Email newsletters are really powerful devices, yet too often businesses get this absolutely wrong. Like me, you may get a lot of email newsletters. I’ve clicked on some of them, found something of value to me and purchased items via them, so I know email newsletters can work. But this isn’t the case for a large majority of them. So, let’s take a look at my formula for creating a successful email newsletter. It’s simple; give first, then provide an opportunity should somebody want to click through and buy from you.
That’s quite different to writing a sales letter and calling it a newsletter. At the same time, it’s also different to those people who write a newsletter and don’t provide an opportunity for their readers to make a purchase. Let me give you an example. It might be that the theme of your newsletter is to talk about a common problem that will be experienced by the majority of people. In the newsletter you give detail and information on how they can fix that particular problem. You could even use a case study of how somebody’s been affected by the problem and solved it. You could use an image that shows the results. This information is all presented in short and interesting news snippets that avoid asking anybody to buy anything. Although within the newsletter an opportunity for your potential customers to click through and buy a solution to the particular problem will be presented.
As an example, my company Urban Media build websites and undertake internet marketing. When the new regulation relating to cookies and how they could be used on a website came into force, it was important for my customers to know how update would affect them. The newsletter provided useful information about this new regulation, what it meant and the action that needed to be taken to comply. At the bottom, we included a fixed price offer for existing clients, where we would ensure their website was compliant. The newsletter provided helpful advice about when the cookie regulation came in and what it meant. Then there’s an opportunity for the client to do something about that advice.
The beauty of a newsletter is that you can schedule it. Typically, a newsletter would go out once a month or once a quarter. Again, the frequency depends on how much useful content that you can reasonably compile for your newsletters. I would say that once a fortnight is a little over regular unless things change in your industry really fast. Supposing that once a month seems reasonable to you, take time to consider twelve relevant and interesting subjects that you could structure your newsletter around. In most industries there is a degree of seasonal change.
An obvious example would be a gardener or a landscaper. There are certain times of the year when you could tell your clients about what they might need to do with certain plants to ensure their garden is well maintained. You could then plan to send your newsletter on a fixed day of the month, so the content ties in. In scheduling and even writing some of the monthly content, a dedicated day of planning, could make your newsletter more achievable through the year.
Using a content plan again will help you to know what’s going to happen with your newsletter ahead of when it goes out. As a result, you can tie other communication, such as you social media posts, or a leaflet campaign into the same theme. It should all be variations on the theme, you don’t want people to be bombarded with the same information time and again, but each message reinforces what they’ve already seen.
Have a think now about what you could do for the next 12 months in terms of what subjects you could cover on a month to month basis that could actually help your clients.