Newsletters are a fantastic way to keep the lines of communication open between a business and its clients. Whether you’re a blogger, a small business owner or the head of a large SEO agency, newsletters can be beneficial for a whole host of reasons. Take a closer look at the benefits of newsletters and discover how you can get started with your own company newsletter right away.
Exploring the Benefits of Newsletter Marketing
Newsletters Provide Business Exposure
Many businesses spend a big portion of their annual budget on advertising and marketing. Larger companies might pay for billboards, magazine advertisements or even commercials on live television. A newsletter, however, can be just as effective as an advertisement. It is directed right to subscribers and clients, bringing your business or organization directly to their smartphone or their mailbox.
Every time a person receives a newsletter from your company, whether that is a physical printed newsletter or an emailed version, they are being exposed to your brand. A newsletter can remind clients about who you are and what you do. That kind of exposure is incredibly valuable, and it is far less expensive than many other attempts to communicate with your audience.
Newsletters Can Increase Referrals
There are dozens of ways to expand your audience, but one of the best is through word of mouth. Most people are more likely to take recommendations from friends, colleagues and family members than they are from strangers or reviews online. That’s why it is always key to think about how your efforts as a business can encourage referrals. Newsletters are the ideal way to boost referrals because they make it easy for those who want to share the information.
If an existing client receives a physical newsletter, it can be shared with a friend. It becomes even easier when a newsletter is delivered to a client’s inbox in email form. With a click of a button, the newsletter can be forwarded to countless other people. If you include sharing buttons in the newsletter, or include a call to action that recommends forwarding the email to interested users, referrals could increase further.
Newsletters Let You Showcase Your Expertise
Newsletters can also be your opportunity to dazzle readers. Your newsletter content is entirely up to you, which means that it can include white papers, recent blog posts or a recapping of a successful project. If you’re an expert in a certain area, now is the opportunity to let people know all about it. After reading your newsletter, readers will likely know more about your business and think of you as a leader within the industry.
Newsletters Boost Your Reputation
A newsletter can go a long way in boosting the reputation of an organization. This is especially true for companies that are relatively new to the marketplace. Without a long history behind you, it can be harder to establish a positive and reliable reputation. One way to encourage a positive image is to stay in touch with your target group. When they receive regular newsletters detailing the progress of your company, new developments, sales and more, they may realize that the business is sticking around for the long haul. That can encourage potential customers to take the next step, learn more or just keep your business in mind for any future needs.
Newsletters Let You Advertise Sales or New Products and Services
One of the many advantages of sending out a regular newsletter is letting readers know about upcoming sales, releases or changes. If you are offering a new product, or an upgraded version of the product, your newsletter can contain all the details. This is informative to readers, but it is also a great means of advertising.
If you are planning an upcoming sale or discount, let the readers of your newsletter know. They will feel like they are receiving special treatment, especially if they are given unique discounts or even advance notice about a sale. Providing readers this information in newsletter form might increase sales as well as profit potential.
Newsletters Can Increase Web Traffic
The best way to ensure that newsletter content is appealing and effective is to have it written by professional copywriters. Keep in mind, however, that content doesn’t have to be brand-new. In fact, some content can do double duty. Some highly successful newsletters, for example, simply contain the introduction to an existing blog post. If readers want to continue with the article, they simply need to click the text and be directed straight to the blog post on the website. This can increase web traffic and get more users on your website.
Use Email Marketing to Send Newsletters
There are several ways that you can distribute your newsletters. Direct mail campaigns can be effective, although they are becoming increasingly less common in favor of online options. Email marketing is by far the most popular way to disseminate newsletters. It is relatively inexpensive and instant, and it can be targeted to a specific audience. Explore the many advantages of email marketing and plan out how you’ll get started.
It is no secret that successful advertising and marketing campaigns tend to cost money. Although there are some ways that businesses can capitalize on free publicity or social media awareness, distributing regular content to a large audience will make up part of your operating costs. While spending money on marketing to consumers is a necessity, there is no need to spend more than required.
Marketing via email can be the ideal way to distribute content, particularly newsletters, at a reasonable expense. Keep in mind that sending an email to a friend is free, but sending out a targeted email campaign to the right audience will require some investment. Typically, it makes sense to hire a professional writer to tackle the content. Then, you may need to invest in building up an email list, sending out the right emails and tracking their effectiveness.
Compared to other forms of marketing, however, emails are incredibly affordable. There is no postage involved, and you don’t need to take any trips to the printers. Rather than paying someone to oversee these logistics, you can focus on the priorities of your company.
Virtually Instantaneous Dissemination
One of the biggest concerns in the world of marketing is getting your content to your target group as quickly as possible. With print newsletters, there can be a substantial lag. In the time it takes you to create content, design an appealing layout, print out the pages, mail them and have them arrive to your consumer base, your audience could have moved on to the next trend in the market.
Certain topics are time-sensitive, and they are going to be most effective if you know exactly when the content will be read. For example, many businesses find that sending B2B newsletters is more effective during office hours throughout the workweek. Other direct-to-consumer businesses find that newsletters are more likely to be read if they are sent during the weekend or in the evening, when people have more free time to spend on their phones or their computers. Timing matters, as does the speed of distribution. Whether you have a time-sensitive sale approaching or you want to comment on a recent event, email is often the right marketing tool for your content.
Track Effectiveness and ROI With Ease
When you send your newsletters out via email, you can also track their effectiveness. You’ll be able to pinpoint exactly who is opening the emails, who is clicking on the links and whether the campaign is resulting in any meaningful conversions.
Compare this to a print campaign or a traditional mailed newsletter. If you see an uptick in sales following the newsletter, you might guess that sending your newsletters was effective. However, you couldn’t know that for sure. Increased sales might be because of a different advertisement, some unplanned publicity or just word-of-mouth recommendations in a local area.
Determining the ROI, or return on investment, is critical when discussing operational costs and planning a budget. Email newsletters are unique because you can accurately track your ROI with a few clicks. With common software tools that most businesses already own or subscribe to, you can see the exact percentage of people who clicked on your email and what percentage never opened it. You can find out if certain headlines are more effective, and you can determine whether people are more likely to click on pictures or text. All of this can make future newsletters and emails more effective, and it can give you real-time information about the success of each marketing attempt.
Target Specific Groups
Distributing newsletters via email is another way to target specific groups and market to them directly. Many businesses have landing pages on their website where users can subscribe to email content. In addition to providing an email address, users might include their gender, location, age or industry. All of this information can be used to segment groups and create newsletters or content that applies to them directly.
Say, for example, that your business sells clothing to women across the United States. In November, you might be ready to send out details about winter gear for colder weather. Readers in Arizona and Florida, however, probably won’t be eager to learn more about parkas when it is 75 degrees outside. With segmented target groups, you can send relevant emails to the right people, increasing the click-through rates and overall effectiveness of each and every email.
Best Practices for Creating Newsletters
Ready to get started? Creating newsletter content is about more than just recapping what is happening with your business. It is a unique opportunity to directly communicate with your target audience, so be sure to choose your words wisely. Don’t forget that graphics can sometimes speak even louder than words! These best practices can come in handy when it comes to crafting newsletter content and releasing that content through an email marketing campaign.
Don’t Hide Your Hyperlinks
One of the keys to successful digital newsletters is having opportunities for readers to click through to your website. With the click of a link, readers transport themselves from their inbox to your company’s website. In order to facilitate that, make sure any and all hyperlinks are clearly visible. Sometimes, that can be as simple as making hyperlinks a bright, distinct color. In other cases, it might be wise to choose a bold font. Some newsletters even include buttons with a clear directive like “Click Here” or “Learn More.” These give readers every opportunity to read more, explore your website or get in touch with you.
Make Emails Easy to Scan
In our fast-paced, busy world, few people have time to read long marketing emails. If an email is opened and it looks too long or too dense, most readers will delete it and move on. That’s why it is so important to create content that is easy to scan.
To start, that could mean short paragraphs. This makes the email look more approachable. Then, you might want to include headers or even photos. This breaks up the content and allows people to scan through it for information that is relevant to them. Lists can also be helpful for the same reasons.
Include Pictures or Graphics Whenever Possible
There is no question that content should be of the highest possible quality. Keep in mind, however, that text alone isn’t always the answer. Often, digital newsletters should also include graphics or photos.
This is especially true for businesses or organizations that rely heavily on visual aids. If you’re a photographer or an interior designer, for example, photos can showcase your work better than 1,000 words will be able to. Even when content doesn’t need graphics to tell a story, photos or illustrations can break up the text. This makes it more visually appealing and encourages more readers to go through the entire newsletter or email.
Include a Strong Call to Action
A CTA, or call to action, is perhaps the key to a successful marketing email. Without a CTA, readers won’t have an obvious path to the next step. While your newsletter might be fascinating to readers, it won’t become a conversion if there is no directive for them to follow.
Typically, a call to action comes at the very end of an email or a newsletter. It should be brief and easy to understand. While your CTA could be a recommendation to call or visit in person, an online suggestion is also a great choice. A few examples of effective CTAs include the following:
Make Your Email List a Priority
There are two related mistakes that you can make when it comes to sending out your business email newsletters. The first mistake is putting lots of work into the newsletter but only having a handful of existing customers on your email list. The second and opposite mistake is emailing the newsletter to people who might not want to receive it.
Putting together an email list should be a priority for all businesses and marketing professionals. Build that list by asking webpage readers to opt in to emails, or ask for email addresses and continued correspondence opportunities in exchange for discounted products or downloadable content. Then, only send newsletters to the inboxes of people who are on that list.
Ensure That Email Content Matches Your Brand
Often, small businesses don’t put a lot of effort into their newsletters. Different staff might take turns contributing content, or you might pull something together at the last second and send it out unedited. It is vital that your content matches the image you have for your brand. If your organization is formal and professional, keep that tone in your newsletter. If you’re appealing to a youthful audience, then a more casual tone with some slang might be appropriate. Aim for a consistent voice that appeals to the target group you’re hoping to attract, retain and work with in the future.
Let Recipients Respond to Your Emails
Finally, take a look at one of the emails or newsletters you’re sending out. Is there a clear way for recipients to respond to that content? Often, businesses send out marketing emails via a do not respond email address. That can feel impersonal, and it makes it harder to communicate with your audience. Instead, send emails from a legitimate email address that you check and respond to regularly. Rather than creating a barrier between you and your readers, this opens up a new channel for ongoing communication.