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Blog Post | Sep 27, 2021

Beyond Content: 3 Make-or-Break Elements for Successful Email Newsletter Marketing

When it comes to newsletter marketing, great content is essential – but if you’re not following these three make-or-break rules, your audience won’t even make it to your content. These tips can help integrated marketers produce newsletters that get results.

Topics: Marketing Campaign

Newsletters remain one of the most cost-effective tactics for generating leads and driving conversions. During the pandemic, integrated marketers rediscovered their power: so many of us were tethered to our technology and craving content and connection, and newsletters serve up both.


Relevant, well-written content is a big part of the equation – we could write a book on the subject! But the truth is, if you’re not following these ‘make or break’ rules, it doesn’t matter how great your content is. Read on to learn how to get more of your newsletters to more prospective customers.

 1. Use a Double Opt-in to Put Subscribers in the Driver Seat

Newsletter marketing should be a two-way street, providing you with a source of qualified leads and offering subscribers something unique and useful. A best practice for almost all email marketing is using a double opt-in:

  1. A reader fills out a form or submits their email.
  2. They get an email that asks them to confirm their interest.

This two-step process can help you capture a highly engaged audience who really want to interact with your brand, and you can avoid CAN-SPAM complaints. Not to mention, it builds trust and allows subscribers to feel like they’re in control of the relationship. For these same reasons, each newsletter should also include an easy way to unsubscribe.

 2. Getting Your Content Read Starts with the Subject Line

A great subject line makes all the difference between whether your email gets opened or not. Writing the perfect subject line requires skill and a lot of practice, but you can use these tips immediately.

  • Keep your subject line to no more than six to 10 words.
  • Stop using emojis ASAP. The common wisdom had been they can help your newsletter ‘pop’ in someone’s inbox, but one recent analysis showed that emojis failed to impact open rates. What’s worse, the analysis also showed that using emojis in the subject line decreases perceptions of competence and value.
  • Just including the word ‘video’ in your subject line can boost your open rate by as much as 6% or more. In addition to driving people to open the newsletter, videos drive click-through rates by 65%!

 3. Promote Your Newsletter, Grow your Subscriber List

Hopefully, you’re making use of the double opt-in recommendation above and consistently scrubbing your list, but to get the most out of your newsletters, you’ll still need to acquire new subscribers.
Increase signups by offering meaningful incentives such as free shipping, a discount, or access to exclusive or gated content. Contests are also a great way to rapidly increase subscribers and qualified leads. Again, think of that ‘quid pro quo’ so both you and your audience get something of value.
Another way to reach a broader audience is to cross-promote your newsletters via social media. DTC sneaker brand AllBirds put a link to their signup form right below the header on their Facebook page.You can also link to an email signup form through your social bios.
Finally, as a last resort,  use exit intent popup to grab readers. These popups can come off as a little aggressive, so use language and design that puts your audience at ease. Since you’re selling the subscription, not your actual content, focus on what readers can expect (e.g., how often they’ll get a newsletter, what you’ll cover, and any other important details).

Back to the Content Basics

Remember how we said something about writing a book on creating great email content? Currently, there are over 150 books on the subject on Amazon. You could devote the next year to reading up about it – or you could talk to us instead. We can design, produce and deploy beautiful newsletters that work on their own or fit into a larger campaign. Contact us to learn more.