According to data from the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProfs, e-newsletters rank near the top of digital marketers’ list of content marketing tactics. Whether your small business is a service, manufacturing or retail operation, an e-newsletter helps keep your company top-of-mind for your customers.
But how do you go about creating an e-newsletter your audience actually cares about? Here are some suggestions for getting started with your e-newsletter creation.
Before you get too far into the process, you need to determine two things:
1. Do you have permission from your list to send the newsletter? If your customers opt-in, you know they want to hear from you and your newsletters won’t languish in their junk folders.
2. Do you actually need an e-newsletter? Depending on your industry or marketing goals, an e-newsletter may not be the best match for your company.
Now that you’ve established that you have an audience who is opted-in and interested in what you have to say, here’s some tips to create e-newsletters for your business.
1. Create a Schedule and Set Expectations
Determine the frequency you will be sending e-newsletters. Depending on your goals, this may mean once a month, biweekly, or once a week. Select the option that makes the most sense for the type of content you want to include, and the amount of time you have to devote to creating and sending e-newsletters. Then, let your audience know how often you will be sending out emails. This helps set expectations, and puts them on the lookout for your next email.
2. Select Your Email Template
E-newsletters should be light on copy and heavy on visually appealing design. This means the email template you choose could make or break your audience’s interest in your e-newsletter. Select something that meets your company’s branding specifications and is also easy to skim. If you have limited experience with creating and editing email templates, I strongly suggest a drag and drop template that allows for simple customization. You never want to feel like you have no room to alter design to fit your content needs.
3. What’s New?
Keep your customers updated on the latest changes in your business, whether it’s a new product, service or new key employee. Think about what’s new in your company that affects your customers. With the holidays and the end of the year coming up you may have lots to announce, such as year-end specials or your new plans for 2017.
4. Balance Promotion and Education
It may be tempting to focus on all the latest and greatest news for your business, but the truth is your audience will quickly lose interest if all you talk about is yourself. Instead, shift your perspective to focus primarily on educating your audience. In fact, we recommend focusing 90% of your e-newsletter content on education with only 10% dedicated to promoting your latest service or product. This will keep your audience engaged and interested.
5. Highlight Upcoming Events or Offers
Whether you are hosting an event, sponsoring an event, hosting an upcoming webinar, or publishing a brand new ebook, your newsletter is a great place to build excitement and interest for events or offers. It also provides value to your customers by playing on a sense of exclusivity, and providing them with resources.
Creating an e-newsletter is a commitment of time and resources, but with these tips your sure to quickly get the hang of what your audience likes and loves.