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Don't rest on your laurels - you need to connect.

Don’t rest on your laurels – you need to connect.

“How can I get more people to open and read my newsletter?”

Well here’s a tip, and it’s not just from the heart, it’s from research:

Engage with your readers!

You might think this is common sense, however not a lot of folks are doing it! Capturing people’s attention and retaining them means engaging with them. It takes time, and it’s not something you can automate. Present a more human side of yourself and your people will be more likely to want to hear what you have to say and are more likely to share your content on social media.

The first step in presenting a more personalised face of your newsletter is by humanising your brand.

Here are 3 tips to humanise your brand and starting engaging your readers.

1. Be open to feedback

When someone clicks to open an email, they are usually clicking because they are interested to hear either from you or because the subject line grabbed their attention. The best way you can know what interests your audience the most is by being open to feedback from them – in a multitude of forums – your blog, your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.

Keep track of the comments that your readers leave behind and take the time to respond to them personally. When your list is small, you might even be able to match up social media accounts with newsletter subscribers. Monitor which posts gain the most responses from your audience. Host contests and quizzes to get your readers engaged so they are even more motivated to leave behind comments and opinions. When your readers know that you care and that you are open to their thoughts and opinions, they will be more likely to read your newsletter and share your content with their friends and family.

2. Effectively use social media

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest all have two things in common: they’re free and they are also important business tools. However, not all businesses use social media effectively.

Here’s how you can truly take advantage of social media to engage with your readers. Use social media to interact with your subscribers and customers. You get to hear more about what the current buzz is about your content AND the chance to engage with your readers to show them that you care about their thoughts and opinions.

For instance, some businesses repost the content that subscribers and customers have posted on their wall or submitted on their website. Reposting positive content from your customers will help you generate loyal readers and people who realise that their achievements and accomplishments are being recognised. By doing this, you can will increase the amount of people who want to open your newsletter and hear about the services or content you have to offer.

3. Personalise your emails

People are more likely to click open newsletters from people they trust. When your customer sees the sender of your email, who do they see? Do they see a company name or is it your own personal name?

The ‘sender’ portion of your email should be a name that readers can recognise and trust. According to an email marketing survey done by Experian, readers are also more likely to click open email subjects that have personalised subject lines.

Emails with personalised subject lines have a 26% HIGHER unique open rate than emails WITHOUT personalised subject lines. However, 70% of businesses are not personalising email subject lines to their customers. Take the time to personalise your subject lines and the content in your email to fit what your customers are looking for. Show customers they are more than a number. By humanising your brand and helping to make the value of your content shine. By engaging with customers, you are on your way to having a newsletter that actually gets read.

Above all – be human. Being robotic is boring.