How to create winning newsletters

Producing a newsletter used to be a hard, complex and costly project, not only in writing the material, but also in producing the newsletter and getting it out to contacts.

Thankfully that era is now changing, with email marketing making it so much easier, faster and more economical to send out newsletters.

As a business, what do you really get from producing a newsletter? There are a lot of great business benefits from email newsletters, including: 

  • Build relationships (with current and past clients, prospects, alliances, suppliers etc) to increase sales
  • Position your business as a valuable resource and as an expert in the field
  • Obtain and retain the mindshare of your customers
  • Build your creditability
  • Illustrate the advantages of your services and products
  • Educate and inform your readers
  •  Widen your audience

And what does that all really mean for your business?

  • It increases the length of time your clients stay with you
  • It increases the money they spend
  • It increases number of people they refer onto you
  • It can consistently attract new clients to your business

And now, thanks to the Internet, newsletters are very cost-effective, environmentally friendly and simple marketing tool for any business to use.

The content of your newsletter is vitally important – if your stories aren’t relevant or interesting, you won’t get many readers and you will be wasting time and money. Here are some potential sources of content for your newsletter:

  • Relevant articles written by you, your staff or by a freelance writer
  • Articles from your association or industry
  • Articles written by your business alliances
  • Relevant industry news and trends
  • Case studies, testimonials and examples
  • 'How to' articles
  • Material from clients and readers
  • Questions and answers from readers
  • A readers poll

Here are some handy tips to make your newsletters professional and effective:

  • Schedule the frequency of your newsletter and stick to your deadlines - this is important for your audience and will ensure your business gets the full value from producing them
  • Know your audience and obtain regular feedback (get copies of your competition e-newsletters so you can be better, carry out surveys regularly, ask your contacts what they want to read)
  • Plan your content - keep it unique and pertinent to your existing and prospective clients
  • Use a newsletter template - consistency is important
  • Remember it is a newsletter, not an advertisement - the rule of thumb is that newsletters should be 80% for the reader and 20% about your business (otherwise they won't read it next time)It’s all in the headline - make sure your headlines are going to grab your audience and entice them to read mor
  • You are there to 'express' not to 'impress' - keep your language simple with little or no jargon
  • Proofread, proofread, proofread - get someone to proof read your newsletter because nothing looks more unprofessional than spelling and grammar mistakes
  • Keep your stories short - people don't have the luxury of unlimited time, so if you have a lot of additional detail that you want to add, give people the option to read more on your website
  • Keep the number of stories to a minimum – aim for 3 to 5 stories
  • Do not display everyone's email address if you send using your own email program - use the Blind Carbon Copy (BCC) function
  • Always include:
    • A newsletter signup field that automatically updates your database
    • A 'forward to a friend' function to facilitate the referral process
    • A table of contents to entice the recipient to want to read on
    • A privacy statement
    • An unsubscribe function so you meet the SPAM laws
    • A text/HTML option for future emails

These are the basics of newsletter writing. You can find a complete guide to writing and sending newsletters here. Learn more here about the Bloomtools Ezy Communicator system that makes newsletters fast and simple.


 


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