Remember 2020 when newsletters were the hot new (old) thing and everyone was itching to take part?
Discovered via The Rebooting.
Related: Learn what Ernie Smith thinks newsletter authors can learn from the print newsletter era
Why Did You Open This Newsletter?
Even with the release of iOS 15’s Mail Privacy Protection (which means emails delivered to Apple Mail users who don’t want their email behavior tracked may appear to be opened even if they weren’t), the email industry and senders are still drawn to improving an unreliable metric: open rate.
Specifically, there are always new articles about how to increase them. But few seem to prioritize the most obvious reason an individual or brand can earn high open rates:
Send what your subscriber expects you to send.
If they opted in (please tell me you’re not buying lists), they did so because you promised content that covers a specific topic they’re interested in. Send them that every time.
If you want to wreck the relationship (and, consequently, your open rates), bait and switch. It’s actually that simple.
Clever subject lines can’t save you if you’ve established a reputation for sending highly promotional content when you told them you were going to send an editorial newsletter.
Think of it this way:
Your recipient signs up, gets and opens a few emails from you, and begins to classify them as
The more you veer away from MUST READ, the less they’ll open, even if the subject line is strong, because by that point they’ve learned you don’t deliver on promises, so why should this email be different?
My argument here was prompted by 2 open rate articles we curated for you this week. They’re helpful, but I don't think they give this crucial point enough attention.
Devin Reed has officially been publishing his newsletter for one year. To celebrate the milestone, he shared 13 lessons he’s learned, including:
Check out all 13 in his LinkedIn post.
Ann Handley has previously called this OWBR aka Open to Write Back Rate, which we included in this issue.
Discovered via theCLIKK.
What problem is your newsletter solving?
How are you solving it?
And how does it benefit your readers?
In her LinkedIn post, Jess Cook provides a website headline formula that might come in handy in creating your newsletter value prop:
[Verb] [ideal state] without [painpoint].
Click through for an example and follow Jess for more insights.
Does your subject line really matter? Well, yes… but not nearly as much as the sender (and the reputation you earn early on for sending quality).
That caveat aside, Lily Ugbaja offers 6 tips to increase your open rates by using “human-to-human” subject lines.
Discovered via Really Good Emails.
Everyone knows something about something.
As a newsletter creator, the key is using that knowledge to develop content readers can learn from.
Josh Spector offers 10 ways to do this, including
No spam, ever. We'll never share your email address and you can opt out at any time.