10 Tips For Better Business Newsletters
Email marketing remains one of the best forms of online marketing.
If you’re looking to earn people’s attention there is no channel where people are more focused than when you have access to their email inbox.
Content on social media can get lost in the feed. Inboxes can get clogged up too, but people are usually attentive to their inboxes. They at least glance at just about every email that comes in.
That’s an opportunity for you to earn their attention and hopefully their trust and business. But you need to provide content that is worth subscribing to and worth opening and consuming over and over again.
In this post we’re going to go over some tips for creating business newsletters that will help you get the engagement you’re looking for from your target audience.
Just in the last few months I’ve gotten a few emails from businesses that I forgot I had subscribed to. I would get an email and the first thing it would say would be:
Sorry we haven’t written in awhile…
That almost immediately brings up a red flag in my book.
Why haven’t they been sending me emails? I signed up. I wanted to get content. They didn’t deliver.
Okay, maybe that’s a little harsh, but people like consistency in life. They like things and people they can rely on.
With your business newsletter, make a commitment to providing the content on a consistent schedule.
2. Simple, But Good Design
Design is critical with so many things in life. You can probably design a good email newsletter on your own, but think of what a professional designer could do if you pay them for 1-2 hours of their time.
If you’re going to do something it’s worth doing it right. You can experiment and grow an email with a basic design, but it’s good to always look for ways to improve the design. Talk with designers. Test new design elements.
Have a clear focus on what the goal is for the newsletter and always work to add things, remove things and make the experience better for the subscriber.
3. Clear Focus & Intention
Just mentioned this, but it’s important.
For your overall business newsletter it’s important to know why you’re doing it. Do you want to provide more value to your customers and potential customers than your competition? That’s a great reason to have a business newsletter.
Do you want to improve your sales process and bring in new prospects and earn their attention and trust and eventually their business with your newsletter? That’s another great reason.
Have a clear focus and intention of why you have your newsletter.
Also have a clear focus for each newsletter. Don’t just add content to a newsletter because you think it’s good. Adding in an article might be good, but it might not be good.
Create a goal for each newsletter and keep that focus and remove content that doesn’t work.
It’s like an musician working on an album. They might have a great song, but if it doesn’t fit the focus of the album they often won’t include that song.
4. Value: Helpful, Entertaining or Shareable Content
People find value in things that help them with their lives. They also find value in things that are entertaining. Who doesn’t love a good GIF in the morning on their Facebook page or in their inbox?
And people also like to share things they find entertaining or helpful with people they know. It makes people feel good to share things with others.
Now, it’s not easy to create or find this content, but it’s something to shoot for. Look for signs that your subscribers are finding your content helpful, entertaining and shareable.
5. Some Personality
It’s good to add some personality into your business newsletter. You don’t have to be over-the-top crazy or anything like that, but a great way to add personality to content is to tell stories. Share little anecdotes from your life and you’ll find that you’re connecting more with your audience. The more they know you the more likely they are to come back if they share similar world views.
6. Listen & Include Subscribers In The Content
If subscribers are indicating that they’re not getting what they want from your content then you have a great opportunity. If someone makes a suggestion for a change on your newsletter like sending you an article to include then make sure to mention them. Include them in your newsletter.
There is a great email I subscribe to in the hunting industry. In each newsletter they ask people to send in trophy photos and they always include a couple. That makes people feel included.
7. Make Subscribers Feel Part Of Something
And building on that sentiment is the idea that you want your newsletter to feel like an organization; something that subscribers feel like they belong to.
When you tell stories about things you’re trying to accomplish use words like “we” and “us”. It’s not just you that is working to succeed at whatever you’re doing. It’s you and your subscribers in it together.
Musicians are really good at this. They make their fans feel like every hit is the success of the group and not just one individual artist.
8. Throw In Bonus Emails & Content
Stick to a schedule with your business newsletter, but take it a step further by supplementing with bonus emails and bonus content. People love getting extras.
If you have a good idea to share one week then create a special edition of your newsletter and send it out. Keep it short, but go ahead and send it out.
You could do the same thing in the regular edition by including a little bonus section. It might be a link to a discount offer on a software tool that you know would be valuable to your subscribers.
People love extras like that.
Along with adding extras sometimes is the tip of mixing it up once in awhile. I think it’s good to have a system and stick with it once you find something that works.
But on the other side it’s always good to experiment with little things. Change one element of your newsletter one time. Or maybe just do something completely different, but just for one edition of the newsletter.
Try little things and see how subscribers react. You never know when a little experiment will change your newsletter for the better.
10. Ask A Question Each Time
Finally, I think it’s good to end each newsletter with a question. This is where you can include your subscribers in the newsletter so they have a vested interest in its success. Change the question up each time so it doesn’t get stale.
Business newsletters might seem like old hat in the Internet Marketing game, but I think they’re still as effective as ever. When you get someone to subscribe to your newsletter you’re getting permission to communicate with them in their inbox. That’s a great honor and if you provide good content they’ll not only continue to look for it, but they’ll likely share it with others and help your company grow.