Spam emails are a major issue for many internet users. In fact, research shows that out of the 333 billion emails sent worldwide, 85% of those are spam. Although email marketing is still one of the best tools for reaching customers, spam messages can confuse, frustrate or victimize your utility’s customers.

As your utility works to make sure its emails aren’t susceptible to spam filters or misinterpreted by customers, it’s important to debunk the myths surrounding email spam. Additionally, it’s important to know the best practices when it comes to email marketing and spam to ensure you’re building trust with customers.

The following email spam facts will help your utility keep its customers safe and secure, ultimately leading to higher customer satisfaction.

Myth 1: Spam Words Always Get Your Email Filtered

Email spam myth: “Free,” “Save” and “Win” are just some of the words that have been labeled as “spam trigger words,” inspiring fear and distrust among customers and their energy utilities who might use them in their subject lines.

Email spam facts: In reality, these words aren’t the trap everyone thinks they are. This is a lingering myth from years ago when inboxes were besieged by spammers and email providers used simple content filters to determine what was spam.

Content filters look at subject lines, email content and even the image-to-text ratio. As the spammers figured out how to get around those filters, email providers got more sophisticated. More and more, email providers are evaluating the larger picture to identify spam, including sender reputation, deployment patterns and recipient engagement. Those have more weight on whether your email gets delivered than using previously defined “spam words” in your subject line.

For example, as an ode to this email spam fact, PSEG Long Island deployed a paperless billing campaign in 2018 that promoted free LED lightbulbs to customers who signed up for the program. The utility received extraordinary engagement, including a 21.8% open rate and 7.7% click-to-open rate. The subject line the utility used that received these specific results was, “Paperless = Free LEDs.”

Example of email message to show spam facts

This is proof that including the word “free” doesn’t mean your utility’s emails will automatically go into spam folders. On the contrary, it might just increase engagement with your utility’s customers.

Myth 2: CAN-SPAM Compliance Leads to Automatic Delivery

Email spam myth: Your email meets all the requirements of CAN-SPAM, so it will go straight to your customers’ inboxes, right? Not necessarily. As mentioned above, many email providers are using algorithms to determine if an email is considered spam or not.

Email spam facts: Just because your email meets CAN-SPAM requirements it does not guarantee a free ride to the inbox. Overcoming CAN-SPAM is about meeting legal requirements, not deliverability standards. Although meeting CAN-SPAM requirements sets your utility’s communications up for better success, it does not guarantee deliverability or email opens from customers.

Instead, to reach customers’ inboxes, make sure your utility is abiding by email best practices and sending relevant content to the right audience to keep your sender reputation positive and engagement metrics high. This email spam fact is the way to reach customers’ hearts… and inboxes.

One Southeast energy utility grew its customer engagement by creating automated anniversary emails that thanked customers for their business. Rather than developing another transactional email, the utility wanted to create a friendlier touchpoint with its customers. Thus, the anniversary emails were born.

Example email message demonstrates facts about spam

These emails were delivered to both residential and small-to-medium-sized business customers after their first year of service. The emails were personalized to each customer and included helpful links, like newsletter registration, rebate programs and energy efficiency tips. Customer engagement drastically increased from these emails, achieving an average 46% open rate. Additionally, the utility was better able to understand its customers and what they sought from the utility to further develop communications to meet those needs.

Myth 3: There is a Perfect Day and Time to Send Emails

Email spam myth: A popular question in email marketing is, “When is the best day and time to send my emails?” Marketing blogs are full of conflicting answers: send early in the mornings, send Thursdays at 3 p.m., never send on a Monday.

Email spam facts: The truth is, there is no perfect day and time to send your emails. It comes down to one thing: knowing your audience and their preferences. You need to know when your customers are most likely to engage with the emails your utility is sending.

