Contrary to rumor, newsletters are alive and can help your business thrive
By Cindy Schrauben
Great Gus Marketing
You hear it all the time: people want to do business with those they know, like, and trust. However, you can’t get to know all your prospects personally, so how do you get them to like and trust you? One valuable way is an email newsletter.
But, before we go any further, let’s get one thing out of the way: You may have heard that newsletters are dead, or dying, or not worth the effort. But this isn’t true! Email newsletters are very much alive and are a great way to build relationships with your customers and your would-be customers.
Consider these stats: In 2020, OptinMonster found that 99% of email users check their email every day, and some check up to 20 times a day. Also, 58% say they check their email first thing in the morning. So, your audience is using email. It’s up to you to meet them where they are: their inboxes!
What can a newsletter do for your business?
Drive traffic to your website – You want your audience to go to your website where they will learn more about your products and services and, perhaps, buy from you. But getting them there can be challenging. Your email newsletter can be helpful with this by providing short bits of interesting copy in the body of the email with a link to your website. If your newsletter copy captures your reader’s attention, they will click through to your website to learn more. Hopefully, from there, they will explore your website, learning more about your company and offerings.
Stay top-of-mind with your audience – You know what they say: out of sight, out of mind. But it’s never a good thing for your business to be out of your audience’s sight or mind. Producing and sending a regular email newsletter will keep your business in front of your audience and remind them to purchase from you.
Promote new products and services – Your readers are subscribed to your newsletter because they are interested in what you have to offer, so it only makes sense to tell them everything new that’s going on. Chances are, since they’ve proven they are already connected with your company and what you offer, they will want to try your new product or service.
Conversion tool – Since your readers are already predisposed to doing business with you, often all that is needed is a persuasive call to action in your email. Decide what you want the reader’s action to be and make it easy for them to follow through. I think it’s a good idea to place a call to action in several places in the newsletter so the reader can act without searching for a link.
Provide value to your readers
Now that we know what a newsletter can do for your business, it’s vital to discuss the most critical aspect of a newsletter: providing value for your readers.
You can provide value by:
Including great content – It should be obvious, but the content should interest the reader. Too often, businesses make the mistake of not looking at their content through the eyes of their readers. Consider how the content will help your reader. Will it solve a challenge they are having? Are you providing information that furthers their understanding of a product or service? Are you entertaining or inspiring them?
Focusing on your audience – Your newsletter shouldn’t be a direct sales piece. Instead, you should highlight the benefits of your product or service to the reader. You can do this through stories about satisfied customers or illustrating a problem your product or service has solved.
Being friendly – Since you want your newsletter to help your audience get to know, like, and trust you, it should be conversational, like you’re talking with a friend. This means it should be informative, not sales-oriented.
Segmenting your email list – You’ll provide additional value to your audience if you break up your email list and provide content aimed at each segment. Additionally, your campaigns will perform better. Mailchimp found that segmented email campaigns had a 14.31% higher open rate than non-segmented campaigns and a 100% higher rate of clicks. There are multiple ways you can segment your list. You can do it by audience characteristics such as stage of life or by the products they’ve purchased in the past. For example, a financial advisor could offer content about saving for children’s college funds to 30-somethings and information on drawing down retirement accounts to those in their 70s. The more personalized your newsletter is to your audience, the better your results.
Other newsletter aspects to consider
You need an intriguing subject line – You only have one chance to get this right. If your subject line doesn’t capture your reader’s attention, they’re not going to open it. You can be clever, direct, or ask a question, but whatever you do, your subject line should play up the benefits to the reader and not be a sales pitch (that’s for direct sales emails). It should also be short – no more than 50 characters – so it fits on a mobile device.
Include a call to action – Now that your audience is reading your newsletter, what do you want them to do next? Decide what that is and include clear calls to action so they will take the next desired step.
It should be optimized for mobile – Hubspot found that 46% of all emails are opened on a mobile device. So, you want to be sure your newsletter is as easy to read on a mobile phone as on a laptop. When choosing an e-newsletter platform, be sure it offers the opportunity to preview your email, so you’ll know how it will look on desktop and mobile.
Include a footer – Be sure to include a footer with your business’ contact information, including an email address and your social media accounts. Also, include an option to forward the email to someone else who may be interested and a way to sign up for the newsletter. Remember, you should only send your newsletter to those who have opted-in to your list and always provide a way to unsubscribe.
Get help – Writing an effective newsletter is a science and an art. Consider hiring a copywriter to craft compelling copy that will interest your audience and, in turn, drive sales.
If you’d like help with writing a compelling newsletter for your business, I’m ready to assist. Please contact me by email or call 269-215-1505.
Based in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Great Gus Marketing specializes in copywriting, content writing, and marketing strategy.