Written by: Chayton Allen
How do you make a newsletter that people actually want to read? It seems laughable that you would create a newsletter that people would not want to read but think critically about the newsletter your organization wants to send subscribers. Newsletters are a great way to enhance one’s email marketing strategy, letting customers know what an organization is up to on a high level. In order to maximize the reach of a company newsletter here are 3 best practices to deploy in order to have a greater possibility of success.
The first aspect companies and advisors must look at when creating a newsletter is the design. The design does not need to be flawless however it does need to be easy to navigate and be responsive. The links going outbound from the newsletter need to link to the right pages. Overall, the user experience should be one without difficulty or frustration to the user. The newsletter should be visually appealing in order to capture the attention of the reader right away. Don’t forget to use your organization’s overall color scheme, to reflect the proper branding.
- Logos: Your logo should sit somewhere on the newsletter, most likely the top, bottom, or both the top and bottom of the newsletter. This sets the tone and reminds readers of who is responsible for the content in their inbox.
- Headers: Your newsletter should have a masthead that reflects your branding through an organization’s color scheme and encourages your audience to keep reading.
The content within your newsletter should be relevant to your audience and should provide immediate value. That means the content needs to help your readers in some way, whether that’s by keeping them informed on the latest industry trends and news or by providing tips and insights on a specific topic.
- Personalized content: In order to achieve personalized content customer relationship management (CRM) data needs to be available and accessible. Try to include personalization elements such as addressing the newsletter to each subscriber by first name or last name. You may also do this through list segmentation, this allows access to users’ past visits and or attendance to past events.
- Images and Videos: Should contain either great photos or embedded videos that compliment the content inside the newsletter. Remember to keep the image or video as small as possible in order to reduce load times.
- Content layout: Using headers and subheadings will ensure that readers can easily navigate the newsletter and understand the content at a glance.
Try and use the 15% to 85% ratio for educational and promotional in the newsletter. Don’t always self-promote to your subscribers 99% of the time.
Your email newsletter subscribers don’t want to hear about your products and services in every newsletter no matter the frequency they receive it. While they want to hear from you, there’s only so much self-promotion a company can do before their subscribers completely tune out or worse opt-out completely. Don’t be that annoying newsletter, focus on sending your subscribers educational, relevant, timely information and share products and services in small doses.
Balance: Balance your newsletter content to be 85% educational and 15% promotional. Balance is the key to a great newsletter, by balancing the design, content, and value aspects.
Creativity: This section will be limited by the imagination of the creator. You can also receive input from others in order to change the newsletter visually, in content, and the value.
CTA: Although a newsletter has multiple Calls to Action, there should be one primary call-to-action where you are trying to drive subscribers to. The other CTAs should be smaller in size and act as options for subscribers if they have a bit more time on their hands.
A Great Newsletter
In the end, a great newsletter encompasses all of the above steps. The design needs to visually attract attention from subscribers and makes them want to stay and engage. Remember to remind subscribers who your organization is through the branding and logos on the newsletter. The content should be personalized to the subscribers, utilize your CRM to do this effectively. For value, try and use the 15% to 85% ratio for educational and promotional. Don’t always sell and self-promote to subscribers 99% of the time, educate them and nurture them and guide them to where they recognize your company value. A newsletter is key in the repertoire of email marketing tools.