What Makes Me Open a Blog or Newsletter? [try this yourself!]

September 25, 2012

by Justine Parsons


Click rates, open rates, Mailchimp, information overload … we are constantly being bombarded with content.  There is one blog site I will always visit, here’s why.

Part of my day to day tasks involve sending out newsletters for clients.  My preference is Mailchimp but I also use Aweber, Constant Contact and iContact – all great products which create professional looking newsletters.  On the other side of the coin, I receive countless updates from bloggers and companies whose content I value and admire.  I open very few of these.

I have blogged about Mike Morgan from High Profile Enterprises before.  Mike and Midge are the people I nag for answers when I have an SEO related question.  I like their ethics, their content and the level of service they deliver.  I also, always open their blog posts.  Here’s why.

Mike sends me a plain, unpretentious email to let me know his latest post is up and asks me what I think.  This gives me the impression (hopefully true!) that my opinion is valued and that he thinks the article is of value to me.  As a result of this, and because I enjoy and learn from his articles I nearly always comment on his blog.  I do always open and read them.

With this in mind, test the following action plan for 3 months and measure the following:

  • Site traffic
  • Blog interaction (comments)
  • Increased communications (with your newly formed email list)

Action Plan:

  1. Select from your mailing list your closest connections.  Those you have a relationship with which you would like to build.  Choose up to 20.
  2. Create an email group and populate it with these connections.
  3. Send them an email with a link to your latest post.  Be genuine, brief and as always, include an open ended question.  For example; What makes me open a blog or newsletter
  4. Send this email list your blog posts (ideally once a fortnight, I wouldn’t recommend you use this list weekly) on a regular basis.
  5. Use your mailing list to keep sending out your regular newsletters to the rest of your connections.  These newsletters are a great way of building your subscribers, capturing information and sharing content.
  6. Using the reports that Mailchimp and other providers offer, start to identify who is regularly opening your newsletters and clicking through links.  These ‘warm’ connections’ could be transferred to your ‘personal’ email group in order to move your communications to a more personal (one-on-one) level.

By moving connections through your funnel, from mailing list to email group, you are creating your own contact evolution and hopefully succeeding in the aim of all email and newsletter campaigns … creating solid relationships.

You will also be increasing interaction and site engagement through your blog posts … which brings me back to my main point.  What makes me open a blog or newsletter?

Or, more importantly, what makes YOU open a blog or newsletter?  What breaks through that information overload and encourages you to take action?  Comment below.



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