Are you ready to create a newsletter for your business or organization, but you don’t know where to start? That’s okay. Starting a newsletter can be a daunting task.
But there are a lot of benefits to a newsletter. Just as an example, Vanity Fair newsletter subscribers are twice as likely to consume their content on their website or in print vs. email.
That is why we’ve made this short guide to help determine what type of newsletter is best for you, and how you can use it to help your business.
For starters – let’s define “newsletter.” People use the term to cover: news digests; blog feeds; weekly sales emails; tip series – and much more. Here are the elements they all have in common:
- Planned, regular content
- Focused on a narrow range of topics, with a specific benefit for the reader
- Sent to opted-in subscribers
- Designed to accomplish a specific goal (thought-leadership; product loyalty; community; sales)
Types of Newsletters Based on Audience
What do you want out of your newsletter? Are you looking to keep your employees aware of the goings-on of your company, or are you looking to improve your relationship with your customers?
To help you answer that question, let’s take a look at the differences.
A company newsletter is a business’s internal newsletter that they send out to their employees.
These include news, updates, and important internal information that employees need to know. These can include letters of appreciation and recent company achievements.
This type of newsletter is a great way to keep members of a broad organization up to date on the comings and goings of the business to keep employees on the same page. What’s more, these newsletters are a critical part of reinforcing company culture – it is needed to feel like it’s coming from a person instead of an organization.
This newsletter is directed at two different types of customers. They are the ones who have already gone through the process of purchasing, and those who are more likely to buy (whether first-time or repeat.)
They include almost anything you can imagine in terms of content. If anything, they’re only limited by your marketing teams’ imagination. Which we will talk about in a moment with the types of newsletters based on content.
They help nourish the relationship with your consumer audience and provide an opportunity to increase sales through promotions and offers.
Types of Newsletters Based On Content
No newsletter is the same. Their goals may be similar, but how they approach them can vary widely.
So, let’s take a look at some of the different types of content-oriented newsletters, and see which one is right for you.
The main goal of a promotional newsletter is to sell and increase profit. Send these any time of year. For some added benefit, always remember holidays can offer a special impact by sharing seasonal offers. Simply show your newsletter readers what promotions and deals your business is sharing at the time.
According to Statista, 49% of consumers would like to receive promotional emails from their favorite brands on a weekly basis. That represents a major opportunity for companies looking to increase their sales.
These put the news in “newsletter.” Written from a journalistic viewpoint, they typically feature news stories collected by an editor. While including the news is great, make sure that you don’t overdo it (unless you’re doing daily items and weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly digests.)
It’s fine to curate a “best of” email on occasion but that doesn’t actively work to build your brand. To accomplish this, you have to provide your take and what the next step is if someone has questions.
These are real and influential news stories that are relevant to the audience. Financial companies, for example, may include recent events in the FinTech world with a perspective twist.
These newsletters keep readers’ attention by keeping them informed. By being a source of information, the companies sending these will show their readers that they are experts in their respective fields.
Do you want to provide your subscribers with quick and easy tips they can apply to their daily lives? Then the practical newsletter is for you.
You can use these newsletters to help endorse your product and explain how it’s used.
It offers yet another example of how newsletters can build relationships with customers while boosting email engagement.
These are a fun way to engage your readership. By using user-generated content, you can share reviews or case studies with your users. This shows users that you value their feedback, and that their reviews and testimonials are being heard.
1. Should I Start a Newsletter?
If you have an established audience – great. A newsletter is an opportunity for you to reach out and appeal to them directly. What’s more, those who subscribe to your newsletter have already proven their interest in your product or service, making them a segment of your customer base more likely to convert to sales.
Do you not have an established audience? A newsletter will help you build one and cultivate one. Begin offering a subscription to your newsletter alongside your sales, and customers interested in your business will find it. From there, it offers all the same benefits.
2. What About Automated Blog Feeds?
A newsletter is a natural blog component for anyone wanting to grow and maintain their readership. RSS feeds take that natural component and remove any effort from it, making them lazy and ineffective.
Instead of automating your newsletters, consider crafting 1-3 custom email newsletters that highlight a specific takeaway from your blog. This can happen weekly or more frequently if you’d prefer.
3. Why Aren’t My Newsletters Driving Sales?
There can be several reasons your newsletter isn’t driving sales. Let’s take a look at a few.
They are not intentional enough. – If you are not intentionally designing your email to drive sales, you can’t get upset when they don’t accomplish that task. Before starting the newsletter, identify the ONE step (only one, no cheating) that you want someone to take. After identifying it, test that step to make sure it takes them to a logical decision point for advancement.
Your subject lines are boring. – That may sound harsh, but it could also be true. Users simply do not engage with emails that do not catch their attention. Try using strong action words and shortening your subject lines to attract that much-needed attention.
Your copy is too long. – When attempting to drive sales via newsletters, less is best. The longer your copy, the less likely someone will read it. It’s sad but true. Boomerang, a productivity software platform, studied over 40 million emails to determine the sweet spot for emails is 75-100 words with a 51% response rate.
Your newsletter is being flagged as spam. – Platforms may well be flagging your newsletter as spam. Spam filters have become more stringent over the last few years as spam email has become more prevalent. Spam messages account for approximately 45% of all emails.
To avoid the dreaded spam folder, ensure your copy and titles flow naturally, and do not possess unnecessary punctuation or too many phrases such as “act now!!!” You can take a look in your spam folder for more on what to avoid.
Most of the spam is going to a marketing/promotions folder based on the reputation of the sender from the email system they use. If people subscribe to your email, they should first know what you’ll send, why it’s valuable, and how frequently you’ll send it.
If you don’t do a welcome email confirming these expectations, you’re probably already spamming them.
4. When Should I Start My Newsletter?
You should start a newsletter when you feel you have something to offer an audience and can produce a steady stream of digestible, engaging, relevant content.
Are you producing interesting content regularly? Start a newsletter. Are you just starting out selling a product or service? Go ahead and start a newsletter.
No matter where you are in your business’s journey, a newsletter will help you establish an audience.
5. When and How Do I Use a CTA?
An effective call-to-action tells a reader what to do next. That is why it typically appears at the end of the copy. However, it doesn’t have to. Any time you’ve pitched a problem or finished a topic, you can include a CTA before shifting to the next topic.
The key is for the CTA to flow organically in the copy. Otherwise, the intrusion may put off your readers. Typically, the flow should be:
- The subject line piques their interest
- Engage them with the first line of the email
- Use the CTA to provide the next logical step
Need Help With Your Email Campaign?
We here at V2 love helping businesses get their newsletters off the ground.
We’ll help you find solutions based on your company’s unique customer insights to fit your marketing process and support your long-term goals and objectives. We offer customized packages designed around your needs, your budget, and your customers.
What’s more, we offer sales and marketing training to ensure your business’s long-term success.
Ready to get started? Schedule your free call today. Let’s talk.