Newsletters are a proven tool in online marketing. Nevertheless, it is not easy to set up newsletters that effectively boost traffic and conversions. The tips and tricks mentioned in connection with successful newsletter marketing are almost always the same: find the right time to send them, create a catchy headline, do not write entire novels. Also central to a good newsletter, however, is the visual component. Authentic and personal content attracts readers' attention - and keeps it.

What makes a successful newsletter?

The general truth is: no advertising is the best advertisement. Customers who subscribe to a newsletter usually are already convinced by the brand which publishes it. According to surveys, the main reason for subscribing to newsletters in Germany simply is the desire to be informed about new or future products. Discounts and promotions take second place, while just under one in three are also subscribing to newsletters from brands whose products they buy on a regular basis.

Consequently, what draws a reader's attention to a newsletter is not the  overloaded neon-glowing  ad, but rather authentic and personal content that helps the brand convey proximity to its customers.

Why is the visual component so important?

Someone who exclusively hears information only remembers about 10% of it three days later. When images are involved, an average of 65% of the information stays in mind. People are primarily visual beings, this is also shows in the context of marketing - as a picture does indeed say more than a thousand workds.  Photos and graphics attract the attention of readers much better than long passages of text. At the same time, images are able to convey a brand's image much more clearly and authentically.

Our customer Paul Hewitt advertises one of their "Favorite Pieces" with the words: "Elegant and sensual the new Miss Ocean watch presents itself  all in the name of the beauty and myths of the oceans. As a member of our fleet, it embodies the fascination of the endless expanse of the oceans [...]. " While the product description wakes the imagination of customers, additionally integrated User Generated Content (UGC) simultaneously provides instant inspiration.

The images, which show the watch on various well-tanned wrists, illustrate the attributes of elegance and sensuality, while the imagery conveys holiday feeling and thereby picks up on the ocean narrative mentioned in the product description. At the same time, the content is diverse and, most importantly, authentic. As a result, it provides inspiration and social proof for interested customers, which in return tends to have a positive effect on purchasing decisions.

Experience values from working with our customers show that the encorporation of User-Generated Content in newsletters leads to an average Click-Through Rate of 45%. In addition, newsletters with UGC on average see  59% more engagement.

Newsletter Marketing vs. Social Media Marketing

In contrast to advertising campaigns on Facebook or Instagram, newsletter marketing almost seems a bit old-fashioned - but in fact, newsletters are still one of the most successful communication channels in digital marketing. In Germany, 75% of consumers indicate that they prefer to receive advertising they have requested by email compared to banner advertisements online. While social media marketing mainly appeals to younger generations, marketing via newsletters is particularly suitable for getting in touch with older target groups. Nearly 80% of 45-60-year-olds in Germany state that they read or send e-mails several times a week or even daily.

Regardless of the target group, however, a particular advantage of newsletter marketing is that newsletters can be personalized a lot better than  social ads. Existing customers can be addressed specifically with regard to previous orders, which conveys a feeling of proximity to the customer and in return strengthens customer loyalty. Well selected User-Generated Content further enhances this effect. UGC in newsletters on one hand provides authenticity and potential for identification, while at the same time conveying appreciation to the customers whose pictures are prominently presented in the e-mails.

In a survey conducted in Germany, about one in five people states to receive more than twenty newsletters a week. Only about 40% of those who receive newsletters, however, open them at all. Consequently, the main goal for a newsletter should be to stand out with authentic content and convince customers from the moment they decide to subscribe of the added value the newsletter offers. Embedded  User-Generated Content in a newsletter underlines - as in the case of Paul Hewitt - the brand image as well as its aesthetics while being more personal and authentic than a classic advertisement. Thereby it provides just that added value.

What does it need to collect and curate UGC for a newsletter?

Content which has been generated by customers is versatile, personal and - above all - authentic, which is why it pays off to make use of UGC for marketing purposes. However, the wrong approach to using this kind of content can easily do more harm than good, which is why the jungle of GDPR conformity and copyright law has become quite a deterrent for companies when it comes to working with User Generated Content.

squarelovin's User Generated Content Management Tool helps brands collect customer content based on specific mentions, hashtags or geo-locations, filter them according to individual preferences, legally secure their use and publish the content to all relevant marketing channels. For each image or video, essential usage rights are requested individually and in accordance with data protection law.

To learn more about squarelovin, click here to arrange a demo with one of our experts.