Most people don’t like change, especially marketers. We’re limited on time and resources in most cases, with a laundry list of items to get done. Who has time for change?
As with many of you, the WhatCounts marketing team is also limited. However, we’ve committed to keep improving what we produce until it’s the best. That requires changing all the time, since technology and innovation constantly make what marketers are doing now yesterday’s news. There will probably never be a time when we’ll say, “Yep, we’re sticking with this version of the newsletter forever.”
The WhatCounts Weekly
Over the past six months, the WhatCounts Weekly newsletter has featured a lot of changes. First, we redesigned our Thursday email to match our updated website and UI. This meant not only changing the colors and look of the template, but making the email responsive. Optimizing our weekly newsletter with responsive design so readers could view and click it easily on whatever mobile device they use was a major priority. The amount of mobile opens compared to desktop opens across the industry dictates all marketing emails sent today must be designed with mobile in mind. We couldn’t be happier about our mobile readership seeing a sleek, readable, clickable version of our newsletter.
A few months in, we also tweaked the design of the WhatCounts weekly to boost click-to-open rates. As it was still a new design to our readers, we wanted to try out different strategies to see if we could get a higher engagement rate. We made several changes in the length of content in each section and the look and wording of our calls-to-action. Since this is our weekly communication with clients and prospects, we wanted it to be as friendly and easy to read as possible.
In a continued effort to improve, a few weeks ago we added social sharing buttons to our newsletter. We love email because it’s the number one digital channel for ROI. However, sharing an email’s content on social media can add brand awareness and give attention to a company’s content. Giving our readers an opportunity to share our content with their favorite social networks is important. We decided to try out two different designs to see how they fit with the characteristics of our current design, which we wanted to keep.
First, we decided only to add a section at the bottom of our email dedicated to our social sharing icons.
Then, we thought, why not add social sharing options to each section of the newsletter? If a reader likes a particular article or event in one section, he or she can share only this particular content.
After considering the latter design, we decided not to pursue it. The icons definitely match the colors and other images in the rest of the newsletter. However, even though they’re small, the social sharing icons didn’t complement each section’s content. Instead of contributing to the clean and simple design, the icons seemed to crowd the content.
So what seemed like a good idea to us when we were brainstorming ways to add social sharing to our newsletter didn’t turn out to be what our content needs. Did we ditch the social sharing effort altogether? No, because it’s something we know is important to give our readers. We decided to pursue the first option of social sharing buttons at the bottom of the email. Since we just started implementing this feature in our newsletter a few weeks ago, we don’t have any conclusive stats to share yet. But feel free to sign up for the WhatCounts Weekly to see our responsive design and social sharing section!