How We Read Email Newsletters

Melissa Moody
December 5, 2022

We all sign up for newsletters. Updates from your favorite store. Mission-critical industry insights you need for your job.  Entertaining content from a talented author. It’s common practice to give up your email address in return for informative messages of this kind.  

But let’s face it. With an average newsletter open rate of 18.76%, we’re certainly not opening every newsletter we have subscribed to.  And whether you open a newsletter most depends on the type of email you received as well as the type of person you are. 

Different types of newsletters

Though every opt-in email flow may include one-off promotions, the general style of a newsletter often falls into one of the following three categories:  

  • eCommerce - information about products, sales, or services
  • Digests - structured summaries, designed to keep you up-to-date on a given topic
  • Content - narrative, educational material written to educate or inspire

Different inbox personalities

With Gated, we see people treat newsletters they receive in different ways. This is often based on the type of newsletter (above) as well as your personal style of inbox management. 

Which one of these styles sounds most like you? 

  • Hyper-Focused:  You only want to see high-priority messages in your inbox. You believe anything that isn’t sent personally can be addressed at a later time.  For newsletters this means… You know you chose to subscribe, but don’t want to be distracted in the middle of your day. 
  • Open Gate: You welcome anyone into your inbox who makes an effort and respects your time.   For newsletters this means… You enjoy reading any newsletter that adds value to your day.  You’ve been known to delete or unsubscribe from ones that don’t feel like they’re addressing you as a person. 
  • FOMO:  You 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 you’ve subscribed, you like to open every newsletter - or at least hang on to it for future reference. 

Your inbox is a personal place. 

No matter where you fall on the spectrum above, using a  solution that gives you control over your inbox ensures you stay focused on your own priorities –  even when you receive a lot of inbound email. 

If you’re curious how I (Head of Marketing at Gated) manage newsletters in my inbox… Here’s the breakdown: 

  • I’m rabid about staying focused and reducing digital distractions. So all eCommerce and digest newsletters go into my Gated folder right away.  Since I’ve subscribed, they won’t be asked to donate.  Those newsletters are set aside and I can see them when I choose to. 
  • If I know the sender of a newsletter or if their content makes me *feel* as if I knew them, I allow that newsletter directly into my inbox - so it appears at whatever time it’s sent. 
  • I check my Gated folder at a set time, 1x/week, to see if anything stands out that needs my attention or has content I find valuable. (Yes, subject lines matter now, as much as they always did.)

I’d love to hear how you use Gated for newsletters.  Feel free to share on LinkedIn, and be sure to tag @Gated in your post! 

Published April 2022

Updated December 2022