Newsletters suck. Or at least, they certainly used to. Does anybody really want to read about your company’s new employee of the month?
But in recent years, companies have redefined what it means to be a newsletter. They are no longer bland company summaries filled with self-promotion. Modern newsletters are now a useful tool for any email marketing campaign.
What’s the secret? You need to know how to make a newsletter that people want to read.
Creating a newsletter isn’t easy. But with a few foundational tips, you’ll be off to a great start.
9 Tips For Creating a Newsletter
What is a newsletter anyway? Nowadays, it’s pretty much a word that describes anything a company can email you on a scheduled basis. It might not even contain news at all.
Stop wasting time on content nobody wants. Newsletters are now an entirely different beast than they were ten years ago. These nine tips will show you how to create a fun, effective newsletter that puts your company on the map.
1. Start with an Objective
A newsletter is much more than a company overview. When you create a newsletter that includes everything, it does nothing. A newsletter is not a magic tool that can promote multiple company goals.
There just isn’t enough space or time.
Before you create an electronic newsletter, you need to have a clear objective in mind. Is the newsletter going to foster a transparent relationship with your clients? Or, instead, will it further establish your company as a well-informed source?
Figure out the objective of the newsletter first – and keep the scope small. If you can’t discern what your company newsletter should accomplish, you probably don’t need one.
2. Focus on Content
With newsletters, content marketing rules still apply. You want to provide value for your clients and subscribers. Otherwise, why would they even sign up?
Blatant marketing and self-promotion are sure to turn people away and harm your reputation. Focus on enthralling, worthwhile content that amasses subscribers. You can still reach your goals with a footnote call to action.
An electronic newsletter should never become a company brochure.
3. Find a Niche
There are tens of thousands of company newsletters out there. If you want yours to get any traction, it needs to stand out. This means you’ll need to bring something new to the table, something in demand.
Doesn’t sound easy, right? Think about your company’s position in the industry. There are probably thousands of cat newsletters, but the ones that stand out bring a unique and focused perspective.
And don’t fear the niche. You’ll have a smaller reader base, but that has its benefits. For a small company, that’s all you need. You’ll also save money if you’re sending off your business newsletter to a few thousand people.
This is just one of the reasons why email marketing can be a cheap and effective way to reach your marketing goals.
4. Give a Great Synopsis
What is your newsletter about? That’s a question you’ll need to answer to convert potential subscribers. The best company newsletters have a clear and concise subscription landing page.
Include the pertinent information. All you need is a few bullet points to describe the who, what, and when of your newsletter. You’ll also have fewer people unsubscribe since everyone has a clear idea of what they’re signing up for.
5. Cut the Marketing Talk
You don’t have to play games in your newsletters. There’s no SEO to concern yourself with. Say what you want, how you want, without trying to appease every ranking algorithm under the sun.
Honesty is an email newsletter best practice. People are looking for genuine content and tone in your newsletters, so you’d best give it to them. Put the keywords away and let your natural prose shine.
6. Okay, Include a Little Marketing Talk
But let’s not forget, even if you can write the content however you’d like, it still has to serve a higher objective. For example, pretty much every newsletter out there has at least one call to action.
But don’t go crazy with it. Focus on a single point of CTA. Maybe you want to convert newsletter subscribers into clients.
Include a CTA that leads to your company’s service page. You might also want readers to get their friends to sign up, attend a company event, or check out the company blog.
These are excellent things to include but don’t bombard your readers with a host of CTAs. Only one should be prominent.
7. Please the Eyes
As a marketer, you know that visuals are an essential aspect of everything you put out. This holds true for newsletters.
From the layout to the font, it’s essential to make a newsletter catching and unique. Just remember that, above all else, it should be legible and easy to read. Keep in mind that subscribers will read your electronic newsletter across different devices.
The design will have to accommodate.
8. Keep It Short
Nobody is going to read a novella’s worth of information. Newsletters are all about brevity. Keep the information short and sweet.
You could also utilize an infographic or a list of bullet points that lead to the actual blog posts. It’s less intimidating than a mass of text and images.
Plus, less content means better content. Don’t forget the old adage: quality over quantity.
9. Test for Success
The best part about a newsletter? It gives you analytics. When you’re just starting off, you don’t have to devote yourself to a particular niche, objective, or design.
Send your first few newsletters out there and see how it goes. With the analytics you gather, you’ll have a better idea of what works and what doesn’t. Then you’ll be in a better position to make the changes you need to really knock it out of the park.
A Newsletter Improves Your Email Marketing
If your company doesn’t have a newsletter, it’s time to see what it can do for you. Email marketing has some of the best ROI you can find. And a newsletter – a good newsletter – can really up to your email marketing game.
Creating a newsletter is easier than you might think. It all starts with a unique niche.
So what’s yours?