A newsletter can be a great addition to your email marketing box of tricks. Rather than constantly giving the hard sell, a newsletter can be used to engage with your subscribers on a different level. A newsletter can entertain, amuse, inform and give your customers value that they won’t find elsewhere.
However, starting an email newsletter takes a lot of time, energy and creativity. It’s not something to embark upon just because your competitors are doing it. Your newsletter should be something that your customers will enjoy reading and will want to pass on to their friends. So, before you make the commitment to start an email newsletter, make sure you bear the following things in mind:
What is the Purpose of Your Newsletter?
Your newsletter can be used for marketing or promotional purposes, it can be used as a relationship building tool or it can simply be used to offer new information to your subscribers. A newsletter can even be a combination of all these things. The most important thing is that your newsletter provides what you said it would when your subscribers signed up. Customers will soon get bored of promotional material if they were promised news and information.
What Will Your Newsletter Contain?
It’s then up to you to decide what content you think will be most appropriate for your newsletter. Generally, customers are looking for content that is interesting, informative and ‘shareable’. If something exciting is happening within your company (profits increasing, new stores opening etc.), let your customers know! News like this can also be promotional. For example, letting your customers know about a new product launch that is likely to interest them, and it may also encourage them to make a purchase.
Email newsletters are excellent tools for building a relationship between your company and your customers. Give them information that is genuinely useful to them. Supermarket chain Booths did this recently. Rather than just send their subscribers an email listing some of the new products and offers in store, they compiled some recipes that people could make with them:
Don’t be tempted to cram everything into your email newsletters. Nothing turns a customer off more than overwhelming swathes of information. If you would like to include a long article in your newsletter, consider splitting it into multiple parts. Not only with this be more easily digestible for your subscribers, it will also encourage them to keep reading your newsletter.
If you choose to include a bit of everything in your email newsletter, it can be a good idea to include links to each section, so your subscribers can ‘jump’ to the parts that interest them. This can prevent your subscribers feeling overloaded with information. Furniture Clinic do this with their newsletters:
In the world of email marketing, newsletters provide the most scope for creativity. You can use them to get to the heart of what your customers appreciate, and build a stronger relationship with them in the process.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net