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How to Use Email Newsletters to Learn More About Your Subscribers


Content Marketing, Content Planning

On the surface, email newsletters may seem like one of the least sexy marketing tactics. But here at Uncanny Content, we happen to think they’re really sexy. Why?

GIF of Ron Swanson smirking

You can learn so much about your subscribers! Their likes, dislikes, what type of content they find most valuable, whether they’re ghosting you…all sorts of fun stuff. 

We’ve already talked about creating awesome email newsletters, but there’s so much more you can get out of actually sending them. Here’s how you can use your email newsletters to learn more about your audience. 

Tap into your analytics

If you’ve never looked at your email analytics, it can be a little overwhelming at first. But we’re here to tell you: Use your analytics. All of that beautiful, wonderful data is there for a reason! You can use it to find out all kinds of things about your subscribers, like:

  • Which day(s) they read your newsletters
  • What time they open your emails
  • The devices they use
  • What topics they’re most interested in

With all of this information at your fingertips, you can start to fine-tune your newsletters to meet your audience exactly where they are.

Start A/B testing

A/B testing is a really smart strategy if you want to boost email open rates and get to know your audience better. If you’re not familiar, let’s back up a little bit.

A/B testing is also called split testing. It’s when you send the same newsletter to two different groups (Group A and Group B) but change only ONE element. That way, you have a control group and a test group to see whether those small changes impact engagement. 

So, which elements can you change and learn from? Lots! Like: 

  • Subject lines
  • Preview text
  • Call-to-action buttons (copy or treatment)
  • Send times
  • Personalization (like adding names to your subject line or copy)
  • Using images, videos, or GIFs
  • Email design or format

Remember: You should only test ONE element at a time so you can actually learn something about your audience. Otherwise, you’re just sending two different emails and won’t have a clue which changes worked and which ones didn’t. 

Segment your lists

Through your A/B testing and learning, you can start to hone in on your subscribers and cater to their personal interests. Maybe one portion of your subscribers likes newsletters that feature how-to tutorials. Maybe another group is only interested when you have a sale going on (hey, we’re guilty of it, too). 

Whatever those niche segments look like, go with it! Will it take a little bit more work on your end? Of course. But will it pay off with happier subscribers and higher engagement rates? Abso-fucking-lutely.

Create email polls

If you still want a clearer idea of what your subscribers want, ask them! There’s really no losing when you go directly to the source and ask, ‘Hey, what kind of content do you want from me?’

Depending on your email platform, you might already have access to a feature that lets you create polls. If not, you can tap into tons of other free poll-making resources (like Survey Monkey, Mailchimp, or Google Forms) and add them to your email content. Then, all you have to do is pay attention to the results and GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT!

GIF of screaming concert fans
Ashley Blonquist, Uncanny Content Writer and Math Enthusiast/Bad-Ass M.C.
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