So you’ve decided to start with your newsletter, that’s great! Newsletters are a great channel to market your business, inform your clients of your latest updates, and to keep your clients in the funnel. It’s also an efficient and cost-effective way to announce product launches, special offers, and whatnot.
Why are you sending a newsletter?
Before anything else, we found it helpful to write these down before starting with the newsletter. It will serve as a guide and a reminder of why you are sending out newsletters in the first place.
1. The Purpose
Why are you sending it out? Is it to drive more traffic to your website, promote new products, sell a product, download an ebook, or increase sales?
2. Who are you writing for?
Knowing who your audience is will help set the right tone of your newsletter.
How often will you send them out? We observed that a lot of companies and businesses send out newsletters on a monthly basis. We agree with this. Sending out newsletters on a regular basis keeps your clients updated and informed of what you are up to.
On to starting with a newsletter. When we create our newsletters, we focus on two main things – content and design.
Your newsletter content has to be engaging. A lot of newsletters are just advertisements, and people at the receiving end are not too keen on this. Chances are they will simply hit the “Unsubscribe” button. You don’t want that. While it’s perfectly alright to place advertisements in newsletters, after all it is a marketing tool, offer your readers compelling content that will make them want to read and receive more newsletters. Here are some things you can write about:
1. Business success story
Share with your readers a business success story, yours so it’s more credible, and draft it in a way that your readers can relate, that they can achieve it too!
2. Offer solutions and tips
This is great content especially if you offer services that could benefit them. However, don’t hard sell. Remember, a newsletter is not a direct advertisement. Think – hard sell versus soft sell. Hard selling is telling your clients, “Buy this now!” Soft selling leans more towards storytelling, establishing rapport and building good will by explaining to your target clients what benefits they can get from your services. Keyword is subtle selling.
3. Educational articles
Newsletters are an opportunity to educate your readers of a topic you are an expert of. Provide valuable content that could enrich the knowledge of your readers.
4. Feature stories
Also referred to as human interest stories or storytelling, these are write-ups that could most engage your readers. Write something they can relate to, anecdotes that make them nod their head in agreement while reading. Keyword is “relatable.”
5. Industry news
Yes, there are so many news channels especially since the advent of the Internet! But that’s just it! By knowing your audience, you can capitalise on this “flaw” and deliver the news straight to their inbox so they don’t have to scour the Internet for what they need to know.
6. Customer spotlights and testimonials
Praises and consumer reviews from your current clients are a convincing way to influence your readers to buy into your product or services. In fact, a study showed that 61.5% of people check reviews before dining in a restaurant.
These are our top examples, but don’t feel limited. The possibilities are endless, just be sure to stick to your goal.
Our second focus is on design. What’s fantastic about email newsletters is you can get creative with your design. You can use graphics and brand it accordingly. Be careful about using too many graphics that it takes away from the content and message of your newsletter. Try to strike a balance between graphics and text. Here are some tips when creating a visually engaging newsletter.
1. Create a header
This sits at the top of the newsletter and is the first thing anyone would see. Including your logo here will let your readers know immediately that this came from you and helps with brand recall.
2. Brand and colour
In terms of colours you use, try not to use the entire colour wheel. Sticking to your brand colours ensures consistency. Again, this helps with brand recall, which is very important in marketing. You want your readers to recall your business whenever they your colours or shades that are close to it. Canva offer a great colour wheel for you to play with and you can always learn more about more about colour theory to bring harmony to your designs.
Use standard fonts. Choose fonts that are easy to read and try to limit the usage of fonts to two font families – one serif and one sans serif. This creates a more professional impression and won’t make your newsletter look cluttered. In addition, some browsers are unable to display some fonts properly.
Images grab attention better than just plain text. Photos are a good way to expound on your content, show a product, highlight an event and enhances the effectiveness of your newsletter. Strike a balance between text and images.
There are a lot of applications you can use to create newsletters. For us, we use MailChimp. MailChimp is a great, user-friendly platform, that allows you flexibility on the design of your newsletter. What’s more, it allows you to embed a sign-up form on your website. With the latest GDPR update, you would want your readers to explicitly sign up for your newsletter so you won’t get in trouble.