Writing an email newsletter is both a proven and inexpensive marketing tool for businesses of all sizes. Surveys indicate that aside from paid internet marketing, email newsletters, or e-newsletters as they are sometimes called, can provide the best ROI. This is why so many businesses choose to make an email newsletter part of their overall marketing strategy.
However, it’s common to get stuck when first trying to launch your email newsletter campaign. Figuring out what program to use, the design and the content of the newsletter can be a bit daunting at first (see our email marketing software reviews to compare software that makes launching and managing you newsletter easy). In order to get past this, we’re going to explore how to write an email newsletter.
Your Newsletter’s Value Proposition
The first step to writing an email newsletter is to choose a value proposition. Certainly, you love your business (or whatever the newsletter is about), but you can’t expect your subscribers to take time out of their busy days to read your newsletter without there being some benefit for them. One of the biggest mistakes new email marketers make when starting their newsletter is to make the whole newsletter an informational piece about their own business. I hate to break it to you, but unless you’re a large multinational brand, nobody really cares about the latest clients you got or the new service you just launched. This is not to say that your newsletter shouldn’t include these details, but it does mean that you have to add something else that is subscriber focused. For example, what if you not only tell your subscribers that you launched a new product or service, but you also offered them an exclusive 20% discount on that same service! Or, along with company news, include a special report each month.
Your value proposition, then, should be something in your newsletter that is meant to benefit your subscribers in some way, and this should be chosen before you start your email newsletter. Believe me, simply adding in a free report, periodic discounts or contests will boost the success of your email newsletter right off the bat, and will ensure that they read your company news as well! Oh, and remember to advertise your value proposition on your subscriber sign up form, don’t keep it a secret!
What to Write About
Obviously, your newsletter must contain interesting content. One of the most difficult parts of starting an email newsletter is to figure out what you are going to write about, so here are few ideas that consistently work well:
- Provide industry news highlights that have taken place since your last newsletter
- Offer tips and advice for your readers
- Present your readers with case studies
- Include regular polls, and then publish the results of the poll in the newsletter
- Express your opinion about industry news
- Make it fun too! Include a joke, funny comic or a random quote which is totally off base and random
Again, simply including news about your company will make your readers hit the Delete key faster than you can hit the Send button. Make it fun and interesting, and don’t be afraid to switch it up every now and then; perhaps a poll one week and a case study the next.
Formatting Your Newsletter
Without a doubt, your newsletter is going to say a lot about you and your company, and you want it to reflect well! A simple, but interesting design and clean layout are a must if you want your subscribers to appreciate and read your newsletter. I highly recommend using software to help manage your campaigns and help make it very easy to create professionally designed email newsletters (see our best email marketing software review for software that is inexpensive and very easy to use). Such software is inexpensive and will ensure that your subscribers read your emails and respond to your calls to action.
Newsletter Formatting Tips
- Keep it short and sweet. With your newsletter, it works best to include titles and short descriptions for content, and then link those titles to a full version located on your website. Lengthy emails take a long time to load and make your newsletter seem like too much work to read (remember, people are time starved).
- Use a professional but attention-getting subject line. Having a subject line that says “Company ABC Newsletter” is too boring. Make it customer focused, like “Latest News:…,” or “10 tips for…” You get the idea, boring subject lines result in no subscribers.
- Include copies of past newsletters on your website. This allows your customers to review past stories or share the newsletter with their friends.
- Offer both an HTML version and a Plain Text version. Many email marketing programs have this functionality built in.
- Use images! Even just one image in a newsletter can make a big difference.
Starting an email newsletter is inexpensive, but is proven to lead to higher customer engagement, brand recognition and ultimately, sales!