If you are considering publishing an email newsletter, one key question you might have is what to write about to keep subscribers engaged and anxiously awaiting your next issue. A good newsletter helps to build your brand, advertise your products and services, build rapport and credibility, and keep in touch.
Define Your Newsletter’s Goals
Before I talk about content, the first step to creating an interesting small business newsletter is to put together an email marketing strategy. Why are you publishing your newsletter? Here are three things to consider.
- Define your newsletter’s purpose. What type of results do you want? Are you trying to drive product sales, generate leads for your services, or follow up with prospects?
- Decide how you will measure results. Will you measure open rates, click-throughs, number of leads generated, product sales, or replies or questions you receive?
- Commit to a regular publishing schedule. How often will you send your newsletter – daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly? Stick to a schedule and deliver the newsletter as advertised.
Creating Compelling Newsletter Content
Your small business newsletter should be a combination of informative articles and tips and sales promotion. If you solely use the newsletter to tell subscribers “what’s new” with your business or the bulk of your newsletter is a sales pitch for your products and services, you will lose a lot of subscribers. A good newsletter offers a delicate balance between informative content and promotion. Here is a sample outline of how you might structure your newsletter contents.
- Welcome message. Include a personalized greeting (“Dear John,”) and a short paragraph welcoming your readers to this month’s newsletter. Your paragraph can mention something new that is happening within your company or give readers a teaser about the newsletter content that will follow. If you have any major announcements or events coming up, include those here.
- Main article or tip. Write a 250-500 word article or tip related to a topic your readers care about. This might be industry news, how-to advice, a top ten tip list, or other informative content.
- Recommended resource. Recommend a resource such as one of your products or services that directly relates to your main article’s subject matter. Experiment with this resource’s placement. For instance, you may get better results putting it before the main article or in your sidebar.
- Closing message. If you want readers to respond to the email, provide a call to action telling them what to do. For instance, you could ask them to reply to the email with questions, visit your blog to post comments, or fill out a short survey. Then, sign your name and include your company information.
Think of your small business newsletter as a client engagement tool that builds rapport and facilitates your sales process. It may not produce instant sales, but over time, you will develop a loyal subscriber base who are much more likely to buy your products and services.