The team here at Black Dog Education recently began visualizing our newsletter: what features it should have, the addition of social media share buttons and this fundamental question:
Why on earth would anyone want to read our newsletter?
Seriously! It sounds self-defeating, but think about it – what makes you open a newsletter from Marketing Profs, Copyblogger, or that guy you met at a networking event last week? The answer for us was simple: exlusivity. The newsletters I read daily provide content I wouldn’t normally or easily glean from their sites [at times because they have a TON of material to wade through].
So, do you want potential customers to not only subscribe to your newsletter but actually READ it? Well, give them a reason to!
Don’t Bore Them to Death
Putting yourself in your customer’s shoes will go a long way to prevent you from boring your customers. If you are going to take the time to construct a newsletter then you might want to think of what will get your readers, to…well, read!
Be Informative AND Interesting
You not only have to consider WHAT to put in your newsletter, but how to convey even the most mundane topics [i.e. plugging your products and services, your URL, contact info, etc.].
- Take a look at this great email we received from Facebook app developer North Social. It is short, with a few vivid images, and is written in a conversational way – making it interesting to read even though they are obviously plugging one of their services:
Spice Things Up
Sure, feature a select number of articles from the blog in each newsletter, but keep readers on their toes by also introducing contests, special events, or downloads to them FIRST [oh, and let them know that they are first]. You’ll not only make them feel important [A-Ha! Exclusivity!]; you’ll make them come back for more.
Make Some Introductions
Introduce yourself and your staff. Studies and trends in inbound marketing have shown that the 21st century customer wants to know that the companies they support are run by real people. Post some pictures of what goes on around the office. Feature an employee every week with a picture and their favorite flavor of ice cream. Let them get to know you.
Impress Their Socks Off!
Use your newsletter as a chance to really impress your subscribers. Showcase your expertise and knowledge about your industry and the many benefits you can offer them. The more impressive you are, the more your readers will be more inclined to recommend you to their friends, colleagues and family.
Go through your inbox and write down your top 3 favorite newsletters. Then, come up with 5 reasons why you like to read them.