Email marketing is widely used by publishers as a highly effective way to grow their audience and drive revenue for their businesses. Savvy publishers know that email marketing drives the highest ROI of any marketing tactic and they are using it to their advantage.

In this post, we’ll share 3 email marketing best practices for publishers that any publishing business can easily implement and see results.

1. Cater to subscribers interests with segmentation

Like many businesses, publishers cater to a lot of different subscribers and customers, each with their own preferences. For email marketing to be effective, publishers must cater to these specific interests. In other words, publishers can’t create one email and send it to everyone on their list. One size fits all emails no longer deliver in an age where informed consumers want high targeted content.

Research shows 58% of revenue generated from emails comes from segmented lists. And marketers have found a 760% increase in email revenue from segmented campaigns.

Many businesses segment by demographics, past purchases, or buying behavior, but publishers tend to benefit most from interest-based segments. By allowing customers to select which content they want to receive based on their interests, response rates will likely increase. We’ve written about how BuzzFeed has excelled using this approach.

To make segmentation and user preferences a snap, you can set up a preference center that allows subscribers to pick the kind of content that arrives in their inbox. Here’s an example from Penguin Random House, asking subscribers to do just that:

Preference center

With a preference center like this, subscribers do the segmenting by indicating their preferences. From this information, it’s possible to tailor email messaging to specific groups and create content specific to each category. It ensures that subscribers receive relevant emails that they care about.

2. Improve efficiency with email automation

With email automation, marketers can easily create workflows to send personalized, timely, relevant emails to customers at the right time which explains why 49% of companies are using it.

Here are a few types of emails that publishers can use:

Email courses

Apartment Therapy uses email automation to send baking lessons right to their subscribers’ inboxes. Subscribers receive daily lessons that guide them from novice to kitchen experts. And this type of opted-in, automated email pays as open and click-through rates are around 55%.

Welcome emails

Research shows that the first 48 hours after sign up is when subscribers are the most engaged, and yet 41% of brands miss this window of time. Publishers can take advantage of this opportunity with an awesome welcome email.

Publishers set up a triggered email, so each time a new subscriber is added to a list, a welcome email is automatically sent.

A welcome email should have:

• A relevant subject line that signifies a new relationship
• A friendly greeting as the opening line of the email message
• A mention of email frequency
• A call to action that leads subscribers to your website

BuzzFeed sends a welcome email to each their newsletter lists to set the tone of what subscribers will receive and when they’ll get it.


Personalized content

Publishers take the time to personalize emails to build stronger relationships with their subscribers. It’s a smart email marketing best practice because transaction rates for personalized emails are six times higher than those without. And, emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened.

Many people assume personalization simply means adding a subscriber’s name to the subject line, but there are more heaps of ways to personalize an email including:

While personalization may take a bit of additional time, it’s an important aspect to add to each email whenever possible.

Publishers using an email service provider, like Campaign Monitor should be able to access a whole host of features to make personalization simple.

3. Focus on mobile

Publishers know that sending mobile-friendly emails is a must-have, not a nice to have. In fact, 34% of publishers send emails that are optimized for mobile devices, and another 50% are planning to make the move within the next year.

Here’s an example from Fashion Magazine:

Fashion Mobile

Campaign Monitor provides email templates that are mobile responsive, which means they look great on every device. Plus, publishers can send a test email prior to sending the email to their list to see how their email looks in 30+ email clients and devices.

Wrap up

By adopting any or all of the 3 email marketing best practices shared in this post, publishers can help attract new subscribers, grow their audience, provide relevant, engaging content and get their messages seen no matter where their subscribers view it.

Read more: Email Marketing Best Practices: What We Learned in 2016