Make e-zines timely

Give subscribers the scoop, early insights

One of the great things about e-zines is that they’re fast. And that’s one of the things people mention most about liking email: that it delivers up-to-date information.

Make e-zines timely

Right on time Timeliness is one of the things subscribers like best about e-zines. So get the word out to your readers — stat! Image by Estee Janssans

Here are three ways to make your e-zine and email blasts more timely, according to Kim Flaherty, Amy Schade and Jakob Nielsen, authors of Marketing Email and Newsletter Design to Increase Conversion and Loyalty:

Learn a system for writing emails that get opened, read, clicked …

1. Craft timely newsletter content.

Give subscribers:

  1. Early warning. Deliver the scoop on concert tickets before they go on sale, for instance.
  2. Urgent updates. Windows closing? Make sure readers are ready with last-chance updates. Starbucks, for instance, sends out an email blast when rewards points are about to expire.
  3. First glance. Subscribers to Esquire and New York magazines also sign up for the periodicals’ e-newsletters, although they contain the same content as their print cousins. Why? Because subscribers get the information faster that way.

2. Tie content to news events, seasonal information.

You say your topic itself isn’t so timely? Then:

  1. Steal a tip from the PR pros. Make your story timely with a ripped-from-the-headlines or seasonal angle. Roto-Rooter, for instance, sent out an e-zine in early October with a tip for avoiding plumbing problems caused by pumpkin pulp or seeds.
  2. Consider your subscribers’ own seasons. BabyCenter asks subscribers to share their due date on the sign-up page. Then it delivers an e-zine called, “My baby this week.”
  3. Don’t forget your international subscribers. Thanksgiving doesn’t mean the same thing in Turkey as it does in Texas, for instance. And, write the Nielsen Norman Group’s Kim Flaherty, Amy Schade and Jakob Nielsen, “It won’t be the same season in Sydney as it is in Seattle.”

3. Add urgency to subject lines.

And don’t forget your subject line: Urgency, according to studies by Return Path, Phrasee, HubSpot and MailChimp, may be the most effective approach for getting readers to open, click through, read and act upon your message.


Sources: Kim Flaherty, Amy Schade and Jakob Nielsen; Marketing Email and Newsletter Design to Increase Conversion and Loyalty, 6th Edition; Nielsen Norman Group, 2017

“The Art and Science of Effective Subject Lines,” Return Path, April 2015

“Email subject lines that sell,” Phrasee, April 2015

Inside the Inbox - Ann Wylie's email-writing workshop on Nov. 7-8 in D.C.

Get opened, read and clicked through Learn more best practices for writing email newsletters, invites and e-blasts that get the word out. Join me at Inside the Inbox, our email-writing workshop, on Nov. 7-8 in D.C.

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“Effective, helpful & poignant. Excellent!”
— Erika Nieto, account manager, TCDRS