How do you figure this out? When tracking your metrics, include the day and time you sent the email. Then, evaluate the days of the week and times of day where you see high engagement. Don’t forget to also look at the type and topic of communication. Maybe your audience prefers to read email newsletters on a different day than when they engage with promotional messages. Testing different times and days for your utility’s messaging will help to identify these factors and decipher which days work best for your utility and its customers.

According to Questline Digital’s digital marketing data, even the deployment of utility email newsletters and promotional messages differs in time and day. The below charts show the differences calculated in days and times sent between residential and business communications for both email newsletters and program promotions.

While it appears that for residential customers, the best days to deploy a newsletter were Mondays and Thursdays, promotional messages for the same group saw Tuesdays and Thursdays outperform the other days. When it comes down to this email spam fact, customers are in control of when they interact with your utility’s emails. The best your utility can do is track and compare against your own performance metrics rather than those of other utilities.

Myth 4: The Bigger the List Size, the Better

Email spam myth: A lot of marketers think that email list growth is always a good thing. While you do want to reach as many customers as you can, you want them to be relevant and engaged, not just along for the ride. Connecting with them isn’t as simple as just adding them to your list.

Email spam facts: A good email list is about the quality of your recipients, not the quantity. Every year, your utility typically loses a number of subscribers to abandoned or changed email addresses. Sending communications to these inactive email addresses negatively impacts your deliverability by hurting your utility’s sender reputation.

Developing a re-engagement campaign to target inactive subscribers will help your utility clean up your list. Those who want to remain on the list will and those who have inactive addresses will drop from the list. Your utility may lose a portion of its list recipients, but in the end, the quality of your utility’s email list will improve, as will your email deliverability, and your utility will start seeing better results.

Separating Email Facts from Fables

Many of these email spam facts come down to knowing your utility’s customers and audience. Continue to test and analyze your utility’s communications to see what works and what doesn’t. In doing so, your utility will be better able to communicate with its customers and ensure its emails are reaching their inboxes, not their junk folders.

The digital deployment experts at Questline Digital can help you separate email marketing myths from best practices.

Communicating with customers about products, services and other offerings is vital, and email marketing can be an extremely effective channel for these messages. However, reaching a customer’s inbox is much more complicated than drafting a message and hitting send. That’s where email deliverability comes in.

What is email deliverability? It’s the ability to get emails into customer inboxes — where they belong. But why is email deliverability important? And how is it different from delivery rate?

Delivery rate tells you how many emails weren’t bounced or rejected, while deliverability gives you more insight into exactly where the emails landed — in the inbox, spam folder or places like the promotions or social tabs in Gmail.

Basically, deliverability is crucial to ensuring your messages reach customers and it’s a strong measurement of email campaign performance.

So, how do you ensure a high deliverability rate? The following email deliverability factors will determine if your messages are delivered to customers, sent to the junk folder or blocked altogether.

4 Factors that Affect Email Deliverability

  1. Spam filters
  2. Invalid email addresses
  3. Junk mail reports
  4. Low engagement

1. Spam filters

Once upon a time, in the early days of email, recipients got anything and everything all at once — and it was mostly things they wanted. Then spammers showed up, competing for inbox space and attention. Email recipients needed help, and internet service providers (ISPs) came to the rescue. Working with other gatekeeper ISPs, mailbox providers and anti-spam solution providers, they devised a system to keep those spam messages out.

But this is no fairytale. Although your energy utility is undoubtedly not a scammer, your messages can still be blocked or sent to junk if they don’t get an all-clear from email filtering systems.

