E-mail newsletters have been around since the early days of the Internet. Compared to new technologies like Twitter and Facebook, they may seem old-fashioned. But there’s a reason that smart companies use them as part of their marketing strategy – they work!
A professional email newsletter serves many important goals. First and foremost, it keeps you top-of-mind with clients and prospects by reminding them of who you are and what you do. This is especially important for B2B companies with complex products or services and/or long sales cycles.
Other goals can include generating new leads, positioning your business as an industry thought leader, attracting readers to your web site, and more. To write a newsletter that engages your readers and keeps them coming back for more:
- Keep it brief.
Today’s consumers are swamped with information, so keep your newsletter short and sweet. Aim for one to two articles, with links to your web site to provide more details. If you need more than two articles, consider publishing more frequently.
- Provide value.
In an e-mail newsletter, “value” translates to “useful content.” To connect with your readers, write about something they care about or would benefit from knowing. For example: business tips and how-to’s; information on industry trends and updates; links to articles on how to save time, cut costs, or improve their business in some fashion.
- Make it easy to read.
Online readers tend to scan more than read, so get to the point as quickly as possible. Use lots of headers and sub-headers to break up the text. Write crisp sentences in short paragraphs. Use plenty of white space to make it easy on the eyes.
- Be consistent.
This includes style, tone, and timing. Write in a consistent voice that supports your brand. Set a firm publication schedule and stick to it.
- Tease your readers.
To attract readers to your website, don’t put an entire article in the newsletter. Instead, include the first few paragraphs to grab their interest. Then provide a link to the rest of the article on your website. Make sure the link works properly. Otherwise, readers will lose interest in the article and your newsletter.
- Ask for feedback.
E-mail newsletters allow for two-way communication with prospects and customers. Ask people what they think about the newsletter, your products or your business, and make it easy for them to respond. Engaging your readers in a virtual conversation is a great way to build top-of-mind.
It’s okay to include important company news – such as new products or services, special deals or promotions, awards won by the company, etc. And if you have social media accounts, be sure to mention them in your newsletter. Just don’t make your business the primary focus of every newsletter you send out. If all you do is promote your products or your business, people will quickly lose interest and unsubscribe.