What kinds of content will help my e-newsletter response rates?

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Answer: Content can dramatically improve your e-mail campaign results. Why? Because wrapping your promotional messages with some insights, tips, information or how-to counsel makes your e-mail more relevant. Relevancy drives open rates and response. In fact, research tell us (Return Path Holiday Survey, 2005) that what drives response is prior positive experience with the e-mail itself. So even if recipients love your brand and buy your products, the e-mail itself has to have value if you want a response.

Content does not have to be long and involved to be successful in your e-mail program. In fact, it often works better when it is short and sweet—as little as three or four sentences can work if done well. Even the most strapped marketing team can handle that. Want IT folks to try your demo? Offer testimonials or five ways to make your organization more productive. The options are endless.

Think these simple things won’t work? Think again. Using similar ideas, one of our clients improved forwarding rates by 600%, and another got more response from one issue than it had seen in the entire previous year.

Even occasionally adding some content to your promotion calendar can drive higher response. Try it on your next campaign.

Stephanie Miller is VP-strategic services for e-mail service provider Return Path (

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