Anti-spam filters analyze the entire email — sender to footer — and use a complex scoring system to determine which emails should be classified as spam. All of this happens in real-time, too; your email could be doomed to junk mail before the send is even complete if the filter detects these red flags:

  • Bulk mail sent all at once or at odd hours
  • The sender’s identity is unauthenticated with ISPs
  • Poor reputation or inclusion on third-party blacklists
  • Large email (over 60 KB) with attachments
  • Frequent use of common spam words, like “act now” and “risk-free”
  • Inconsistent branding, sending domains and domains in call-to-action links

2. Invalid email addresses

How often your energy utility sends messages to invalid addresses can also affect your deliverability. Addresses can be labeled as “invalid” in two ways:

  • Emails bounce: Messages will “bounce,” or be rejected by a mail server, if there are typos in the address, the server is unavailable or the recipient has a full mailbox.
  • The address is not currently engaged: If a subscriber hasn’t opened an email from your company in a year — or even a month in some cases — their address will be recognized as disengaged.

Continuing to send to these email addresses can hurt your deliverability, even if other recipients are opening and engaging with your messages.

3. Junk mail reports

Possibly the most obvious red flag to an ISP that your email may be spam is when a recipient marks your message as spam. This can happen if a recipient doesn’t remember subscribing to your communications, doesn’t find the content to be relevant, or wants to unsubscribe from your email list quickly and hassle-free.

Though you can’t stop this entirely, sending additional emails to these recipients can negatively affect future deliverability and how ISPs view your messages.

4. Low engagement

ISPs continue to monitor recipients’ behavior after an email is delivered. They can analyze how long an email is open, if the recipient scrolls through the message, if links are clicked and more.

If your recipients don’t positively engage with your content, ISPs may label you as a sender with low or negative engagement, further harming your reputation and increasing your chances of encountering a spam trap.

How to Improve Email Deliverability Rates

There’s no need to fear. You can improve email deliverability and fix any damage caused in the past with these tips:

Chart listing the factors that improve email deliverability
  1. Build your subscriber lists organically. Allow customers to opt-in to emails and select which communications they want to receive and how often they get messages.
  2. Set clear expectations. Start your communications with a welcome message that sets the tone for future emails and familiarizes your customers with your services.
  3. Provide relevant, engaging content. Disengaged recipients spell trouble for customer relationships and spam filters alike. Provide great content your subscribers need and keep subject lines brief, informative and engaging.
  4. Establish a steady deployment pattern. As mentioned above, sending too often or erratically can signal to ISPs that you’re up to no good. Setting a regular schedule for email sends establishes consistency with your customers and ISPs.
  5. Re-engage or remove inactive subscribers. A targeted re-engagement campaign can win back disengaged subscribers and clean up your list by removing those who don’t participate or choose to unsubscribe.
  6. Practice good list hygiene. In addition to removing inactive addresses, Questline Digital Project Manager Summer Corson says senders should regularly check email lists for broken or misspelled addresses, delete duplicated recipients and remove addresses that show up as bounces or who have unsubscribed. “This can help boost their deliverability and open rates for their emails,” she says.

Boost Deliverability with Questline Digital

With our email marketing solutions, reaching your customers’ inboxes is easy and stress-free. Questline Digital’s email deployment specialists ensure your communications exhibit the positive email deliverability factors ISPs look for and monitor sends from start to finish.

Leverage Questline Digital’s email deliverability expertise to reach the right customers with the right messages for your energy utility.

With the popularity of TikTok and YouTube, it’s obvious that consumers love video content. But you shouldn’t limit the use of video to your energy utility’s social media platforms. In fact, an email newsletter with video should be an integral part of your communications strategy.

According to Forbes magazine, watching video makes up 50% of all online activities. Today’s utility customers are already looking for video content on a daily basis, whether inspiration from their favorite Instagram influencer or energy efficiency advice from their energy provider. An email newsletter with video gives customers helpful information in the format they prefer.

Educate and Entertain with Video Content

For energy utilities, video content serves two key purposes in email newsletters: to educate and entertain customers. Not only are videos fun to watch (compared to reading a text-heavy article), but they are also a great educational tool. Visuals, like an email newsletter with video, have the power to improve learning and processing information by up to 400%.

