Help Your Newsletter Stand Out in the Inbox

The Gated Team
December 1, 2022

From updates about newly-available products, to data-driven insights and how they shape an industry, there are many reasons that thoughtful businesses send newsletters to their customers. 

However, with only an average open rate of 18.76%, people are certainly not opening every newsletter they have subscribed to.  The likelihood of opening depends on both the type of email being sent as well as the inbox management style of the recipient. 

Before we jump into how you can help your newsletter stand out better in the email inbox of your target customer, let’s assume two key truths: 

  1. You have already earned the customer who has signed up for your newsletter.  Your hard efforts drove someone to share their email and opt-in to receive content from you.  Congrats! That’s no easy feat. 
  2. You respect the person who is receiving your newsletter and your end goal is to deliver content that will be a valuable use of their finite attention. 

If you nodded along to those two points, you’re poised to succeed in a world where people have more control over their inbox and their attention. Here’s a path to success: 

Consider what type of email you are sending.  

Though most opt-in email flows include one-off promotions every now and again, the fundamental style of a newsletter may be defined as one of the following.  Which type sounds most like yours?

  • eCommerce - information about products, sales, or services
  • Digests - structured summaries, designed to keep readers up-to-date on a specific topic area
  • Content - narrative, educational material written to educate or inspire, often sent by marketers

Everyone has a unique inbox personality type.

With a Gated inbox, the person receiving your email has control over what emails they focus on - and when.  We’ve seen three quite distinct types of inbox personalities emerge among people who use Gated.  (Perhaps one of these resembles how you manage your inbox?)

  • Hyper-Focused:  “I only want to see high-priority messages in my inbox. I believe anything that isn’t sent personally can be addressed at a later time.” For newsletters, this means... “I know I chose to subscribe, but don’t want to be distracted in the middle of my day.” 
  • Open Gate: “I welcome anyone into my inbox who makes an effort and respects my time.” For newsletters, this means... “I enjoy reading any newsletter that adds value to my day.  I’ve been known to delete or unsubscribe from ones that don’t feel like they’re addressing me as a person.” 
  • FOMO:  “I have a desire to keep a close eye on all incoming emails, even though it’s hard to keep up.”  For newsletters, this means... Once I’ve subscribed, I like to read every newsletter or, at least, keep it for future reference.”

The inbox is a truly personal space.  

In the end, it’s important to respect that each person deserves control over what reaches them.  If someone uses Gated, they may choose to allow your emails into their inbox – or not. Remember: Gated is not a spam filter.  A user can see the contents of their Gated folder easily, at any time they choose.

People who have more of a Hyper-focus or Open Gate style of inbox management often use the Gated folder as a place to hold messages that simply aren’t core to their main focus.  

People who operate with a FOMO style of inbox management value Gated because they can keep every message, but don’t have to be buried in it.  

If your newsletters are in someone’s Gated folder, it might be because that person wants to read your email at a time of their own choosing.  

More and more users are turning to email management solutions (such as Gated) that allow them to see the emails they want to see, when they want to see them.  Are you sending content when your audience wants to read it?  Have you ever even asked them?  

What can you do to help your newsletters be seen more, opened more, read more often? 

  1. Be human (even Superhuman).  Gated users value connections with real people.  This means, they’re more likely to allow (and open and read) your newsletter if there’s a clear feeling of a human behind it.  
  2. Suggest people use Gated. When your target customer uses Gated, the mess that was in their inbox gets cleared away. On average, we see a 43% reduction in inbox volume.  All of a sudden, your newsletter has a much greater chance of standing out. 
  3. Click “I know the user” when you get a Challenge Email from an existing subscriber.  if someone is a regular reader and recognizes your work, they’ll certainly be expecting your email. 
  4. Consider donating to get noticed.  It isn’t required, since the recipient has already opted-in to your email. But it might be a good way to make a statement that shows you really value their attention or their chosen nonprofit.

We’ll continue to make product improvements designed to help people focus on what matters most to them. If you’ve read this far, it’s likely that includes the newsletter being sent by a thoughtful person like you!  It takes smart marketers, marketing agency leaders, and sellers to make a change.

We’d love to hear from you about how you connect with people through your newsletter.  Share your story on LinkedIn, and be sure to tag @Gated in your post! 

Published April 2022

Updated December 2022