In today’s world, traditional newsletters are practically extinct. We all prefer communicating via email or social much more than snail mail. Plus it saves on the overhead of paper, printing, envelopes and stamps, and you don’t have to wait for the postal service to deliver it, it’s sent immediately. You can send out an eNewsletter for free (minus the time and effort you put into it.)
Before deciding to put a newsletter together, you should first determine what purpose the letter will serve, or what you want to accomplish by sending it. Are you trying to drive traffic to your website, or advertise new products, services, and specials you have going on? Also, what do you want your subscribers to get out of your newsletter? Is there a specific action you want someone to take after having read your newsletter? Always keep the answers to these questions in mind as you decide on content for your newsletter. Your goals may change as the newsletter builds traction, and that’s okay. One of the many nice things about creating a newsletter is that it’s not permanent and doesn’t have to, nor should it, be the same every time. It can evolve as your subscriber base’s needs/wants change.
Always put your reader first
You may want to address some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) in depth in your newsletter. Choose one at a time and make a series out of it and maybe even ask for feedback and other questions people may have that you can address in your newsletter. But always keep in mind that no one likes spam, so keep your readers’ interests first, and only include content relevant to them.
A picture really is worth a thousand words, so don’t be afraid to include some graphics. Always edit your photos to a web-friendly size. Many email inboxes will not accept emails that are too large. So save your hi-res photos for your website and shrink them down a bit for your newsletter. You can always link the image in the newsletter to the original found on your site. Try to find a healthy balance between images and text, after all, it’s still a newsletter so don’t think you can get away with just tossing a bunch a pictures in and calling it a day. Plus, many people have their inbox set to not show images, so if you don’t have any text, they won’t see a thing, and that’s no bueno!
If your company has a blog, you can include an RSS feed to your blog and in turn have a ‘subscribe to our newsletter’ form on your blog. Make sure you have links to your website and all of your social media profiles right there in the newsletter. It makes it easier for your reader to pay you a visit on your site or like you on Facebook, especially if you’ve done a good job with your newsletter and now they are intrigued and want to find out more.
I know this one may seem obvious, but make sure it looks pretty, and stick with a color theme. Don’t confuse readers with an assault on their senses that looks like it’s coming from a different person each time. While the content of your letter should be different for every issue, you do need to have some visual consistency. Keep your calendar of events, social media links, testimonial section, etc. in the same place in your newsletter with every issue so that readers know where to look if they are hunting for something specific. If you want to alter the theme a little bit for seasonal changes, that’s fine, but the majority of the newsletters should be consistent.
Hopefully these tips were helpful in getting you started on keeping in touch with your clients through the use of a newsletter. These were just a few best practices for getting a successful newsletter started. Ad House Advertising, a division of Edit House Productions, provides many helpful services to keep you in touch with your audience, including monthly newsletters, social media upkeep, and other forms of reputation management. Feel free to call us or stop by with any questions you may have and we’ll be happy to help.