“Everyone learns in a different way — that’s why video is so important,” says Scott Miller, Content Director at Questline Digital. “Video is an ideal format to show people how to do something or simplify complex information. A quick and engaging video is an easy, yet effective, way to educate utility customers.”

Videos are also a powerful driver of email newsletter engagement. According to Questline Digital’s data, email newsletters with video have a 7.1% average click-to-open rate versus a 5.7% average click-to-open rate for email newsletters without video.

In fact, simply including the word “video” in the subject line can increase open rates by 19%. Email newsletters with video have an average open rate of 27.7%, while those without video have an average open rate of 24.8%. As these metrics demonstrate, energy utilities should take advantage of the popularity of video to capture attention and build long-term engagement.

Best Practices for Email Newsletters with Video

To incorporate video into your email newsletter, follow these best practices:

1. Less is more

According to Miller, adding one or two videos to each newsletter is enough to increase engagement. Diversity of content, giving customers a choice to watch a video or two while also reading an article and playing an interactive quiz. In Questline Digital’s experience, most utility clients include a variety of content types in their newsletters.

“It’s a good idea to have a mix of content for customers to look forward to each month, whether they prefer video, infographics or articles,” Miller explains. “Utility customers will appreciate the variety of content options.”

This email newsletter with video from Sackcloth + Ashes — a mission-driven company that donates a blanket to a homeless shelter for every blanket purchased — utilizes a video in the hero image to highlight an artist that works with the company.

Example of email newsletter with video content

2. The right topic matters

The topic of your video needs to be relevant to customers. For example, a video about saving energy and staying cool in the summertime is timely for a June or July newsletter. You can also give readers tips or resources ahead of storm season or spring home improvement season.

According to Questline Digital’s Energy Utility Benchmarks Report, the most popular videos are simple explainer videos on how to increase energy efficiency and make home improvements, such as reducing phantom energy and installing a smart thermostat. An email newsletter with video lets you simplify these complex topics into digestible pieces — something not possible with a technical article.

“The most popular video topics explain how to do something in a simple and engaging way,” Miller says. “For example, five ways you can save while making dinner or doing laundry. The ‘You Can’ series of videos featuring Jeff Wilson also receive a lot of engagement. This series shows how to air-seal your basement or install a smart outlet. These home improvement topics really hit home with people.”

Top 10 Most Popular Video Topics

Video TitlePageviews
5 Ways to Save Without Spending Money21,520
Are You Aware of Phantom Energy?14,068
Room for Energy Savings: Laundry Room9,903
Does Putting Lids on Pots Really Cook Food Faster8,200
You Can Install a Smart Thermostat7,343
3 Cheers for Air Source Heat Pumps7,018
Energy Savings Magic: Laundry Room5,989
You Can Install a Ceiling Fan5,107
Room for Energy Savings: Holiday Decorating4,736
Energy Innovators: 3 Facts About Edith Clarke3,085

3. Utilize different styles of video

To capture attention and keep customers engaged, your email newsletter should include a mix of video styles. Animated explainer videos are effective at explaining complicated technical topics while keeping the content lighthearted and entertaining.

Live action provides an opportunity to showcase utility employees and customers. For example, feature your energy utility’s lineworkers in videos that talk about storm, outage or downed power line safety. Many videos feature a combination of both live action and animation, such as an eye-catching graphics of an LED light bulb while the on-screen talent speaks to energy efficiency benefits.

This Questline Digital client newsletter incorporates both animated and live-action videos to engage readers:

Example of energy utility email newsletter with animated and live action video content

4. Incorporate a video series

A video series is a great addition to your email newsletter. It creates familiarity and encourages continuous viewing. Your customers will look forward to the next newsletter to see another episode in the series, while the messages reinforced across the series will be more memorable. This relationship between customers and the series can lead to increased newsletter engagement.

“With a video series, customers get attached just like they do with a show on Netflix,” Miller says. “There is something that keeps them coming back for more, whether it’s the style, storyline or the way information is presented.”

