The Importance of Newsletters
How do you stay connected to your fans? How do they stay informed and “in the loop”? Is there a particular method you use to reach out to them? If you need to send them a message, how do you do it? …Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, newsletters, snail mail?
If you’re relying strictly on social media to communicate with and build connections with your fans, that’s probably not enough…
You need a direct mode of communication to your fans. You need a way to send them messages that they will receive right in their inbox.
E-newsletters are an essential piece of your marketing plan. It’s not safe to just assume you are connecting with your fans on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or through your blogs. There are too many reasons your posts on these pages might be overlooked or never even shown to your audience. For example, Facebook and Instagram use algorithms to decide which posts will appear in each user’s newsfeed; posts that are getting more “likes” and/or “reactions” will automatically receive a higher post ranking in the newsfeed, thus gaining a higher reach and exposure. Far too often, posts on social media get overlooked.
Newsletters, though, are a way to directly send a message to your audience.
Newsletters are great because people tend to feel an emotional connection to their daily/weekly/monthly subscriptions. If it’s a good newsletter, fans might even look forward to and anticipate getting it each term.
Fans have to first agree to receive your newsletter, either simply by sharing their email address with you, or by making the conscious effort to personally sign up for your e-newsletter through your website. So in that, you already know your mailing list contains an audience that is interested in you and your business. As long as you continually add value to the lives of your readers, they will continue to open and read your newsletters.
How do you add value?
Think in terms of, “If I signed up for this newsletter, what would I want to see?” What information would I find interesting? What photos would I enjoy? Are there links I would like to be included, in case I want to read more about a topic? Is there a certain length and depth of detail that I would expect in a newsletter from this company?
Tips for creating a captivating e-newsletter:
The Subject line of your email is the first thing the reader will see. Be creative! If your reader isn’t already sold on your e-newsletter, the Subject line could be the one factor that determines whether or not the reader chooses to even open your newsletter. (Tip: Emoji’s are sometimes a good way to make your Subject line stand out among the other emails in a reader’s inbox.)
Use a professional email service.
MailChimp and Constant Contact are two examples of email marketing tools. They are especially helpful for newsletters because they allow you to create and save a general template for your newsletter; then, with each publication, you simply need to update the details within the letter. Speaking of “professional”… Don’t forget to proof-read for spelling or grammatical errors!
Make it informative and relevant to your readers.
Most importantly, your newsletter HAS to interest them. You could include items such as: links to your own (or 3rd party) blog posts, how-to’s, tutorials, current industry news, events, local happenings, promotional offers or coupons, helpful/educational information, interesting facts, fan photos, contest winners, any deadlines or other important dates, etc.
Provide accurate, up-to-date information that your readers know they can trust.
Pick a schedule, whether it be monthly, weekly, or daily, and stick to it! (You might want to include in the reader’s e-newsletter opt-in form the frequency of your newsletter. Some people want to know exactly what to expect when subscribing to new email lists.)
Make it look good.
The newsletter should be professional, visually appealing, and enjoyable to look through. Use content blocks, pictures, blurbs, and an attractive color scheme.
Keep it short and sweet.
Your readers’ time is precious, and in today’s modern world, their attention span is spread thin! Not only should the content of your newsletter be interesting and informative, but it needs to be easily scannable and easy to digest. Use content blocks, snapshots, and bullet points to help organize the letter and make it easier to scan. Keep the information short and sweet; then, you can use links to direct readers to things like: articles on your website, your “shopping” page on your website, your Facebook page, etc.
The reader was already kind enough to let you into their home by agreeing to receive your newsletter; now don’t be a salesman! Readers want to be informed of special promotions or sales, but they don’t want to be pushed. Either just briefly mention upcoming sales in your e-newsletter (e.g., “Don’t forget about our 25% off Spring Savings Sale this weekend!”), or, use a separate, promo-specific email to relay the message. E-newsletters are not the place for selling; they are a means to convey information to, and build a connection with, your audience.
E-mail is not one-way communication.
Let your fans know you are listening. If they reach out to you, respond! When creating your newsletter, in the “From” label, make it clear who the email is from and who the reader can respond to (e.g., “firstname.lastname@example.org”). Use a company, not personal, email address.
It’s time to start building relationships.
Now, do you see the value an e-newsletter can bring to your audience?
The ultimate purpose of newsletters is to relay information; inform and educate your readers. In the process of supplying interesting, reliable, consistent newsletters, your audience will begin to know you, trust you, and love you! It’s time to start building relationships with your fans.
Don’t forget to include clear, specific call-to-action buttons in your e-newsletters. Give readers the option to click and instantly be directed to wherever you choose – your website, your blog, etc. It’s time to start building those relationships, and let your fans know you are there for them. Give them the information they need and want, and give them the information they didn’t know they needed and wanted!
If you already write newsletters for your business, way to go! We hope this article has motivated you to re-evaluate your process and think a little deeper about how exactly you are creating your newsletters. With everything we do, there’s always room for improvement. Practice makes perfect! 😉