These days, everybody and their mom has a newsletter. (Not a joke — you probably know someone whose mom actually sends out a family newsletter every holiday season, right?)
In all seriousness, creating a company newsletter to send to your contacts on a monthly basis is very easy these days. And because it’s so simple, almost everyone is doing it.
With so many emails showing up in everybody’s inboxes, it takes a lot of effort to stand out and ultimately make a difference for your business. So what’s a marketer to do? The key to making your newsletter valuable for your business is making it valuable for your recipients.
Here’s how to make your next newsletter truly valuable for your contacts — and for your business:
Let’s start at the top. You know that the subject line is crucial for getting your contacts to open (and then click through to your site and move further down the funnel). But the one mistake many newsletters make is using a “clickbait” subject line. In fact, according to Impact, a free offer (read: actual value) is 2x as likely as a “catchy” subject line to earn an open.
So, in your subject line, entice the reader with what’s inside that will be of value to them. Then they’ll open it and see the really beneficial content inside.
Now that 67% of people use their phones as their main email-checking device, it’s essential that your emails are easy to view on multiple screen sizes. The design should automatically respond to fit the viewers’ screen. Otherwise, your newsletter will be too difficult to read and it’ll go right into the trash — no matter how useful the content might have been.
Just because you have a lot of contacts doesn’t mean you newsletter needs to go to all of them. In fact, you might be better off sending it only to some of them, or sending different versions of the newsletter to different groups.
Why? Not everyone defines “value” the same way, so sending them all the same information will ultimately only help some of them. But you can increase the value for your company and your contacts by segementing your contact list and sending content that you’re confident will resonate with the group. Maybe you separate them by interest, by job title, or by location — whatever you choose, make it purposeful.
More isn’t always better, especially not in crowded inboxes. Don’t just fill it with useless words — make every word count.
Beyond the actual brevity of content, the focus needs to be narrow, also. Keeping a pinpointed focus will help readers digest the information in a more useful way. And, as we just talked about, it’s especially helpful if you’ve segmented your contact lists.
The reason your contacts signed up for your newsletter in the first place was likely that they recognized the insight and value that your content could deliver to them. So give the people what they want!
This is also an opportunity for you to be strategic. A few approaches you could take, depending on your goals:
Have you ever met someone who only talks about herself? For hours on end? And all you want to do is change the subject? It’s the worst. Don’t be that person via email.
Balance your own content with that from other bloggers or companies. Your contacts trust your judgement, so they’ll appreciate your approval of the content. Plus, sharing others’ stuff is a sign of humility: It’s a subtle way of acknowledging that you don’t know everything.
An email that’s all text looks like work, not fun. And even if your email is meant to help people succeed at work (as is the case for man B2B companies), you want it to feel like a little fun. Images are a great way to add a bit of life to the messaging while catching people’s attention.
Chances are that almost a quarter of all of the people on your newsletter mailing list subscribed unintentionally. You have a small window to impress them and show them that your emails aren’t a waste of space in their inbox.