How to Get More People to Open Your Newsletter

How to get more people to open your newsletter

Feature image from Flickr Creative Commons, by THOR
Article by Chiu K

Like most, my inbox counts over 2,000+ unread emails. About 122,500,453,020 emails are sent every hour, with the average American spending 4 hours a day going through their inbox. Over 260 billion spam is sent daily; everyone’s vying for the recipient’s attention. So how do you cut through the clutter and get them to click?

I’m aspiring to be a traveller and naturally, I’ve subscribed myself to a few newsletters for travel fare alerts. Despite my good intentions, I’ve rarely open more than two subscriptions monthly. Even more surprisingly, the bigger players such as Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, etc., are not on my list. By far my favourite travel fare newsletter with highest open rate is airfarewatchdog. Besides sending me fare alerts on cities I’ve personally selected on their website, they also send me a monthly newsletters with tips and tricks on travelling. Let me breakdown why I like their newsletter so much.

airefarewatchdog newsletter

Enticing subject line

It took me a while before I noticed airefarewatchdog in my inbox, and the first challenge they faced was to get my attention in my already full inbox. Unlike other newsletters, they took the approach of using their featured blog post title as the subject line, below are some examples:

  • 9 Tips for Worry-Free Thanksgiving Travel
  • 10 Tips on Booking Last-Minute Holiday Fares
  • 15 Items to Survive a Long-Haul
  • How to Fit More in Your Suitcase
  • The New Way to Avoid Checked Bag Fees

Using blog titles as subject lines won’t work for all companies, but in this case it works well with the audience they are marketing to. I can only assume that they took the blog post they got the most traffic from to use as their main email topic. If the blog title already works for visitors on their websites, there is a high chance it would also work for the inbox.

Anatomy of the newsletter:
90% educational 10% promotional

We can breakdown airefairewatchdog’s newsletter anatomy further:

  1. Main blog post
  2. 4 trending stories
  3. Q&A
  4. Reader’s survey
  5. Today’s fare deals to bucket-list destinations (based on your personal list)
  6. Travel tips & tricks for your next trip
  7. Where to next? (option to enter in a city search)
  8. Social share options

With a total of 8 sections, there are 4 sections devoted to the reader’s education, 2 sections for readers to build relationships with the brand, and 2 personalised promotional sections. If you are subscribed to airfairewatchdog, chances are you are price sensitive. As an occasional traveller, I appreciate any tips and tricks that can help me save money and upgrade. The content on this newsletter anticipates any travelling issues I may encounter, and its promotional plug actually comes across as useful.

Of course, a newsletter is only as successful as the content it links to. I look forward to receiving airfarewatchdog’s newsletter because their posts are relevant and easy to read. Once they got me to open my first email from them, they convinced me to keep an eye out on their future sends.

Like to learn more about newsletters?
Browse the links below for more detailed posts:
Scariest Email Facts (Infographic)
How to Create an Email Newsletter People Actually Read
15 Email Newsletter Examples We Love Getting in Our Inboxes

Chiu Kwok holds a Bachelor of Commerce, with a major in Marketing. She has over 4 years in eCommerce management and is looking to expand her marketing expertise in SEO and growth strategy. As part of the curriculum for her certificate in Digital Content and Community Management, Chiu currently contributes to McGill’s Continuing Studies’ CBUSS 111 blog.

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