Email newsletters are one of the most persuasive marketing mediums with click through rates 12x higher than social media marketing. Previously, we covered the basic steps of setting up a newsletter that is both inexpensive and effective at engaging your audience.

Now that you’ve already established your newsletter, it’s time to dive deeper into advanced strategies for improving your newsletter’s reach and engagement rates. Below, the Linqia Influencer Success Team shares their best tactics for optimizing newsletters:

Upgrade Your Email Service

Consider upgrading your current email service provider. The majority of email service providers (like MailChimp) have tiered subscription levels that offer more capabilities at higher payment levels. Higher tiers usually allow a larger subscriber list, more granular engagement analytics, and customizable email design options. A larger subscriber list is the most important of these features, as you can’t grow your newsletter audience if you’ve reached your subscriber limit.

Customize Your Newsletter Design

Design or commission a custom newsletter layout template that matches your website’s layout. You’re likely using one of the free email layout templates provided by your email service, but a custom template that matches your website gives your newsletter a professional look because it aligns with your brand’s look and feel.

If you aren’t a natural designer, ask fellow influencers for referrals to talented but reasonably priced designers. Websites like Fiverr can also connect you with freelance designers who can make custom email templates for $20 (or less!). Keep the reader experience in mind while designing as your newsletter should be easy to navigate. It should also clearly indicate links to your social channels and website so newsletter recipients can quickly access more of your content.

Make a Newsletter Content Calendar

Plan and schedule your newsletter content ahead of time to ensure a consistent cadence while maintaining a variety of content.  Creating a content calendar also gives you a wider perspective on past and future content so you can avoid topic repetition. For example, if a fashion blogger checks her newsletter content calendar and notices that she has several shoe posts scheduled, she can mix in swimwear or accessory content to break up the monotony. This is especially important when scheduling sponsored content into your newsletter, as you don’t want too many sponsored posts close together. It’s also a good idea to schedule sponsored stories with other similarly-themed articles so it “blends” in with rest of your content.

A/B Test Subject Lines

Test different email subject lines to determine what keywords or phrases trigger more opens from your audience. One third of consumers open emails based on the subject line alone, which means this might be your first and possibly only chance to grab your audience’s attention. Separate your email subscriber list into two or more segments and give each a unique subject line when sending your newsletter. Compare each subject line’s open and click rates then apply these insights when writing future subject lines. Continue to test subject lines with every email release, as the effectiveness of a keyword or phrase can wane or increase over time or during seasonal events.

Pay for Facebook Visibility

Pay to boost the visibility of Facebook posts that promote your newsletter. All Facebook posts can be “boosted,” meaning they are placed prominently in the Facebook newsfeeds of users of a certain age, location, gender, and who have indicated certain interests like cooking or sports. Target Facebook posts towards people who are outside your audience but who are interested in your main content topics. Since these people are already interested in your content topics, they’ll likely respond to a post promoting your newsletter. Include link directly to your newsletter email capture in your boosted posts so potential new followers can easily subscribe to it. Boosting Facebook posts can cost as little as $5, so testing out this tactic with your Facebook page has little risk. However, keep in mind that boosted posts cannot contain your Linqia links, as links are only allowed in organic, public social media and website posts.

Newsletters can be an effective tool for engaging your audience and attracting new fans, but only if they’re optimized for success. Use the strategies above to boost your existing newsletter’s audience and engagement rates by improving its design and content. If you’re just getting started with an email newsletter, check out our post on “Building on a Budget: How to Develop a Newsletter for Less than $50.