This Questline Digital client email newsletter incorporates the “5 Ways to Save” video series, which provides utility customers with quick and easy tips to save energy in their home.

Example of energy utility email newsletter with video content in a series

5. Link to YouTube or Vimeo

Keep in mind, you can’t embed video into your newsletter and stream it. Instead, you’ll need to add a play button on top of a static image and link to YouTube or Vimeo. The bottom line: You just need to make it clear to readers that it’s a playable piece of content.

To give the feel of video, another option is to add an animated GIF in the hero image. GIFs are well-supported across browsers and email clients making them a great option for newsletters.

In this business email newsletter with video, the hero image features a play button. This illustrates to readers that they can click on the image to watch the video, “Space for Energy Savings: Office Space.” The call-to-action button also includes a link to the utility’s YouTube channel.

Example of email newsletter with video for energy utility business customers

Boost Newsletter Engagement with Video Content

An email newsletter with video has a tremendous impact on utility customer engagement. Video content is an effective and popular way to educate residential and business customers about complex topics, whether DIY home improvement or energy efficiency. When customers expect to see a video in their newsletter, it gives them a reason to open it each month — and makes the content inside more entertaining and memorable.

Learn how an email newsletter with video content will help your utility reach its engagement and marketing goals.

Newer digital media like TikTok and NFTs may get all the headlines, but according to research email newsletters still have 40 times the effectiveness of social media. Campaign Monitor confers, noting, “These emails…seem to make an impact. They’ve been shown to drive sales, boost social media reach and increase website traffic and engagement.”

Why? Because email newsletters help build:

  • Customer engagement, turning one-time customers into repeat buyers
  • Strong, direct relationships with audiences
  • Habit and loyalty

According to Questline Digital Marketing Director Bethany Farchione, “Newsletters are an authentic way to regularly communicate with customers. Whether you’re handpicking relevant content for your audience or writing a personalized intro, you’re talking with your customers directly and curating an experience for them. It’s difficult to find another medium that offers this level of engagement.”

However, before the content can speak for itself, audiences must first be drawn into the newsletter with the best email subject lines.

A newsletter email subject line is the first thing readers see when they scan their inbox. It is your utility’s initial chance to garner attention, connect with customers and build trust with your brand. The best subject lines must balance being informative and engaging, previewing the valuable information inside and prompting readers to open your newsletter to learn more.

Repeatable Newsletter Subject Lines Take Precedence

According to Questline Digital’s 2022 Energy Utility Benchmarks Report, the best email subject lines utilize a repeatable format, such as “Utility Name + eNews + Month,” delivering higher engagement than newsletters with new or custom subject lines each month.

In fact, repeatable newsletter email subject lines experienced:

  • 28.1% higher open rate compared to newsletters that used new/custom subject lines each month
  • 23.3% higher click-to-open rate (CTOR) compared to newsletters that used new/custom subjects each month

The top 5 most popular non-custom newsletter subject lines of 2021

Questline Digital’s Energy Utility Benchmarks Report found that non-custom subject lines achieved more engagement than custom subject lines. The following are the top non-custom newsletter subject lines from all utility email deployments in 2021.

Chart listing the top 5 most popular non custom email newsletter subject lines

The top 5 most popular custom newsletter subject lines of 2021

Despite performance metrics data showing that non-custom subject lines performed better, custom subject lines still delivered engagement from customers. The following are the top custom newsletter subject lines from all utility email deployments in 2021.

Chart listing the top 5 most popular custom email newsletter subject lines

Tips for Writing the Best Email Subject Lines for Newsletters

Even though Questline Digital data has shown that repeatable newsletter subject lines perform better than customized subject lines, it’s still important to test the best subject lines for your specific audience. Consider performing A/B tests with varying subject lines or segmenting your audiences to see which newsletter attracts more opens or clicks.

