Creating an e-newsletter for your business is a great way of staying in touch with customers and letting them know what’s new. They help to build your brand and a create a community of people interested in you and your business.
Whereas social media posts offer a snippet of information about a single subject and are easily overlooked, an e-newsletter is an opportunity to share multiple stories in a single post. Yet, many businesses shy away from them.
Creating inbox intrigue
It’s true that many of us struggle to keep control of our inboxes. This is the main reason why many choose not to venture down the e-newsletter path. Not wanting to do all that work only for it to be instantly deleted or unsubscribed from.
So the key with an e-newsletter is to create an element of intrigue. Make the content useful and readable so your readers want to keep it, at least until they’ve got a cuppa and a biscuit to digest with it.
The best way to do this is think about what makes you unsubscribe from an enewsletter and do the complete opposite. I despise emails that are too frequent, sales-focused and tell me the same thing every time. ‘An exclusive deal - just for you!’ I think not, Expedia and lastminute.com. I know my clients are busy people, so I prefer to leave a few weeks between each issue, never include sales messages and try to make each one unique and interesting.
Make it valuable
One of my contacts put a cute picture of a super-cute guinea pig on her recent e-newsletter. It’s still in my inbox now because I can’t bring myself to delete the picture.
If the cute animal route isn’t for you, then content is your key. Make it interesting, educational, helpful, personal and friendly. Demonstrate that you understand the needs of your customers. You might write something in your newsletter that triggers a thought amongst your readers. A thought that makes them forward it on to someone who might be interested in your offer. Bingo - new business enquiry!
Short and sweet
The idea of an e-newsletter is to share snippets of content from other channels, for example your blog. Write short summaries of articles on your website and provide direct links to them. It doesn’t take much time and you’ll give your reader digestible content and increase traffic to your website at the same time.
Take care with your design
Keep it simple and easy to navigate. There are some great templates available so you don't have to be an expert in coding to create something professional. Your e-newsletter should reflect your brand in terms of style, logo use, colours and fonts, and provide a seamless user journey from email to website. Try to break up the snippets of text with images and the pictures also align with your brand.
Saying that, I receive one e-newsletter from an organisation that don’t use any images in their message, apart from their logo. They also write a fair bit of text. Yet I read it because it’s interesting and I learn something new from it.
Plan for success - then measure it
Just as you would with your blogs or social media, try to plan ahead and think about the content themes you’ll share each month. An e-newsletter shouldn’t be something you throw together in a last-minute panic. Keep a notepad handy to jot down ideas as they come to you. I often find inspiration online and have a folder in my internet bookmarks specifically for stories or sites that may come in useful.
Once you’ve issued your e-newsletter, don’t sit back and switch off. Sites like Mailchimp have an integrated analytics tool that tells you which stories your readers are clicking on. Use it and learn from it. Then give your readers more of what they’re interested in.
A simple sentence written in your e-newsletter could help you grow your business.
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