Having a newsletter can be an extremely effective way to connect with your customers, generate brand awareness and build trust. With an estimated 40% higher conversion rate than social channels, sending a regular email newsletter can bring in leads from people who already have an interest in your content because they’ve actively ‘opted in’ to receive them.
Let’s take a look at what makes a fab newsletter and how you can get the most juice from it.
What is a newsletter and why do you need one?
The main function of a newsletter is to keep your subscribers up to date about your business (and sometimes your industry) through your written and visual content. Because your subscribers will be people who have chosen to receive your emails, they will already have some idea of who you are and what you do.
The reason that building your email list and sending out a regular newsletter holds importance over social media is that you own your email list. You do not and will never own anything that appears on your social media channels – if Facebook ever goes the way of the dinosaurs (i.e., MySpace, anyone?), then all of the followers and content you have on the platform disappears. Your email list will always be yours to use.
Getting the structure right
To make sure your newsletter gets opened – and not encourage unsubs – you need to get the structure right. It’s important that you use the same overall ‘look’ for all of your newsletters because this will mean that each one is recognisable as yours.
This not only includes things like the fonts, colours and images, but also the way you set out the content. It should ideally follow a formula that includes:
- A good subject line.
- Clear and concise content (more on that below).
- A clear call to action and sign off.
Ensure that each section is clearly defined so that your audience isn’t having to work too hard to find the information they need. Use headers, text boxes, and images to separate your subjects and articles – that way readers can pick out the bits relevant to them.
What type of content should you include?
The content you include will depend on the type of industry you are in and who your audience is (this is where knowing your ideal audience is key).
The key is to be consistent – if you choose to use a text-only layout for your first newsletter, and then follow up with loads of graphics and images in the next one, your readers will be confused. Create a basic template that you can use for all of your newsletters. This is easily done using your chosen platform (i.e. Mailchimp, Constant Contact etc).
Think about the type of content that will suit your audience – what questions can you answer for them? What entertains them? What will they be most likely to engage with? Use a balance of all of these, including stories in text form, graphics and images, and links and buttons to take them to other places (such as your website or blog) where they can get further information.
You’ll want to include at least one strong call to action in your newsletter – this could be something like asking them to book a call or appointment with you, an offer such as a discount or voucher, a request to follow you on social media for example. You can give more than one, but don’t overdo it – if you ask them to click through or take action on too many things, you’ll overwhelm them.
My top 5 tips for a great newsletter
- Make your subject line stand out – 47% of people open emails based on the subject line alone.
- Lead with a story – telling your subscribers a story lets them get to know you – and you can use this as a base or theme for the rest of your content, making it relatable.
- Share valuable content – think about ways to help or add value to your subscribers. The more helpful and knowledgeable you are, the more they will trust you.
- Be consistent – Commit to sending your newsletter out regularly. That could be daily, weekly, monthly…but ideally you want to get to a point where your readers know when to expect your newsletter.
- Include a strong call to action – whether it’s a request to do something, a link, or a button, make your CTA’s clear and obvious. For the best chance of impact, try placing your CTA near the top of your newsletter, and repeat it in or near your closing statement or sign off.
If you’d like to chat about how I can create impactful content for your business newsletter, get in touch.