There’s no doubt that email marketing is one of the highest-converting marketing methods. According to Barilliance (2022), the average conversion rate for email marketing was 15.22% in 2021. This is because email newsletters are typically sent out to an otherwise already-interested market. It’s also easy to nurture potential customers through email.
But what about editorial newsletters? Should they be part of your email marketing campaigns? How do you even create a great editorial newsletter? This article will help you understand what editorial newsletters are and how to create them.
Editorial newsletters are a collection of the best blog articles (and other content types such as videos) that editors compile and send to their email subscribers. Most editors would usually pick the best-performing content within a given duration and share them through editorial newsletters.
Instead of relying on category tags and recommending posts to different niche audiences, editorial newsletters rely on human judgment. As with the case below, some articles on cryptocurrency and writing are promoted via an email newsletter.
Since these newsletters are semi or non-automated, there’s also an added layer of non-robotic personalization.
The goal of your editorial newsletters is to reach out to your email list personally. Editorial newsletters may come in the form of editor’s product recommendations, curated content lists, etc.
First, you’d want to be sending these editorial newsletters on a regular schedule. That means you need to create editorial calendar for these newsletters.
Moving on to the content, here are some ways to create successful editorial newsletters that get read and generate a decent click-through rate (CTR).
Personalized newsletters are effective newsletters, regardless of the type of newsletter (i.e., email survey, special offers and promos, cart abandonment, welcome email, etc.).
Regarding editorial newsletters, you’d have more freedom with the personalization since the content of this email would be coming from your editorial team.
Here are some ways to personalize your email newsletter:
- Address your recipient by name. Have your recipient’s name at the greeting, the body, and, if applicable, the subject line. You can use email marketing software to automatically fill these in using dynamic fields.
- Segment your email list into smaller email segments containing subscribers of different interests.
- If you’ve segmented your email list by age, have a tone that resonates with each age group among your subscribers. A tone meant for 50 to 65-year-olds won’t work well for 18 to 25-year-olds, and vice versa.
- Don’t simply curate the content with the highest reads or engagement for each email list. Instead, assess current events (e.g., Elon Musk buying Twitter, etc.) and create newsletters relevant to your audience around those trends. More on this later.
- Use the editor’s name as a sign-off. It’s an added personal touch for your email templates.
Personalized newsletters make for very effective email marketing campaigns. And it goes beyond mentioning your recipient’s names. Know what your audience likes, struggles with, etc., then use that to personalize your newsletters at a deeper level.
Have a unique voice
Receiving daily newsletters from various email marketers can be mundane and boring for the recipient. Therefore, you need a unique voice to stand out from other email marketers.
Here are some tips on creating a unique voice for your email marketing campaigns:
- Maintain a conversational tone. More details on that later.
- Stick to your brand voice. This includes using the appropriate color, imagery, and tone in your email newsletters.
- Make your email newsletter visual. Visuals help readers retain more information from your email. Additionally, visual content engages readers to read further. But more importantly, visuals can help you communicate your message to the readers more effectively.
- Consider using humor. You can add memes and gifs in your newsletter, for example. You could also make a few pop culture references. But make sure your newsletters are still informative.
This unique voice doesn’t just make your email newsletters stand out. It also keeps your readers hooked, which is vital for a healthy click-through rate.
According to Adobe, 81% of people who regularly check their emails use a smartphone. Optimizing your editorial newsletters for smartphones is, hence critical.
Here’s what a mobile-friendly newsletter should look like:
- A newsletter that can be read easily through vertical scrolling. Users shouldn’t be forced to scroll horizontally to read your content.
- It should have compact images with small file sizes for faster newsletter loading. A mobile device’s small screen doesn’t always require 4K resolution images.
- CTA buttons should be visible and easy to click.
- Never use more than one column. Two columns may be decipherable on big desktop screens, but a one-column design is adequate for smaller screens.
Here’s an example of a mobile-friendly newsletter (right) compared to one optimized for desktops (left).
As you can imagine, the reader experience on the mobile-friendly newsletter is miles ahead. This is instrumental in getting email recipients to read your newsletter and complete the desired action.
Thankfully, creating mobile-friendly newsletters is much easier with modern email marketing solutions. Tools like Chamaileon help you create mobile-optimized newsletters using simple drag-and-drop functions.
The platforms also let you preview your editorial newsletters before sending them. This allows you to see how your editorial newsletters look on mobile and desktop devices.
Set up a preference center
To properly recommend the appropriate content to various readers, you should segregate your subscribers into multiple email list segments. Each segment should correspond to a given interest or characteristic.
But how would you segment your email list if you don’t know what your audience is interested in? Well, how about you create a preference center?
A preference center lets your leads select the type of content they want to receive. The data allows you to segment your email list right from the start. Your email marketing team can then target each segment with editorial newsletters that match their preferences.
Curate relevant content
Curating relevant content becomes much easier once your email list is segmented into multiple groups. All you need to do is check what each group likes or is interested in, then start compiling the best topics around that content. You can then proceed to distribute that content to your newsletter subscribers.
You should also think about current trends when creating your editorial newsletter strategy. This can help you tap into trending topics to keep your subscribers informed. But, of course, the topics should be relevant to your business and audience.
