Alright, so you’re ready to put together a newsletter. Should only take about 10-15 minutes to assemble some company news, right? Myth. Would you, as a customer, subscribe to a company newsfeed? Any PR professional will tell you that digging up multiple instances of engaging company news over the course of a month is nearly impossible.
If you want a captive audience, you’ll want to think outside of the box. Brainstorm on the purpose of your newsletter. Who is your audience? Are you sending the newsletter to potential customers, current customers or both? How often will you send it out?
It’s best to focus your newsletter efforts on creating return customers and building your brand among your current customer base. Ask yourself these five questions to better plan your newsletter.
01: How does my content fit into our overall marketing strategy?
The best marketing campaign leverages five different touch-points. If you want your strategy to be fully integrated, you’ll want to share your marketing resources across different channels. Are you running a promotion? Did you recently add a new feature or product? Have your readers heard about your social media channels? Are you attending a conference? Make sure to use every channel available to you for your campaigns, including your newsletter.
02: Should I distribute company news or relevant and engaging content?
A lot of merchants are apt to create a newsletter solely focused on company news—but the best newsletters also include relevant and engaging content. If you have a blog, feature a post somewhere in the body of the newsletter. Include promotions and coupons. Feel free to work in some company news, but feature your most interesting content at the top of the newsletter.
03: Can I use shared content or should I focus solely on original content?
While you want your newsletter to include mostly original content, including a link to a relevant article from a renowned media outlet is another great way to boost readership. It conveys thought leadership and industry knowledge and saves time spent on creating original content.
04: How long should our newsletter be?
In general, your newsletter should provide short descriptions and link to most of the featured content. Sometimes marketers don’t predict how far customers will actually read; a great rule of thumb for developing a newsletter is to keep your content above or slightly below the first fold of the email. That way, readers are presented with all of the content without having to scroll down. You may only have a split second to grab a reader’s attention, so take advantage of that second!
05: How can I syndicate my stylized newsletter to a large mailing list?
Services like MailChimp and My Emma help you blast out stylized emails and deliver analytics on your readers so you can tweak your newsletter to be more effective based on reader response.