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Denise Keller

Make Email Newsletters Interactive: Give Users a Reason to Click

May 06 2011, 06:28 PM by

Getting email newsletter subscribers to interact and take action is more important than ever in today’s communication channel. Long gone are the days when sending coupons and special offers was enough to provoke a response. Recipients get enough of this as it is, plus falling into that trap only makes it harder for you to stand out from the bunch. In 2011, it’s all about engaging the reader.

Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do increase interaction among your subscriber base. Following are some examples:
Make Your Message Social
Do you currently have a presence in the social media space? If so, that presence can be leveraged as a way to get your subscribers to interact. By simply including social media links and icons in your newsletter and coupling them with specific calls to action, you can dramatically boost the activity within your message. Don’t have a social presence? That’s okay, because you can still take advantage. It is now possibly to easily embed social sharing buttons that provide a convenient way for subscribers to pass along your newsletter for you. What can be better than having them share your content on popular sites like Facebook and Twitter?
Create a Survey
Getting your subscribers to provide you with feedback can be just as effective as getting them to make a purchase. All it takes is a simple survey to gather valuable insight that can be used to create content that is more to their liking and helps to improve your email marketing efforts. People love to share their opinions, so make them see the value in giving their feedback and most of your subscribers will be happy to participate. A newsletter gives you plenty of real estate for embedding an HTML survey, but if that's not an option, don’t hesitate to set one up on your website or blog and include a link to it. The same benefits are up for grabs.
Target Your Marketing Efforts
You can incorporate all the interactive elements you want, but your newsletter will continually fail to get a response if it is lacking in the relevance department. People want to read stuff that piques their interests. They want content that benefits them specifically. Just because you are sending a newsletter doesn’t mean you can’t tailor your message to suit individual preferences. If you want to get more subscribers interacting and clicking links, segment your list and start treating them as individuals rather than a single entity. Sorry to say, but what one reader cherishes as quality content could be considered crap by the next.

Many of your subscribers are drowning in newsletters and emails from other marketers who share your ambitions. For this reason, it is crucial to find a way to connect with them and stand out from the crowd. Not all of them may be ready to move today, but if you keep at it, they just might decide to take you up on your offer and provide the interaction you’ve been looking for in due time.

Posted in Tips & Resources

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Pete Austin @MarketingXD

May 07 2011, 06:54 AM

Interesting comments. You are right about adding Social Sharing icons - we did this by default at smartFOCUS a few years ago - but be aware that there are security implications if you share a link to a personalized email. Surveys are more of a problem. I don't think this is even possible, because script doesn't work in any mainstream email client that I know of, and forms don't work in WebMail clients such as GMail. You can ask a single question of course, by embetting one link per answer, though this is a bit limited. Finally, Target Subscribers with relevant content? I agree 100%.