Continuing on with the ‘ten things’ theme. 🙂
Here are some ideas that could make your email newsletter more interactive, or sticky. When readers engage, they’re more likely to respond – and also keep opening. You’ll notice a theme here also – the insight you’ll gain from the communications coming back to you should be used to improve your newsletter.
- Ask for feedback – Ask them what’s working, what’s not, or what they’d like to see in your newsletter. Plan to answer any responses personally right away. Use the feedback to improve your newsletter’s layout or content.
- Run surveys – Set up properly, this is a great way to ask for and get insight into your readership. By properly I mean incentivising participation, keeping it easy and short. The results can provide content for the next edition – e.g. a B2B newsletter providing relevant industry benchmarks based on responses. People like to see how things are measuring up in their own industry.
- Offer downloads – “Take aways” are always popular. People like to get freebies. They should be quality white papers, tip sheets, pdfs, podcasts, anything that your readers can take away that keeps you in the life cycle of their decision making process. It also gives you valuable click activity metrics.
- Have a ‘rate this’ feature – Get granular feedback on a per article basis.
- Ask for reader generated content – People like to see their name in lights. Depending on your product and services of course, ask readers to send in relevant articles, photos, video clips, reviews, podcasts and success stories to be posted in the next edition of the newsletter.
- Provide lots of contact points – Don’t have one email address on a ‘contact us’ back page of your newsletter. List contact points everywhere. Offer email, physical address, business phone numbers, 24-hour help lines and IM options. Often people are just one question away from a purchase – and if you have a fast communication channel open for them, it could mean the difference between a sale or a miss.
- Offer social networking opportunities – This depends on your products or services – and resources. Review having a company Facebook presence, videos on YouTube or a chat board. These types of outlets foster interactivity in between each newsletter.
- Let readers post comments – Offer a comment feature on each article. Similar in style to blog posts and comment posts.
- Let them update their profile – Offer the ability to update the information they receive from you, such as the frequency and content they want. This makes it easy to segment and provide more relevant tailored emails.
- Run contests, puzzles or games – People like to enter contests and tackle puzzles. They could be industry-related. It should strike the balance of being a challenge to do, yet not beyond everyone. Sending in funny captions to photos is great too. Again, incentivise. You don’t have to offer big prizes – but a few fun ones will encourage people to give it a go. Publish the answers – and the winners – in the next edition of the newsletter.