If you’ve written or distributed a newsletter in your career, you likely know that opens aren’t enough. Newsletters present a great opportunity to deliver value and establish a two-way dialog with those who can make a huge difference in your business. They can also help you breathe new life into the content you’ve already developed.
In this blog, we’ll share some tips to help you create newsletters that will entice your target audience not only to click and read – but to take action.
1. Put yourself in their shoes
It’s tempting to jam pack your newsletter with company news, product information and customer wins. But if the content is too self-serving, it ends up being a waste of your recipients’ valuable time. That’s why it’s critical to assume the reader’s perspective as you decide which content makes the cut for your newsletter. In high tech B2B, that often means providing practical advice on selecting, deploying and optimizing solutions.
2. Be crystal clear
One way to turn off your recipients is to “trick” them into opening a newsletter because they believe there’s something of value in it for them – only to find out that’s not the case. Misleading subject line copy can leave people feeling like they’ve been the victim of a bait & switch and do some serious damage to your brand. Remember the goal isn’t to get a high open rate, it’s to build a relationship with your readers. That relationship has to be built on trust.
3. Stay focused
Most likely your newsletter is going to be distributed regularly, so there’s no need to try to squeeze all of your latest content into one issue. If it’s too long and contains every white paper, video, case study and webinar you’ve produced in the last month, you risk losing your audience. Not only may they never read your newsletter in its entirety, they may decide to opt out. That’s why it’s important to create a theme or binding force that brings all the elements of your newsletter together – and select the assets you promote carefully.
4. Keep it short and sweet
A newsletter that’s too long-winded is a surefire way to get deleted and possibly unsubscribed. The point is not to duplicate your more in-depth content, but rather give it a sneak peek with a call to action (CTA) that gives readers access to the longer content. In doing so, you might find that the recipients are forwarding these short, crisp emails to their colleagues and you end up increasing your subscriber base.
5. Make it fun
Would you want to read something in the middle of your busy workday that’s boring, dense or hard to digest? Probably not. That’s why it’s important for your copy to convey a friendly, conversational tone – and give your readers some visual breaks. Keep the tone of the copy light and use images and diagrams to illustrate complex topics. You might even want to crack a timely joke here and there to give your readers something to look forward to when they see your newsletter in their inbox.
6. Maintain a calendar
Not every company has something valuable and appropriate to offer in a weekly or monthly newsletter. Those voids can leave marketers repeating content or skipping issues, which can waste your recipients’ time or make your communication feel sporadic. Ask your Content Manager to come up with a schedule that’s realistic based on your content development cycle – and stick to it. That way, even if you’re only sending out your newsletter once a quarter, your readers will be rewarded with content that’s always fresh, valuable and consistent.
7. Remember, it’s a two-way street
If your newsletter is more of a broadcast than an open line of communication, you may be missing opportunities to engage. Be sure to provide a feedback mechanism with a variety of CTAs such as links to deeper content resources on a topic, informative pages on your web site and, of course, a “Contact Us” button. This gives your recipients a way to connect with you and your content when they need more information or are ready to take the next step with your company.
We’ve helped many clients develop newsletters on topics ranging from SD-WAN to IoT solution deployment to carrier-grade Wi-Fi. While they each have their own focus, style and format, they all have a few things in common. They create an opportunity for companies to keep in touch, share valuable information and open the lines of communication with people who have shown interest in their solutions and may one day be ready to buy.
Interested in seeing one of our newsletters? Get in touch. We’d love to send you an example.