Although video is all the rage, and podcasts are the hot new thing, don’t underestimate the power of an effective newsletter. A tool to connect with your audience, a newsletter can help build trust and maintain communication with your customers — similar to blogging.
But it has to be done well to be effective. Because a customer has expressed interest in your company and content by signing up for your newsletter, each transmission needs to deliver high-quality content or expect an “unsubscribe.”
Utilize these five tips to make your newsletter worth the read.
Use a professional service
Although it may be tempting to do a batch send from your work email, ensure that you’re using an emailing marketing service like Constant Contact or MailChimp. Not only will your newsletter look more professional, you’ll have more success with your campaigns by staying organized and tracking performance. Many of these services offer a free trial to start, and run as low as $10 a month.
Curate it well
Competing for attention in someone’s inbox is tough business, and if your newsletter is unfocused, don’t expect to get much screen time. Hone in on one aspect of your business at time — say events, or sales, or past projects — to keep it short and concise.
Keep it more informational and less promotional
Although the end goal of any marketing material is to make sales, make sure you’re keeping the overly sales-y stuff to a minimum. The point of a newsletter is to connect with your audience and provide something of value to them — solve their pain points, provide unique and convenient information, entertain them. If you want to push a sale or product, do so in a conversational, “after the fact” way. For example, say you're highlighting a recently completed project and the light fixture used is now on sale — sneak that into the story, but it won't be the focus.
Use calls to action
One goal of a newsletter is to drive traffic to your website, sales pages or social media accounts, so make sure you’re enticing readers to click through. Do this by keeping things brief and not giving all of the information away, instead teasing with phrases like “Click to Read More” or “Watch Video to Learn Why” and link to vital pages.
Write a good subject line
Nothing is worse than spending time and energy on crafting a great newsletter and having no one open it, so writing attention-grabbing subject lines is key. Avoid generic subject lines like “Your March newsletter” or “New this month” and aim for something jazzier.
-Use the person’s name: “Jane, this rug is for you.” By providing that personal touch, the recipient feels like you’re speaking to him or her directly. And it’s been proven to produce a 26 percent higher open rate.
-Use numbers: "80 already registered for this weekend's event" piques interest more than “Come to our event this weekend”
-Use clear and concise language: Make the benefits of your newsletter clear. Rather than “We’re having a sale this weekend” opt for “50% off Saturday and Sunday”
-Utilize A/B testing: Segment your list and try out different subject lines to see what your audience responds to more.
Do you send out a newsletter? What works best for you? Share with us in the comments!