get suggestions for subject line improvement called Refine. It is based on AI and all of their own subject line data. In this case, it advises to even personalize it further by adding the recipient first name to the post.
And sometimes we send emails not to existing subscribers, but as a cold-pitch in order to get press mentions. Dmitry Dragilev shared a successful example with me that resulted in his customer getting a great press mention.
Dmitry states that the main things to keep in mind when pitching a journalist for a press mention are to:
“Find their real email address
Research their background and profile to personalize the pitch
Don’t just plainly answer their question, use a fresh perspective.”
Here’s the exact pitch that was sent:
There’s a lot more value with using cold-outreach than just getting yourself a press mention. In many cases, you’re educating potential clients about your site and it’s content, which can often-times result in generating more subscribers to your email list.
If you're looking for newsletter ideas, Punchline Copy has some great examples to share.
Lianna Patch is the person behind Punchline Copy, a Humor Conversion Copywriter. I asked her to share some examples of emails that worked well for her clients in the past.
She shared an example from a client called Goodlife Coffee, and here’s what she said were the results from her campaign,
“For context, I wrote 2 sequences: a first-time subscriber sequence, and a first-time buyer post-purchase sequence. Prior to implementation, here is what the baselines were for the existing campaigns:
Returning Customers = 34.0%
Orders per Customer = 2
Days between repeated orders = 41
Customer Lifetime Value = £41.15
Those metrics are now:
Returning Customers = 41%
Our orders per customer this year is 3.3
Days between repeat purchases is 56
Customer Lifetime Value is £65.61”
Here’s the exact email she sent:
What we can learn from Lianna’s examples is that shorter emails don’t necessarily win all the time. Sometimes you really need to focus on a good narrative and funny copy.
For some of us, figuring out what type of copy will work well in an email is a bit difficult. So Brad Smith of GetCodeless figured it made sense to just reverse-engineer emails that worked for other people.
Here’s what he had to say on how GetCodeless gets newsletter ideas,
“Years ago, I was a bad copywriter.
I wanted to launch a training course, but had no idea how to actually go about selling it.
So I turned to the masters, opting in for different notoriously-aggressive emailers like Ramit Sethi. I created a filter to store all of these in folder. That way, I could see the progression during one of his launches and the email hooks that were proven to work.
And, well, I basically ripped him off.
I literally took his email angle and template, line by line, and reproduced it with my own words and context.
Then, I borrowed (copied) the same exact sequence and used it as the last email before the final ‘closing’ one.
I ended up making thousands of dollars from a list of only 245 people.
Here’s the email Brad managed to whip up:
The takeaway here is that if someone else has already figured out the answer, what’s the point in trying to figure it out yourself? Newsletter ideas like these have proven to be successful so take notes from them!
In some cases, you start to notice a drop off in your email engagement, which can be a huge ego blow, right?
Well, Gaetano DiNardi of Nextiva created an email campaign to address this exact issue.
“The context for this email is winning back customers who left us because they were unhappy.”
So they decided to take action and use their email to learn from those who left and tried to understand how they could repair the relationship.
Here’s what Gaetano had to say,
“The email got the following results:
Open Rate - 40%
Reply Rate - 70%
New Pipeline Opportunity Rate - 40%
Conversion Rate (Closed/Won) - 15%”
Not bad for people who already left, right?
Here’s the exact email he sent:
What we can learn from this is that sometimes it’s worth reaching out to churned users to learn more from them, and identify what you can fix. Strategically use customer win-back newsletter ideas to re-engage customers with your email campaigns.
And of course, to conclude this list of newsletter ideas, one of the most common types of email campaigns we send are welcome messages.
When I started building out my own growth marketing blog, I knew that the only way I would keep producing high quality and compelling content was if I could have fun writing it. And for me, that means injecting my somewhat “extra” personality and sense of humor into my copy.
So I decided to do just that and created this welcome email:
Subject Line: OMG, What?!
That’s right, this is the first user onboarding email people receive when they sign up for my newsletter. The result?
Open rate: 42%
Click through rate: 9%
I even got this tweet in response to the following email in the drip campaign from Conversion Copywriter, Joanna Wiebe:
The main takeaway here? Be yourself and be as authentic as possible. You’ll attract people and potential clients who share similar values and insights, and quickly filter out the high-maintenance subscribers.
Email is a very powerful tool for engaging and converting your subscribers. Creating an email that increases sales and engagement isn’t always easy to achieve, and the results always differ depending on the quality of the leads you are attracting, and the voice you’re projecting.
Drawing inspiration from newsletter ideas is only the starting point. Being authentic and focusing on providing a personalized email experience that educates your users (or potential users) rather than simply bombarding them with constant promotional emails does go a long way when it comes to building a connection with your audience and impelling them to take an action!
Use these newsletter ideas to inspire your next campaign and get the results you need.
Author Bio: Nadya Khoja
Upon realizing that her decision to pursue a theatre degree would lead to a life of little to no financial growth, Nadya decided to complete a Masters Degree in Digital Media.
Soon after that, she began her work at Venngage, a graphic design, and data visualization platform, where she was told she would be trained in digital marketing en lieu of her lack of experience. Nearly four years later and Nadya Khoja is now Chief Growth Officer at Venngage and still wondering when she will get the training she was promised.
She has written for and been featured in publications such as Forbes, The Next Web, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, Mashable, Wired, and CBC News, and spends her free time working on her new web-series, Drunk Entrepreneurs.
Content marketing guru at MailMunch. I’m passionate about writing content that resonates with people. Live simply, give generously, stay happy.