If you’re taking the time to send an email newsletter, it’s important to include links to outside content in that newsletter. You may be tempted to just put everything in the newsletter itself to save you and your reader time, but here are three key reasons to include links.

Drive traffic to your website

We all want more traffic to our website, right? Well, links from your email newsletter are a great way to increase traffic. Whether your newsletter is designed to push your blog entries to the subscriber’s inbox, share information about upcoming events, or serves some other purpose, it’s still an opportunity to drive traffic back to your website. A blog entry, of course, will link back to your website, but you can also include some links in an about section or even link your company logo back to your site.

Provide relevant information and context

If you’re sending an email newsletter with commentary on a current event, you might want to provide some context of that event for your readers. But chances are you don’t want to rehash the entire situation in your email newsletter, so an external link to a news article is a great way to provide that context for readers who need it. The same goes for email newsletter topics where you might want to provide additional resources or further reading—a couple external links provide additional information for your readers.

Measure topics of interest

Most email platforms will automatically track your open rates and click rates, which measures how many people opened your email and how many people clicked on each link. Open rates can be tricky though, because some people will open every email in their inbox even if they don’t actually read it. Or, they may have a preview mode set in their email software that makes it look like they opened the email.

But if you include external links in your email newsletter, you may be able to get a better idea of reader engagement. Take a look at the stats for several email newsletters and look at what links people clicked most. This can be especially true for a blog email where you have a “read more” link. Over time, the read more links with the higher percentage of clicks likely indicate topics of greater interest for your audience.

One other benefit of using links in your newsletter is keeping it to a reasonable length. You can include several short paragraphs of information with links to more details online, which makes it easier for your reader to skim the text and find the information most useful to them. If you try to put all the information into a single email, it easily becomes overwhelming for your reader. And when readers get overwhelmed by the amount of information, they’re more likely to stop reading. So keep them reading and drive traffic to your website by including external links.

Reader Interactions