Marie Kondo and email marketing

Do your newsletters spark joy?

At least since Marie Kondo, the world has been undergoing a transformation towards simpler living. Some even say 2019 was her year. The Japanese organising consultant and author is promoting mindful possession and appreciation and aims at letting the society rethink what really matters. Her mantra is: “Does this item spark joy?”. If yes, you can keep it. Furthermore, do minimalist lifestyles – living with less – increasingly penetrate our everyday lives. 

While these methods become little by little popular routines for a more fulfilled way of living and consumerism, they have also found their way into people’s email inboxes. This opens up a competition for email marketers to fight for one of only a few places in a minimalist’s email world.

That’s why we have asked ourselves: How to become and remain the one (newsletter) that is kept?

Change in consumerism

Some of you might think now: “What does Marie Kondo have to do with my newsletter marketing strategy?” And that’s of course a crucial question. In order to avoid confusion, we will take a short detour to fully comprehend the connection between current trends and movements. We will not lie to you, this can become a serious threat for email marketers.

For centuries, significant parts of our consumer society have been craving for more – and a considerable part still does. Especially younger generations – in contrast to post-war generations – are restless and have had a spending-mentality instead of saving-mentality.

In the past years, however, minimalism and sustainability are gaining increasing importance. They often go hand in hand. A minimalist lifestyle involves the perspective of choosing products carefully with the ability to last. That is working in favor of sustainability – in particular, towards decreasing the abundant production of waste. More and more consumers start to understand that less is more, selling their houses for example and build instead a tiny home. And yet, the idea of minimalism and simpler living has not been born in the past months, but individuals like Marie Kondo are giving it a face and giving people a helping hand and “making it real”. It has taken place a transformation in people’s minds, to declutter their lives, live simple and more happy; and it is spreading to all different areas of their everyday lives. 

Once starting to get rid of baggage, people recognize that, f.e. the “KonMari”-method has numerous facets. Consequently they apply it also to their behaviour in the digital environment. Why? Nowadays consuming does not anymore involve only shopping, but also media consumption in form of social media, tv series or newsletters.

But before going too much into generational consumerism, we are focusing now on the digital world, in particular newsletters.

According to an Adobe survey, 50% of people are checking their emails while resting in bed, 70% while watching TV and 42% even while being in the bathroom.

Inbox minimalism

For a long time, the convenience of smartphones allowed us to subscribe to many newsletters and even read them wherever and whenever we want. Indeed, a survey of Adobe shows that, 50% of people are checking their emails while resting in bed, 70% while watching TV and 42% even while being in the bathroom.

However, more and more, the enormous amounts of incoming emails every day, feel like a huge burden. And let’s face it, everyone has at least two email inboxes to handle: private & work. While leisure time is becoming more and more precious, many are reconsidering how to make better use of their time. No wonder that people start now and then to clean up their mail inbox.

Have you ever heard of inbox minimalism or inbox zero? These current terms are gaining popularity in people’s lives. Already now, you can find lots of blog articles and video tutorials explaining how to become a digital minimalist and also how to simplify your email inbox. At this point in the article, we ask you, the reader, to quickly go to any search engine and just type one of the both mentioned concepts to understand the huge amount of search results that are already out there. 

Enough theory for now! Let’s take a look at what you can actually do to be a newsletter that wants to be kept!

Do your newsletter spark joy in people’s inboxes?

Do you bring value?
Did you know that only 14% of newsletter recipients think that the major part of emails coming in is useful to them? If that is not a shocking number! Try to understand if your newsletters bring value and spark joy.

Do you provide options for subscription updates?
Be proactive! Consider that annoyed subscribers might mark your email as spam to have an easy way out. Often they change their preferences, and so it could be that instead of hearing every week from you, one time a month is enough. Others prefer only to receive promotional emails instead of informative content. That means let your audience choose. How? Integrate now and then a visible CTA – preferably not in the end next to the unsubscribe button – with the option to change subscription settings and requirements. 

Have you already done something to wake up the sleepy ones?
When doing your evaluation of past newsletters, depending on the used software, you will notice a bunch of subscribers that didn’t open your emails for a longer time. Create a custom, friendly newsletter asking if they are still interested in receiving emails from you. Furthermore, offer them the opportunity to update subscription details. In case they don’t react, remove them from the list for your next campaign.

Does your subscriber feel special?
Assuming that, the bigger the number of recipients, the higher are email open rates, is a misleading perception. Of course, the chances increase to get some clicks, but does this really bring also value to subscribers? You should work with segmentation to meet your subscriber’s needs. Indeed, according to Mailchimp, do segmented email campaigns reach 100.95% higher clickthrough rates than non-segmented ones.

Do you follow a mobile first approach?
By 2019 most companies must have recognized the power of mobile optimization. According to Adestra, 62% of people read their emails on mobile. 42% don’t even bother to read it and send it instead directly to the trash. If you haven’t put effort into your newsletter mobile experience, then it’s now the time.

Are your subject lines compelling enough?
Every email marketer knows that a catchy subject line is crucial. To pack the essence of an email in solely a few characters can sometimes be challenging. But did you know that 47% of people will open an email depending only on your subject line? What is more, 69% of recipients would even report your newsletter as spam based on the subject line.

Do you keep your promises?
At this point, we’re arriving at a significant aspect. When attracting newsletter readers to do a subscription to your newsletter, what did you promise? When you promised regular discount codes but overrun them with emails about company news, you will be kicked out quite fast from their inboxes. Keep what you’ve promised!

Do you need help with your newsletter marketing? Contact us to build your strategy!

Especially the end of the year is the time of reflection and clean-up. On the one hand, people are thinking about what ambitious goals they have set themselves at the beginning of the year and which of them reached. On the other hand, people are trying to clean up messes and start without ballast into the new year. 

Ensure to review soon your email marketing strategy and analyse if your newsletters meet your subscribers’ needs and expectations.

Spark joy!