Newsletters are a superb way to engage clients and customers and build a relationship with them. They’re a one-to-one communication from your business to the recipient and you can create valuable content that truly resonates with them. Newsletters are also easy to create and you can track the progress of them with the in-platform analytics to then adapt your newsletter in line with your audience’s tastes and requirements.
Before creating a newsletter, however, you should decide whether you need one and if so, whether you can produce one regularly. It’s important to be consistent and if you deliver a newsletter with a specific frequency, your audience will come to expect it — and you don’t want to let them down. If you’re reading this and ‘Yes’ is the answer to both these considerations, then here’s all the other stuff you need to do to create your newsletter:
1. Choose an email marketing platform
Thankfully, the days of hard coding are behind us and, today, you can get platforms that make it much easier to create your newsletters. Mailchimp is the main platform, but you can also turn to HubSpot, SendinBlue, GetResponse or other email marketing platforms to build your newsletter.
When you’re deciding which platform to use, consider issues such as integration, reading and viewing options and response handling. You need a platform that integrates well with your customer relationship management (CRM) system so that you can market efficiently and effectively. Customers must be able to read your newsletter comfortably on their devices and you must be able to respond to emails in a timely manner. Your platform should allow you to do all of this.
2. Choose a focus
Know who your clients or customers are so that you can decide the right focus for your newsletter. The more you know about them, the more relevant you can make your content to them. Consider what interests them and what they care about. This will make your content more engaging.
3. Write an engaging subject line
Some content marketers try to build familiarity with their audience by using the same subject line every time they send it out. Let’s face it, though: it can get boring quickly and no one is going to be desperate to open the newsletter.
Be creative with your subject line. People may sign up for your newsletter, but, with so many different people and businesses competing for their attention, there’s no guarantee they’ll read it. Create an enticing subject line that begs for them to open your newsletter (not literally). Remember what we said about your focus and considering what interests them.
4. Keep your content simple
It’s easy to immerse yourself in the design of your newsletter or in the creation of your content and get carried away. Email marketing tools allow you to do so many different things these days. However, you should keep your content simple for your audience. Don’t overwhelm them with flashy design and dense content. People don’t read email for as long as they’d read a white paper or a blog post, so keep your content short and snappy.
5. Balance your content
It’s brilliant that your audience have chosen to subscribe to your website, but your newsletter isn’t an invitation to subject them to a relentless sales pitch. If you do that, sooner or later they’re going to delete your newsletter as soon as it drops in their inbox or unsubscribe from it. This means you should balance your content. Ninety per cent of it should be educational — for instance, how they might be able to use your product or service — and the remaining ten per cent should be promotional. Unless you have some genuinely exciting news about your product, service or company, ease up on the promotional content.
6. Provide value
As mentioned, you don’t want to be bashing your clients or customers over the head with a hard sales pitching all the time. They can already see the value in what you offer, which is why they already come to you — and it’s also why you should provide some value in your newsletter. It could be some tips, some news about the latest trends in your industry or some other handy info that they didn’t know before they opened up your newsletter. Make reading your newsletter worth their time.
One of the joys of content marketing is that although it’s important to create unique content, you don’t always have to reinvent the wheel. You can curate content, which means taking existing content from a third-party and creating a new piece of content that adds value to it in some way. This is a superb way to create content and show your audience that you’re really in the know when it comes to your industry or area of expertise.
8. Show personality
Letters contain a personal touch which we enjoy. The same should be true of newsletters. You have a voice and you should use it, not churn out your newsletters in dry corporate speak that engages no one. After all, your brand voice and personality could be one of the reasons customers and clients like you or identify with you in the first place.
You can voice your own thoughts and offer your own perspective of events in your industry. You can do something completely different. It’s up to you, but always remember that you’re experts in your field. Your voice and personality contribute to this perception, too, and you need to sound like you.
9. Stay pure
Okay, so you’ve got certain metrics that you might wish to measure, but one of the splendid things about newsletters is that you can truly focus on your audience and the content you provide for them. You don’t have to worry about SEO. You don’t have to think too hard about social media. All you have to do is focus on having a good conversation with your audience, so just creating something valuable to them.
Of course, you don’t just launch your newsletters into your clients’ or customers’ inboxes and then just forget about them. You’ve got to make use of the analytics on the email marketing platform to see what’s working and what’s not. That means you’ve got to keep testing new things, which is pretty exciting because there are so many different variables with which you can experiment until you hit the jackpot that is your audience’s attention.
You could test subject lines. Do your audience prefer serious ones that get down to business or do they open funny ones more? You could test images vs no images. Does your audience like images or do they just want you to get down to brass tacks with some words?
Design presents another variety of opportunities: colours, font, layout… find out what floats their boat the most. Calls to action and how your present them are another opportunity to play around and try out new things. Again, does your audience respond better to simple, to-the-point CTAs or do they prefer something more chirpy or playful?
11. Make it easy to subscribe and unsubscribe
There are a lot of businesses out there all competing for your clients’ and customers’ attention, so don’t make it too difficult for them to subscribe to your newsletter. Keep your sign-up form as simple as possible. Some sites just ask for a name and an email address.
By the same token, you should make it easy for subscribers to unsubscribe if they wish to. If they have to click on a button, present the button clearly. Use a simple command such as ‘Unsubscribe’, rather than an obscure one. Presenting the option clearly is important to maintain an active subscriber base. Not stating how they can unsubscribe may breed mistrust and they won’t sign up. They may even label your newsletter as spam.
Use newsletters in the right way and you give yourself an outstanding opportunity to engage with your clients and customers and really build up a relationship with them. You can tailor your content especially with them in mind and send it to them directly. Importantly, you must stay consistent when you create your newsletter because as you build the relationship, your audience will start to expect the content regularly. Meet their expectations, produce a valuable newsletter and you can be another step closer to a sale.
Do you need help creating content for your business or reaching out to the press and media?
At Excalibur Press we have a team of over 12 publicists, content creators, copywriters, journalists and bloggers in a variety of specialisms writing blogs, website content, video, photography and more for clients on a daily basis.
If you would like to speak to a content creator or publicist or would like more information about our rates and process just call 07305354209 or email [email protected].
Find out more about Excalibur Press at excaliburpress.co.