How to create a newsletter that people will actually read
Today, in the world of digital, people’s habits have changed, with many of them preferring to purchase their products directly off the internet. Companies are improving their communications, investing more in digital marketing as they’re able to reap the benefits.
Companies have a tremendous amount of communication tools at their disposal, and the strongest perhaps is the email. Emails allow them to constantly communicate with their audience at a time of their convenience while tailoring their messaging based on customer interaction. Within the email itself, there are many types, and one such asset is the newsletter.
Newsletters allow companies to take a step back and experiment with content. While the primary motive of many companies is to sell, they know for long-term benefit, they must build a brand. I’ve noticed that building a brand helps a customer relate to a particular lifestyle, and the communications a company places are intrinsically tied to this lifestyle.
What are Newsletters and Classifications?
Generally, newsletters are seen as information a company wants to share with its customers, in a concise form. It can range from anything - a first anniversary, a new product launch, or a regular update on the business. I’ve taken the liberty of segregating them into what I feel are four good types that stand out.
Here’s a brief list of the types of newsletters available:
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This is a type of newsletter a company creates to keep their employees up to date on the new product launches or new personnel. These company newsletters can boost morale and strengthen the spirit of employees if done correctly.
The consumer newsletter is seen as a key advertising device that can be sent to a customer. It is mainly a PR move and contains the information a company thinks would be attractive to a customer. For example, a camera store can share an article on new tips to improve photography.
These are similar to company newsletters, but they belong mainly to NGOs, who send these out regularly to gather volunteers and contributors.
Many schools send out newsletters that contain valuable information on holidays, educational projects, school information, and more. This is mainly used to inform parents about the school events that are upcoming and helps build ties.
The content in a newsletter is generally precise and to the point, allowing the reader to grasp every single aspect. The other types of the newsletter include ones that contain quick flash sales and links to purchase the product and other relationship-focused emails that provide information on creating a community.
While we know that Mailchimp tops the list of email software for creating good newsletters, I’ve given you a breakdown of some friendly alternatives to Mailchimp, which you can consider and use.
So, How Relevant are Newsletters for Brands Today?
A lot of people, including me, felt that with the rise of digital marketing, companies would focus their attention more on selling their products. However, with time, they’ve realized that customers may have changed their buying habits, but not the way they consume information.
That’s why newsletters help them realize how they can interact better with a brand.
In this age of information overload, every customer is looking for newer ways to be engaged and entertained, and newsletters are one way to do so. It ties back to the brand and helps them maintain continuous connections with their new contacts as well as existing customers. Many companies send their newsletters weekly, monthly, or quarterly, and this depends on their business activities and goals.
I’ve worked with newsletters, and the kind of insights I’m able to draw far outweighs any other brand-building exercise I’ve undertaken. You can use any of the email marketing software available in the market for this.
Choosing an email marketing software is hard because most of them are complex. So it is hard to find the one which is the best for your use. Even the pricing is complex and most of them price their software differently. So do your research before committing to a software.
The reason why I like newsletters more than any other form of communication is that they include news, periodic updates, events, and promotions that can be enjoyed and consumed by all target audiences. Instead of segmenting your email list and containing an offer or discount, newsletters are focused on showing the “human” side of a brand.
Apart from focusing on distributing newsletters to your end audience, you can channel these pieces of information and effectively reach out to current employees by updating them with the latest happenings. These can include a list of new joinees, birthdays and anniversaries, and new product launches as well.
How Do You Write a Great Newsletter?
It is crucial that you write an effective newsletter that captivates your audience and gets them to engage better with your brand. Here’s how you can go about writing a fabulous newsletter:
1. Choose your motive
The first step to writing a good newsletter is choosing the purpose. Do you want it to be informative? Do you want it to have recent updates? Who is this targeted towards? What kind of designs would you like? These are just some of the questions you need to answer before you put the text in. I generally ask myself these before I begin writing any newsletter.
2. Choose your newsletter style
The newsletter that you’re planning to write needs to be written in a particular manner, depending on the audience. If it’s going out to your regular customers, they already know about your core offerings. If it’s for new customers, you need to introduce them to your products. If it’s a general newsletter updating your employees, business contacts, and even customers, then you can keep the content short and exciting for them.
3. Try to be concise
4. Design it beautifully
This is a slightly generic, but often overlooked aspect of newsletter marketing. A good design always stands out and can brighten up a person’s day. If it’s your customer, then you need to impress them. I always believe having a beautifully designed newsletter means they will look forward to receiving your communication and subscribe to your newsletter.
5. Add a CTA
At the end of any newsletter, or even somewhere in the content, try to add a CTA that ties back to your website. It gives you a good indicator of how many people clicked it, while also allowing your customer to go forward and explore the products/services which could lead to a conversion.
These are some of the basics you need to cover before you start your newsletter. Let’s take a look at some compelling examples of newsletters for inspiration
Great newsletters and why they stand out
Here are some of my favorite and best email newsletters and why I think they stand out:
This beautiful newsletter from Away uses smart imagery and minimal text to create a stunning newsletter. More than advertising their product, they’ve used imagery to promote a style so that these bags stand out and entice a customer to click.
Simplicity always stands out, and Unsplash knows they have an advantage because their photos are community-curated. Here, they’ve just kept it simple, with a list of few pictures and a button to explore more, giving the reader a chance to explore these stunning photos on their own.
3. Nature Conservatory
The Nature Conservatory is a non-profit that uses its imagery to stand out while providing customers with some great articles to read. They’ve mixed both beautifully, giving the reader a reason to click and read. They’ve also thanked their readers, tying back to their NGO-based work, and have an overall feel-good factor about them.
To Wrap Up
You’ll be able to make your newsletters stand out and entice customers if you follow the basics right. Good newsletters don’t focus on selling but more on customer relations, and you must put in the effort to make them stand out.
Keep it minimalistic, and you’ll notice that these newsletters give you the feedback you desire and allow you to grow a brand online.
Over to you!