Rankings.io hired us to optimize their newsletter to achieve two primary goals
Being an authority in your niche means:
To convince Personal Injury law firms to hire them, Rankings.io needed to position themselves as an authority on SEO and, more specifically, search marketing for Personal Injury law firms.
Since it's easier for people to recognize and relate to other people than a faceless brand, we decided to focus on presenting CEO Chris Dreyer as the go-to SEO expert for Personal Injury law firms.
It's not enough to say that you're an expert - you must demonstrate it by sharing valuable, educational content and proving you can get results. We did this in the newsletter by:
Nurturing strong relationships with subscribers and leads is important.
The stronger your relationship, the more they trust you. The more they trust you, the greater the impact your marketing messages will have on them.
But a simpler way to look at it is this: if a prospective client is trying to choose between you and an equally competent competitor, they're likely to choose the person they're most familiar with. A newsletter is an opportunity to ensure you're that person.
Building strong relationships is all about generating engagement. Generating engagement is about frequency and depth.
You want to engage with subscribers frequently and consistently (by sending out your newsletter regularly).
But you also want to increase the depth of engagement by allowing subscribers to see and hear you (through images, video, podcasts, etc.) as well as inviting them to engage with you back.
We helped Rankings.io create a more engaging newsletter by:
In a moment, we'll break down all the changes we made to Rankings.io's newsletter.
But first, we need to go over three key aspects of creating high-engagement newsletters that we employed.
Rankings.io came to us with a list of about 18,500 subscribers. One of the first things we did was to purge about
3,000 inactive subscribers from their list.
People need to actually receive your emails in order to engage with them. And inactive subscribers can reduce your
Inactive subscribers are usually fake or old email addresses that are no longer used. Sending emails to inactives
increases your bounce rate, which hurts your sender reputation and triggers spam filters to flag your IP. Many of your
emails will then end up in the spam folders of your real subscribers.
Which is why it's important to periodically purge your list of people who haven't opened your emails in a few months.
While you may end up purging some real people, if they're not engaging with your content then you're not really losing
Rankings.io has always shared great content in their newsletter. But before working with us, they were sending emails
If you want people to regularly engage with your content, then your content must be regular.
Creating a consistent newsletter involves two considerations:
We helped Rankings.io increase their consistency and send out a newsletter every Tuesday.
It's also important to realize that building engagement isn't an overnight endeavor - it takes time.
For the first three months, we didn't see any concrete improvements in Rankings.io's newsletter engagement. But by being
consistent and persistent throughout the year, we increased their open rate by over 300% and clicks by over 1000%!
Some of the relationship-nurturing changes we made include:
The old Welcome Email came from "The Rankings.io Team." But people are more likely to connect and engage with humans than with
So the new Welcome Emails come from CEO Chris Dreyer. This helps recipients feel like they're building a relationship with him rather
than a brand.
Your Welcome Emails should build anticipation for your newsletter content by telling subscribers what kind of valuable content they
can expect to receive.
The old Rankings.io Welcome Email just gave subscribers a general idea of what to expect - "practical SEO tips" and "SEO news."
The new Welcome Email series gets more specific in a way that properly communicates the value of Rankings.io's newsletter
It also tells subscribers to look out for Welcome Email 2 and gives a small preview of what it contains.
Subscribers are more likely to engage with emails if they believe the content is valuable, know what to expect, and know when to
Priming subscribers for engagement means letting subscribers know when and how to contact you. The more specific you are, the
more likely they are to do it.
Welcome Email 1 immediately primes new subscribers for engagement by inviting them to contact Rankings.io to "talk about real
valuable rankings, traffic, and conversions!"
And every other email in the Welcome series invites subscribers to engage with them in some specific way (email 2 asks subscribers
/to introduce themselves; email 3 asks subscribers to reach out if they have questions about the content in the email; etc.).
Priming engagement lets subscribers know that your team is open to communication and gives them multiple options and
opportunities to do so.
Video is one of the best types of content for building engagement. Data shows that adding videos to emails can increase click rates
Videos also allow you to communicate important info in an easy-to-consume format that subscribers are more likely to enjoy.
And by including yourself or people from your company in your videos, you can help subscribers develop a stronger connection with
you and your team.
Some of the engagement-nurturing changes we made include
In the old newsletter, each piece of content they shared used the same CTA: "Continue Reading."
We optimized the CTA's in the new newsletter to reflect the type of content being shared.
Relevant CTAs work better because they tell subscribers what kind of content to expect (article, video, podcast, etc.) and what you
want them to do. It may not seem like much, but it actually increases the likelihood that they'll follow-through.
The images for the content in the old newsletter were the same: faded images with titles.
In the new newsletter, we used images that were more relevant and engaging.
Relevant, attractive images are more likely to grab subscribers' attention and get them to engage with your content.
Each piece of content in the newsletter comes with a description of what it's about.
In the old newsletter, they just reused the introduction from the content itself as a description.
But we felt that we could generate more clicks by creating descriptions that better communicated what each piece of content is
about and why it's valuable.
So the new newsletter contains fuller descriptions that share the most intriguing elements of each piece of content, why they're
relevant, and how subscribers can benefit by consuming (reading, watching, listening to) them.
At the end of each newsletter, we added a section called "The To-Do List." It contains three engagement-based tasks that we want
subscribers to do.
It may seem simple, but by outlining each of these actions separately, we increased the likelihood that subscribers would actually do them.
Doing so also helped us increase specific types of engagement by:
Some of the authority-boosting changes we made include
We continued to include images of Chris Dreyer at the end of every newsletter. Subscribers constantly see his face and
associate him with the stellar content they receive.
All of the content contained in the newsletter works to boost Chris's and Rankings.io's authority because it teaches
subscribers practical SEO tips and how to use them to get results. The more content they consume, the more subscribers
will view Chris and the team as experts.
But the newsletter also incorporates more specific authority building content. For example, one of the newsletter shared
an episode of a podcast Chris did where he discusses his journey to becoming an SEO expert and how he helps Personal Injury law firms
"dominate first page rankings."
To help you get a better idea of the kind of content Rankings.io shares in their newsletter (and perhaps generate some ideas for your own),
here are 12 more newsletters that were recently sent out to subscribers.
At InboxArmy, we strategize, design, and manage email automations that increase revenue for our clients. Talk with a member of our team to see how we can improve your email marketing results.