It can feel somewhat soul-destroying to send out emails and newsletters packed with content that no one is reading.
Here you are with a great, innovative idea that you’ve distilled into what you’re convinced is an engaging piece of content. You know that the content itself could add a great deal of value to someone’s day.
Yet despite the quality of what you’ve produced, no one has read it. They might have opened your email, but they never clicked through to the content. All you’re doing is screaming into the big wide online abyss.
This begs the question: what can you do when distributing your content to make sure as many readers as possible glue their eyes to it?
Read on to find out a few tips that could help you do exactly that.
The average email click-through rate for financial services is just 2.72%
If you’re finding that your readers open your emails but are less likely to click through, you’re certainly not alone.
According to Mailchimp, the average email open rate is 21.33%. In business and finance specifically, there’s a slight increase to 21.56%. That would translate as 1 in 5 recipients opening your mailing, not a bad return with all facts considered.
But when it comes to the click-through rate (CTR), it’s a slightly different story. The CTR is the percentage of individuals who received your email and clicked on any of the links you’ve included inside.
As Mailchimp’s data shows, the average CTR across sectors is 2.62%. This is again marginally higher in business and finance, resting at 2.72%. That’s just shy of 1 in 20 recipients clicking a link – arguably not such a good return.
On average, that might mean that most of your mailing list recipients never actually read your content, even if they do open your email.
3 simple changes that could help you bump your CTR
With all this in mind, you may well be wondering what you can do to improve the rates of clients and prospects who receive your content and click through to it.
Fortunately, you lucky devil, I’m going to show you three simple things you can do that could help you to improve the CTR you can garner on your newsletters.
- Collect and review email data to see what works
The first step in improving your CTR – or any aspect of your newsletters – is to collect and review the data.
Most customer relationship management (CRM) platforms will provide key information to you when you send an email campaign, offering metrics such as the:
- Open rate
- CTR, including which links your recipients clicked
- Unsubscribe rate.
Crucially, however, you need to make this data actionable. There’s little value in collecting this information each month without then setting aside time to draw meaningful conclusions from it and make adjustments accordingly.
For example, if you just glance at the CTR each month after sending your newsletter without considering why certain emails performed differently to others, there’s no point in collecting this data in the first place.
Instead, look at the data and try to identify patterns. If you notice a higher CTR on certain newsletters, see whether there’s any correlation between the subjects you wrote about. From here, you could then prioritise writing on certain topics that you know your subscribers are interested in.
Of course, the frustrating thing with the CTR is that the actual content may have little bearing. Instead, it might just be the way that a certain piece of content is presented. This leads us to…
- Optimise your newsletter template
The way your content is presented to your recipients can heavily influence how likely they are to click through to an article.
Small differences in the way information is presented can have a huge effect. For example, some research suggests that people are more likely to click on the left-hand side of marketing emails than the right.
This is an area where our content delivery team particularly excels. Our newsletter templates are carefully designed to be as attractive and accessible as possible, with the goal of maximising engagement.
The result? Open rates and CTRs that far exceed the industry averages. Reviewing the figures for five clients who I’m involved in creating newsletter content for, the data from last month’s mailing showed:
- Open rates ranging from 57% to 73%
- CTRs generally exceeding 5%, with one even reaching 18%.
While this was just a small cross-section of clients, it’s evidence that the newsletters we send regularly do drive engagement. A large part of that will undoubtedly be the shape of the template that arrives in our target audience’s inboxes.
- Write engaging headlines
A large majority of content lives and dies with the headline. As master marketeer, David Oglivy famously said: “When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”
If your open rates are high but the CTR is low, it could imply that your recipients want to hear from you, but they weren’t hooked by what they saw within your newsletter. In this case, one option you have is to craft headlines that could drive greater engagement.
Your use of language or the way you frame a topic in the 10 to 15 words of the title could make all the difference.
For example, I’ve seen articles that talk directly about “death” in the title attract little engagement. There are various factors that could be at play here, but it’s certainly possible that readers don’t want to think about their own mortality. In turn, a title with “death” front and centre could push potential readers away.
Meanwhile, reframing this as something like “Your family’s financial independence could be at risk in future. Here’s why” could be more effective. It avoids the “D” word while still including an emotional angle that could convince clients to read.
One of my favourite tools for crafting more clickable titles is the CoSchedule Headline Studio. This software lets you review headlines based on various aspects, offering a score out of 100 to tell you how engaging your headline could be.
It’s far from perfect, but taking a science-based approach like this to craft more engaging headlines could be a worthwhile use of time.
Work with the experts
If you’d like to work with an expert who can design an effective newsletter strategy and deliver your content on your behalf, we can help.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0115 8965 300 to speak to us today.