When creating customized newsletter email subject lines, consider:

  • Personalizing the subject line with your receiver’s name
  • Be brief; no more than 40 characters
  • Put relevant information at the beginning; subject lines may get cut off
  • Make the subject line timely
  • Try using an emoji to capture attention
  • Offer value within your subject line

When creating repeatable newsletter subject lines, remember:

  • Keep it short and to the point
  • Include your utility’s name
  • Consider incorporating the month or date
  • Try to feature the topic of the newsletter

No matter which subject lines you run with, remember to use a familiar sender name and avoid a “no-reply” sender name. An un-optimized sender name may send your newsletter to the spam or trash folders.

Detailed Suggestions for Writing the Best Newsletter Subject Lines

Connecting with customers in crowded inboxes is no easy feat. When customers look to subject lines for whether or not to open an email, it’s important to put your best foot forward. When writing email newsletter subject lines, consider:

  • Length
  • A/B testing
  • Segmentation
  • Action words

Email newsletter subject line length

Email platforms only allow so many words and characters in a subject line. That’s why it’s important to keep subject lines on the shorter side. Test character and word limits to see what resonates most with your customers, but in general, we suggest staying within six and 10 words or 50 characters.

A/B testing for newsletter subject lines

As mentioned above, testing for what resonates with your customers is imperative. Consider writing different subject lines for various email newsletter sends to see what delivers more opens or clicks. Test word length, humor versus serious tones and including the value of the content. Testing allows your utility to see what makes an impact with customers so you can continue using similar subject lines down the road.

Incorporate segmentation and personalization

When it comes to emails, no one enjoys a one-size-fits-all approach. Opening an email should be an experience for customers to see products and solutions that fit their interests or needs. By segmenting your email newsletters and developing subject lines that highlight that personalization, your utility will show it cares about connecting with customers and providing them with valuable information.

Utilize action words in your newsletter subject lines

How many times have words like “Hurry, SOS, Ending Soon” prompted you to open an email you otherwise may have scrolled past? We’re willing to bet fairly often. Although these specific words are more fear-based action words, prompting a FOMO (fear of missing out) reaction, there are many other action words that can generate similar responses from your utility’s customers. Some of the most well-received action words include:

  • Update
  • Join
  • Congratulations
  • Last Chance
  • Final Offer

Avoid using special characters or all caps in subject lines, as these will typically catch the eyes of spam filters.

Make a Good First Impression with Newsletter Email Subject Lines

First impressions are everything and a subject line is the best chance your utility has when it comes to newsletters. Make it count by considering your utility’s message, the value to its customers and why they should open your email. Remember: If it doesn’t pique your interest, it won’t pique your customers’ interests either.

Effective subject lines are critical in engaging with utility customers. Put time and effort into crafting one and the next best email subject line for newsletters could be yours.

Learn more about building lasting customer engagement and satisfaction with Questline Digital’s residential and business newsletter solutions.

To keep customers engaged in between billing notices and program promotions, energy utilities should have a consistent touchpoint like a monthly utility newsletter. This ongoing communication is popular across audiences, from residential customers to small business owners to C&I facility managers.

According to Questline Digital’s 2020 Energy Utility Benchmarks Report, utility newsletter readers are much more engaged with their energy utility’s program promotions. In fact, residential eNewsletter readers open promotional emails at a 37% higher rate. Small and medium business eNewsletter readers click on promotional emails at a 73% higher rate.

To gain more insights, we spoke with Brian Lindamood, Questline Digital’s VP of Marketing & Content Strategy, about the power of eNewsletters and why they are essential for energy utilities.  

Why are utility newsletters a vital customer engagement tool?

