The power of the newsletter
The newsletter is a very powerful tool that can be used for both research and marketing purposes. The engagement and additional communication channel that it provides for your clients can be extremely useful when you need to convey important information such as updates regarding your services or prices, new offers and other changes.
You can also use it to inform them about new useful blog content that they might be interested in. Additionally, you can also provide them with exclusive content to reward them for subscribing.
Overall, the newsletter is far from dead, but is rather an important factor that you need to consider when looking at the grand scheme of your marketing plans.
What to consider when creating a newsletter
As we already mentioned, there are a plethora of different positives that an engaging newsletter can provide you with.
To create an interesting newsletter, there are a couple of things that you need to focus on.
Start by creating subscriber lists. Make sure to separate users based on the page they signed up from. If they subscribed through the form on your blog, place them on a separate list, rather than combining them with the users who signed up from your documentation page, for example. This indicates their interests and what type of content they will be willing to engage with.
Matching user intent is a crucial step that you should not neglect. Someone who signed up because they read a blog post on best places to visit for example, might not be interested to learn about technical optimization.
Make sure to create separate newsletter drafts and send them according to the interests of your subscribers. You might even go as far as changing the overall design and layout to further accommodate your users. Remember that design is important and can positively influence the rate of your opened emails.
Another thing that you need to focus on prior to writing any content for your newsletter, again focuses on design, and it is about making sure that your newsletter design is responsive. A vast majority of online users utilize their phone to check their emails. You need to ensure that everything is responsive and renders as intended on mobile rather than only focusing on making the desktop version working optimally.
Next, you need to think about the headline of your email, which will contain the newsletter. About 90% of emails are not opened due to a headline that fails to capture user attention. Using a headline with the ‘Newsletter’ keyword is fine, but you can express some further creativity. Make sure to craft something interesting that you know will increase your newsletter’s click-through rate (CTR). You could also consider including your brand/company name in the email headline in order to assert authority.
Finally, make sure that the content is engaging. Utilize the lists that you initially made of your subscribers and structure your newsletter using content that they will find interesting. There is no use in advertising or promoting something that they will not be interested in. As a matter of fact, it might even result in many unsubscriptions, which is ultimately what you want to avoid.
How often should you send out your newsletter?
This is a question that simply cannot be answered. It is very subjective and different time frames apply for different businesses and institutions.
A general rule of thumb is to send out a newsletter when you have something to tell your customers/readers. For example, wait until you publish some content on your blog rather than sending over irrelevant information or packing the entire email with promotional material, which some users might find spammy.
This does mean that some of your subscribers will receive the newsletter less often than others, simply because of the content that you produce or the items that you have on sale.
However, you should never exchange quality for quantity. You might even send out a newsletter once every month if needed, just make sure that it is relevant and interesting. You might set a goal to have a newsletter sent out every week or even day (if you are a large ecommerce business or blog), which is also perfectly fine, as long as you have new and exciting content that your subscribers will find interesting and helpful.
What makes a newsletter engaging?
Again, as we already mentioned, first and foremost, a newsletter needs to be relevant to subscribers’ and readers’ interests. Do not compromise on quality, and ensure that your content is tailored for the intended audience. Advertising and promotional material to a certain extent is fine, but don’t overcrowd your newsletter as that detracts from its main purpose. Too much promotion might even lead to unsubscriptions.
Make it interesting. Give your readers a fresh design, make it responsive and supply them with exciting content. Make them impatient and craving for your next newsletter. Use interesting captions and headings. Utilize images and add colors. Simple designs are always the safe bet, but make sure to also test out something more extravagant in terms of layout and structure.
Ensure that your content is valuable. Focus on content quality rather than using clickbait titles and images. Let your users know why they should read a certain piece as soon as they catch a glimpse of it in your newsletter.
What are the lead magnets and how to use them
A lead magnet is a marketing term that is used for a free item or service given in exchange for user contact details and newsletter subscriptions.
This particular tactic can be quite useful if you are just starting out and you want to get some following and consequently - newsletter subscribers. However, some view this method of gaining subscriptions as bribery and decide not to use it. The choice is up to you whether you wish to implement it in your marketing efforts.
Some examples of lead magnets are:
- Free samples
- Promo codes
- Exclusive PDFs with useful information such as tutorials or never-before posted blog content
- White papers
- Free consultations
- Early content access
- Training courses
There are a plethora of other magnets as well, however, their main goal is to gain you subscribers and overall exposure.
Depending on your business, you could potentially entice users to subscribe and get something in return, resulting in a win-win situation for both sides. This can help your sign-up list grow faster, which can in turn make your business expand at a quicker pace as well. Exposure can lead to word-of-mouth growth as well if your business starts getting recognition in online spaces such as blogs, forums and social media.
Once you have gained yourself some trust and reputation for your newsletter and its content, you can start sending out feelers with some advertising content to check whether your subscribers will be interested in potentially buying some of your goods or services.
However, you need to build this slowly, taking your time when necessary, as one wrong newsletter move can completely nullify all of your efforts. Remember to always provide more content and useful information rather than advertisements and promotional material when constructing your newsletter.
Final newsletter tips
Given all of the information that we mentioned above, it is clear that the newsletter is a powerful tool that can help your business grow faster and also keep your users engaged. It can also be used as a communication or a promotional channel. Because of this, you need to make sure that you create an interesting and enticing newsletter that will resonate well with your subscribers.
Remember that inferior marketing will always focus on advertising and making a sale, whereas successful marketing will strive to give added value to the subscribers and the audience. Due to this, you need to focus on relevancy, design and content as one single unit, rather than 3 divergent aspects. Having said that, our final tips for creating a successful newsletter are simple.
Firstly, make sure to try new ideas. You will most likely never get it right on your first try, maybe even your first number of times. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t continue to experiment until you have found a newsletter style that you are satisfied with and which also happens to be accepted well by your subscribers.
Secondly, test everything. Send out newsletters with different styles to different users, who have the same interests and see how they will respond. Do some A/B testing and don’t be afraid of making changes. This also applies to already established businesses and blogs. If your newsletter design is outdated, try out something new.
Finally, make sure that you always focus on your subscribers and respect their interests. Keep your content relevant and don’t produce content just for the sake of sending out a newsletter every week. Add value to your newsletter. This will result in higher trust in your company or brand. After all, successful marketing needs to implement many different aspects and a good newsletter can help you progress with your blog, social media presence and online advertising as well.