Continuing our quest to research the role of email marketing in every industry out there, we need to identify publishing companies as a huge potential market. It is a difficult topic to raise, as this not an industry in which Email marketing can directly boost sales. This makes it even more challenging and this is why, we analyzed more than 17 million of related emails: to find data which you can utilize in your strategy as a publishing company. More than that, in this post, you will find some practical tips on how you can benefit with best email marketing practices.
Email marketing won’t directly boost your sales unless you are a subscription-based media company. However, it will effectively increase the engagement with your visitors. You can understand that there is no more personalized way than email marketing when it comes to communicating and interacting with your visitors. However, these are uncharted waters for many publishers.
The email list growth problem
Many publishers find it difficult to grow their email list. And it’s even more difficult for casual news or sports websites where publishers do not have an exclusive unique selling point to offer to their visitors.
For every problem there is a solution
If you are following this industry specific series of blog posts, you will remember that we insist a lot in giving a bigger incentive to the user in order to open his email. This applies to the publishing houses’ case too.
After this read, maybe you should rethink your content strategy and start brainstorming a little bit into creating some unique and exclusive value within your emails. As a starting point, note that the average open and click rates of the industry are placed around 13% and 3% accordingly. Here are some ideas you can apply in the quest of new leads (email addresses) which we think that will help you a lot:
– Exclusive content by the users’ favorite authors
– Google Hangout between visitors and authors around specific topics
– Personalized content
– Participation in surveys
– Emailing breaking news, in advance of their publication
As you can understand, interactivity and exclusivity rule this game. An interesting fact is that, both the visitor and the publisher really expect this interactivity so it’s not a matter of one side giving away something to the other side. If you work well on this area, email collection may be accelerated a lot.
The actual tips
Despite the concepts behind your email strategy, there are some really important implementation tips and the red lines you cannot avoid:
1) Mobile responsiveness is a must: Universal mobile responsiveness is a task you won’t avoid. Our analysis has shown that publishing companies still face a big problem in this area, with 23-28% email opens on mobile devices when the average is above 35%. Your emails and content must be easily displayed in both mobiles and tablets to avoid your emails been deleted instantly after 2-3 unsuccessful and annoyed users’ attempts to read your content. Keep in mind that in winter and especially in August mobile opens hit the top, probably because of the holidays.
2) Shareability comes together: Now that your emails and website is mobile friendly, you definitely shouldn’t forget to make it shareable. Putting the needed sharing buttons and offering also a web version of your emails, are techniques that will boost your content distribution in an automatic way.
3) Personalization rules: As mentioned before, there must be some unique value for people to at least open and read your emails. The least and most obvious you can do is offer some personalization with targeted news and articles that fit your subscribers’ tastes. It may not be a significant difference, but personalized emails achieved a raise of 2-3% in each open and click rate.
4) The early bird catches the worm: According to our analysis, 8-9 am in the morning are by far the best times to email your subscribers. This actually sounds normal as most of the news are aggregated and delivered once per day unless there is something really urgent.
5) Be careful with the pictures: Don’t try to include background images in your emails. As far as it has to do with the rest of the pictures, try to add some descriptive tags behind the picture because some ISPs are not displaying pictures without the user allowing it. You do not either your emails depend on a background picture, or the rest of the images not to have a description, for the person that does not want to display them. That way, your emails will be readable even if the pictures are not displayed at all.
6) Choose the right day and time: Our analysis has revealed by far, Wednesday, as the best day. With an average open rate of 26%, Wednesday is at least 8-9% higher than the weekly average, a number that cannot be ignored. It’s not unexpected that the time period between 7am – 10am is the most effective to email news.
7) Use clear and concise subject lines: Smaller and clearer subject lines get an above the average open rate with the optimal length to be calculated on maximum 20 characters.
Publishing companies need for sure to take initiative and start using email marketing more to their benefit and towards their readers’ increased need for 24/7 connectivity with what’s happening.
Were the tips above helpful? What are you doing as a publisher to engage with your subscribers?