Let’s say you have a social media marketing agency. An example of a trending topic that you could use to create a successful editorial newsletter is Elon Musk buying Twitter. You could explain this topic and how it could affect social media marketing, especially on Twitter.
Another brilliant idea is to curate your content around specific themes. You could have a special newsletter template for the holidays, for example. Or compile the best long-form reads and suggest them to your readers during a long Easter holiday.
Think of a theme that’s relevant to your audience and curate an editorial newsletter around it. Besides using SEO software and keyword research to create ranking blogs, you can also drive quality traffic to your blogs by curating relevant and high-quality editorial newsletters.
Maintain a conversational tone
Adopting a conversational tone makes your editorial newsletters more approachable. This increases the readership and overall success of your campaign. And it applies to almost all industries.
Here are some tips to consider to maintain a conversational tone across your newsletters.
Start by using a person’s name as the sender’s name for your editorial newsletter. This is more personal than if the company’s name appears as the sender.
Set your newsletter creation up to present the writer’s name for each editorial newsletter you send. Above, you can see an email from Jordan Makelle, a person’s name and not one you’d attribute to an organization.
Occasionally humor the reader. You don’t have to be so uptight and formal with your email marketing pieces as you do your business emails. Have some fun when writing your newsletter emails. Shown above is a newsletter sent by a professional trader, using a conversational tone to keep the audience engaged.
Be conversational with your email subject as well. Subject lines are to emails, what headlines are to articles. You can use dynamic fields to address recipients by their first name on the subject.
You’d want people to be compelled to open your email at just the sight of a push notification on their phones.
A conversational tone may increase your open and read rate. If done well, it can boost your email click-through rate as well.
Shown above is a newsletter from Doctors Without Borders. A person’s name, “Vera Eastman,” is used as the sender. The letter adopts a personalized conversational tone with “I’m reaching out to you personally, John.”
The email subject is conversational as well, with “Can I count on you, John?” The recipient’s name also appears four times throughout the letter.
Do note, however, that you’d also want to stick to your branding guidelines when deciding on a tone. If your brand tone is posh and refined, maintain the same consistency in your editorial guidelines.
Tell a story
As humans, we love stories. Even more so, real-life stories that depict actual human struggles. Telling a story to your email audience has various benefits.
Stories help deliver your point clearer by presenting a relatable experience. They are also engaging, making them helpful in many marketing methodologies. Moreover, stories humanize the speaker, and customer testimonial stories can help sell more products.
You don’t have to be Charles Dickens or Shakespeare to deliver a compelling story. Here are some tips on reeling in your audience with storytelling:
- Keep it short. Jump straight to the conflict (i.e., I once had poor conversion rates. Nothing I read online worked.) and then to the conclusion (i.e. …until I saw this article. My conversion rates have never been better.)
- Keep it relatable to the audience you’re sending the newsletter to. If you’re sending marketing emails to college students, you may see more use from a university-related story. If you’re sending marketing emails to entrepreneurs, then a workplace-related one might be more appropriate.
- It will be even better if it’s a real story. You may have your writers take from an account of their lives or pour out your own life excerpt.
- Introduce your product or content as the solution to the conflict. Like how Marty McFly needs to bring his past mom and dad back together so that he doesn’t cease to exist, the hero of your story should try your product to solve their problem.
Shown below is a life excerpt from Jordan Makelle, a professional writer.
It jumps straight to the conflict. It’s also relatable to writers and creative freelancers alike. She also introduces her course as the solution to a problem. On top of that, it speaks the language of creative workers.
Successful newsletters incorporate stories into their body to drive read-throughs and click-through rates.
Track your progress
As with any business effort, you should establish your key performance indicators (KPIs) and track the success of your editorial newsletters accordingly.
When it comes to the quality of your editorial newsletters, these are the metrics you should track:
- Open rate. A good email open rate could indicate a compelling or conversational email subject line. If you have a low open rate, you can fix it with an attention-grabbing subject. Short, personalized, and conversational subject lines should work well. For example, “Hey, John. You might like these stories.”
- Read rate. A high read rate could indicate a compelling copy for the email body. Meanwhile, a low read rate may be fixed by incorporating a story into your body to make it more engaging. You can also try being more direct to the point. Readers love being brought directly to the action or primary message.
- Click-through rate. A high CTR may indicate a strong call-to-action (CTA). You can increase your click-through rate by making your CTA buttons contrast with the background. You should also include one or two CTAs with each newsletter.
In the case of editorial newsletters, the titles of the curated blogs also play a role in the email’s click-through rate.
Email marketing solutions can help you track your best (and worst) performing email newsletters, giving you insight into what works and doesn’t. Some email marketing software solutions even allow you to A/B test different versions of a newsletter to fine-tune your email approach. Take advantage of these features to create optimized editorial newsletters.
Editorial newsletters are written and curated by editors for their respective audiences. These newsletters are an integral part of any email marketing campaign since they humanize the company and engage subscribers.
To create an effective editorial newsletter, start by personalizing your newsletters. Next, adopt a conversational tone while staying true to your brand voice.
Regarding content, curate timely and relevant content to different audience niches. Set a preference center so that your audiences can choose the content they want to see. Tell a story to deliver your message and increase engagement. Create mobile-friendly newsletters, and finally, track your progress by using goal-specific KPIs.