There are many items to consider when designing a comprehensive marketing strategy for any type of organization. Among those considerations, a newsletter is one of the most important.
A newsletter is a powerful way to engage customers by promoting your organization’s mission and value proposition.
However, too many organizations stop there. They learn about email marketing, they design an amazing newsletter, but they don’t take the time to explore the newsletter user experience.
When was the last time you took a look at your newsletter from the perspective of one of your customers?
If you’re like many companies, it’s probably been a while.
The Most Important Consideration when Optimizing Newsletter User Experience
Even the most strategically designed newsletter will fail to deliver results if the email containing the newsletter isn’t actually delivered.
Email deliverability, the rate at which your emails are actually delivered, is a critical component of your newsletter user experience.
So, think about it: Are your emails reaching the intended recipients?
If your emails aren’t being delivered, then the valuable time and energy you spend on your newsletter are completely wasted and all of the potential opportunities essentially disappear.
There is no user experience without email deliverability. And the funny thing is that email deliverability is driven largely by user experience. The two are co-dependent.
User Experience and Email Deliverability are Co-Dependent
Internet service providers (ISPs) assign your organization an email sender score based on a variety of factors. A low score can cause ISPs to label your emails as spam to protect those in their networks. In other cases, the emails might not get delivered at all.
The following items will lower your score:
Recipients reporting your emails as spam
Low open rates
High unsubscribe rates
High bounce rates that occur when you repeatedly send emails to invalid addresses
The first three items are highly related to user experience.
Recipients won’t report your newsletter emails as spam if they are well designed.
Recipients will open your newsletter if the title is relevant and engaging.
Recipients won’t even think of unsubscribing if your newsletter provides value and information to help solve problems and pain points for them.
User Experience and Email Deliverability Best Practices Provide valuable content.
Stop sending promotional emails disguised as newsletters and instead learn about content marketing strategies.
Leverage all of the data you have about your customers to send the right content to the right people. When you consistently deliver quality information that your targeted audience needs and wants to read, they will respond by opening your emails.
When they see an email from you, they open it and deliverability score improves.
Not only will this help with deliverability, but a nice byproduct is that you generate more sales as well as additional brand trust and loyalty. In fact, one study found that 78% of people said their intent to purchase increases when they receive personally relevant content.
Gradually increase sending volume to segmented lists.
Too often, people get so excited about utilizing newsletters that they shoot before they aim.
Let’s say you have 100,000 emails in your list. Deploying campaigns to them all at once is a very bad idea. ISPs will flag this immediately as a threat or a spam attack.
The better approach to is to segment your list according to user preferences and needs and then gradually increase sending volume to those lists with a careful approach.
When you send the right emails to the right people, you dramatically improve your open rates. When you segment your lists, customers are more likely to receive content that is relevant to their particular needs.
Your organization is likely targeting groups of customers with very different preferences and needs.
It’s very important to define, understand and speak specifically to the unique needs of each type of audience.
Segmenting lists for each of these groups will enable you to craft more personalized content, deploy targeted campaigns, drive open rates and ultimately improve deliverability.
Commit to Continuous Improvement
To help see the big picture of how customers are interacting with your emails, most automated email service providers offer tracking options so you can monitor various metrics, including open rates, click-through rates and purchases. Take advantage of these options to improve user experience.
Remember, in order for your newsletter to produce value for your organization, the emails have to be delivered. From there, you can continue finding new ways to design powerful content and create real momentum for your business.