Blog Newsletter Overhaul

Redesigning Grafix Artist Newsletter for better engagement

Grafix Artist is my personal blog for thoughts on Android Development and UI UX design. With approximately 1000+ subscribers, user email engagement was extremely low. Moreover, the email text felt robotic rather than personal.

I wanted users to engage more with my emails and me. For that, I had to work from the ground up.

Tools


Email Frequency

Initially, at least one article per week was published on the blog. Emails immediately go out to readers in two cases:

1. New Article Email

Immediately sent after a new article was published on the blog.

2. Weekly Newsletter

An email that goes out on Friday, highlighting the last (latest) 3 articles.


New Article Email Redesign

Before

New article email

Areas to Improve

  1. Optimize the preheader
    To better convey what the current email is about.
  2. Email Copy
    Write friendly emails that feel conversational rather than robotic. Copy must reflect writer’s personality to connect with readers on a personal level.
  3. CTA
    More prominent button with clear and relevant CTA copy

Approach

To create a simple email design that felt like a personally written letter to each reader.

After

Minimalism was at the core of redesigning the emails. The copy had to feel friendly and personal. Use of color must be intentional, attracting attention towards what we want readers to see (such as the CTA).

The redesign includes improvements such as optimized preheader, simpler email design, prominent CTA and friendly copy.

Weekly Newsletter Redesign

This email’s purpose was to re-engage readers. But it performed poorly as it was a repeat of the ‘New Article’ email which felt spam-like.

Before

Areas to Improve

  1. Duplicate email copy
    Resending the last post is a duplicate email with nothing to offer (except recent articles). Feels spam-like.
  2. High no. of Unsubscribes
    A lot of unsubscriptions took place with this newsletter. There must be something of value in the email
  3. Low engagement & open rates
    No new content that encourages readers to engage with the email.
Weekly newsletter email

Approach

Sometimes, a new article isn’t published in one week. Then, it doesn’t make sense to send a weekly newsletter as there is nothing new to offer. Hence the weekly newsletter was retired in favour of a monthly newsletter.

The design remains the same for consistency, but content had to be rethought.

After

Switching the frequency to once a month allowed more time to create a quality email.

The Monthly Newsletter provides a wealth of exclusive updates and news. This includes blog updates, answering common reader queries, what’s happening in the field of Design and Android Development, and interesting article reads.
Monthly Newsletter email

Additional Improvements

  • Segmentation
    Split and email subscribers based on interest in Design, Android or both.
  • Retargeting
    (Sparingly) resend emails to subscribers who haven’t opened previous email.
  • Welcome Email
    Greet users and give them clarity on what they signed up for and what to expect in the future
  • Specials
    Additional email engagement during big announcements and events. E.g. during dev conferences such as Google I/O

Final Outcome

After the redesign, the blog newsletters saw a great increase in open rates. Especially open rates for the monthly newsletter just doubled!

More readers started replying back to the emails with queries, feedback and appreciation. Also, the unsubscribes that took place after each email blast drastically reduced.

Key Takeaways

  • The power of copy
    Friendly copy helped better connect with readers and encourage them to strike a conversation
  • Minimally designed email works better
    Along with friendly copy, it felt personal. Like a manually typed email sent to each reader.
  • Limited use of color
    Helps direct reader attention to areas that matter.
  • Re-engagement
    Can help drive more conversion if used correctly.

Future

There is always room for improvement. I am constantly testing and tweaking the email designs to achieve higher conversion rates.

Some of the immediate changes for the future include:

  • Better email Footer design
  • Encourage readers to unsubscribe—helps reduce ‘dead weight’ and increase ROI