A monthly email newsletter is a critical part of a customer engagement strategy for any energy utility. They provide a regular touchpoint — a monthly reminder that the utility is working to improve customers’ lives — which is key to maintaining customer satisfaction over the long run. As part of a comprehensive content strategy, eNewsletters can reinforce messages shared on social media and drive traffic to relevant pages on a utility’s website. This creates a consistent customer experience across digital channels.

eNewsletters are also a more personal connection than other channels. When you reach inboxes on a smartphone — and more than 60% of utility newsletters are read on mobile devices — your message is going literally into customers’ hands. Plus, email is the most flexible channel. By segmenting your eNewsletter audience, you can deliver extremely relevant, targeted content that you know customers will be interested in.  

How do eNewsletters build engagement with customers versus a one-time email?

Utility newsletters are a consistent, reliable touchpoint between an energy provider and its customers. This is a chance for utilities to be part of customers’ lives on a regular basis by answering their questions, providing helpful advice and sharing interesting information.

Ultimately, this ongoing engagement builds trust and helps customers see their utility as a helpful resource. You simply cannot build that kind of relationship with a one-time email.  

What is the recommended utility newsletter cadence for maximum engagement?

We recommend a monthly schedule for utility newsletters. Our performance metrics have shown that this is “just right” — not too often, but not so infrequent that you lose the benefit of regular contact.

An eNewsletter builds engagement in part because of its regular cadence. Customers know to expect interesting content and useful advice from their utility, and they get in the habit of looking for it every month. In our experience, a bimonthly or quarterly newsletter schedule loses that benefit and delivers lower engagement. (See comparison chart below.)

Why do customers often see more value in eNewsletters compared to other types of campaigns, such as program promotions?

Advertisements are easy for customers to tune out. An unwanted promotional email is easy to delete. On the other hand, customers open eNewsletters because they want to read them — they look forward to receiving useful advice. Customers value their utility newsletters because the content interests them; it’s not just trying to sell them something.

What types of content should be included in a utility newsletter?

The best content helps improve customers’ lives. It may be energy efficiency advice that helps a customer save money, do-it-yourself tips that make a customer’s home more comfortable or educational content that helps a customer improve their energy use.

In terms of format, we recommend using a mix of text articles, videos, infographics and interactive games and quizzes. Some topics lend themselves to different formats better than others — say, because of the complexity or visual nature of the information. But more important, customers want to engage with content in a variety of ways. Sometimes they want to learn about energy through a fun quiz or watch an entertaining video. Other times, they need the visual detail of an infographic that breaks down a complicated topic.

Why is audience segmentation a valuable strategy for eNewsletters?

The goal of any content strategy is to build a long-term relationship with customers by providing content that is interesting and useful to them. Of course, not every customer is interested in the same things. If you can identify those differences, and provide specific content that meets those interests, you are more likely to increase engagement and build a strong connection with those customers.

A simple example, and one we recommend, is to create residential segments for homeowners and renters. Homeowners will be looking for energy efficiency advice that includes more elaborate renovation projects — such as insulation or HVAC replacement — where renters are more interested in efficiency measures that don’t require a large investment, like using LED lightbulbs or smart power strips.

To engage business customers, we recommend creating industry-based segments. For example, a retail shop, manufacturing plant and healthcare facility have wildly different energy needs. Through a segmented eNewsletter, we can deliver specific content to each industry. This is not only more useful to the customer, but it increases engagement and ultimately improves customer satisfaction.

A Look Back: Quarterly vs. Monthly Utility Newsletters

Since a majority of our utility partners now deploy monthly eNewsletters, 2017 is the most recent year we have metrics on monthly versus quarterly sends. In our Energy Utility Benchmarks Report, we looked at the average performance metrics across business audiences.

Based on this data, energy provuders were able to increase reach by 17 percentage points when sending utility newsletters monthly instead of quarterly.

Chart showing the performance of quarterly newsletters and monthly newsletters

Monthly newsletters perform better than quarterly newsletters across all categories. We continue to see that when communications become less frequent, customer engagement suffers.

Learn how Questline Digital’s utility newsletters can build engagement with your customers.