We’ve already written about how the Coronacrisis is going to have a major negative impact on small businesses and SMEs. One piece of advice we have for small business owners and entrepreneurs during this lockdown is that you should focus on building your online presence. And a great way to do that is through email marketing, which you can do right from home! This is where well-written, informative, regular newsletters can be a gold mine.
According to Hubspot, four in ten B2B marketers believe that their content marketing success is due in large part to their email newsletters. What’s more, 99 percent of consumers check their email every single day.1 This means the chances of them opening your email are very high indeed.
However, many people fail to understand the fundamentals of what a newsletter is. That’s why we are often bombarded by mails from brands/companies that amount to nothing more than an unashamed promotion of their own company/services, or filled with old updates, or, worst of all, filled with junk no one is really interested in.
So what exactly is a newsletter?
Put simply, a newsletter – to be specific, we’re talking about email newsletters – is an email you send to your target audience that contains specific information and updates about your company, your brands, your industry and what you’ve been up to recently. The most common kind of newsletters go out weekly. There are those that go out bimonthly or even monthly, but weekly ones are the most effective. Also, anything more frequent and you risk bombarding your audience to the point that they unsubscribe.
According to Mailjet, one of the biggest advantages of a newsletter is that it is a great way to generate continuous website traffic2 – which is very important for small businesses and SMEs. But if you don’t do it right, the effect can be just the opposite – it’ll drive people away from your website and your brand.
How to create an effective newsletter
Here are a few simple tips to keep in mind to create a newsletter your target audience would love to read, and which will make them follow your brand with a passion.
1. Know your audience
I know, I know. This sounds like a no-brainer. But seriously, a lot of companies fail right at this very stage: they have very little idea what their customers enjoy reading about! Just because someone bought a dining table doesn’t mean you should hit them with furniture offers… Instead, you should focus on where that dining table would be used: write about family gatherings or parties, or talk about how you can decorate a dining table. This will add value rather than making them feel you’re one of those pesky ads that keep following your around just because you Googled something once.
2. Follow the 90-10 rule for newsletters
This one’s simple: your newsletter should always ALWAYS be 90% informative and 10% promotional. This is non-negotiable. If you’re going to send an interesting blog post and one company update, but they’re bookended by 4 or 5 promotion offers, your readers will almost always unsubscribe. And then you’ve lost them. Forever. Remember: Your newsletter always has to add value. Ask yourself one simple question: Would you like to read your newsletter first thing in the morning? If your answer is, “Ummm, not really,” then don’t send it, because your readers will feel the same way.
3. Subject line and personalization
We’ve already spoken about how to write the perfect email subject line. That goes for newsletters too, because half the struggle is getting people to open your email amid the daily barrage they see in their inbox. If you don’t have a captivating subject line that your reader immediately wants to click, you’ve lost them. Another key tip is personalization. There are loads of newsletter and email marketing tools that allow you to personalize every email. It’s always comforting to receive a mail that’s addressed to you rather than a generic “Hi there!” or the worst, “Greetings!”
4. Make sure your website is ready for your newsletters
What do we mean by this? Remember the goal: you’re sending out newsletters so it encourages people to visit your website and subscribe to your brand. That won’t happen if your website isn’t optimized. But don’t worry, it’s not complicated. