The power of the newsletter

As a tried and tested digital marketing and communications tool, the email newsletter is going from strength to strength right now.

Figures show that newsletter engagement and ROI remain strong (and in some cases are increasing) as digital communication continues to take an even more prominent role in our day-to-day lives.

Those that jumped on the email newsletter bandwagon years ago are well ahead of the game with a global database full of contacts (including potential customers). In recent months the newsletter has even proven to be an invaluable crisis management tool as business leaders have sought to communicate with customers and communities around the world amid the ongoing pandemic.

For others that are now considering a newsletter as part of their communications strategy they may be wondering if the time and effort is really worth it. I’m here to say yes, it is. There is power in the humble newsletter, and when harnessed correctly it becomes a successful communications tool.

Creating newsletter content

A newsletter is sent out to people that have signed up as a subscriber to receive marketing information from a particular person or company. That should be the first indication into the type of content to include in a newsletter.

For example, if someone signs up to a newsletter from a food blogger, they wouldn’t expect to receive updates about computer software – unless it had a connection to food. The content has to be relevant to the receiver’s interests, otherwise they will quickly hit the unsubscribe button.

So, what types of content and information should be included in a newsletter? Here are some options:

  • Relevant news and company updates.
  • Q&A’s with members of the team or other influential people in the industry.
  • Introductions to recent blog posts and links to landing pages.
  • Special offers unique to subscribers.
  • Comment and opinion on industry developments to establish thought leadership.
  • Links to social media accounts and contact details.

Newsletters can focus on one of the above, or a selection. The frequency of a newsletter is likely to impact how much content is included, with different approaches for weekly, monthly and quarterly distributions. For weekly newsletters, think short and sweet. For monthly and quarterly emails, more content can be featured.

Regardless of the frequency of a newsletter, a key consideration is to avoid being too salesy. Remember, a newsletter is going direct to someone’s inbox where they may already receive a huge amount of emails every day. The aim is to get them to read yours by providing something of substance, not just empty sales material.

Newsletter success

Not so long ago, email newsletters were being written off as an outdated communications tool (similar to the press release), but the opposite is true and with predictions for even further growth in digital marketing, it seems the newsletter is here to stay.

Just one of the benefits of distributing a newsletter is the ability to assess its effectiveness. Newsletter software allows users to analyse performance through engagement metrics, such as opens, country locations, clicks and downloads. This data is valuable to understand what works, what doesn’t and where a key market is located, with 90 per cent of B2B marketers measuring content success through email engagement.

Likewise, email is in the top three organic content distribution channels for marketers, after social media and blogs, with 31 per cent citing newsletters as the highest performing type of B2B content for nurturing leads.

Statistics for B2C content are also strong with 60 per cent of consumers preferring to be contacted by brands via email, and 72 per cent reporting they are more likely to open an email that includes a discount. Attractive odds for the possible success of an email newsletter.

To sum up, the core ingredient in all of this is engaging, relevant content. Subscribers want to feel like reading a newsletter has been worthy of their precious time. After all, there is a world of content out there just waiting to be consumed. The key is to ensure that yours stands out from the crowd.

A professional copywriter can create authentic, engaging newsletter content that people will want to read. Contact me at hello@hayleymaguire.com for more information about copywriting services.

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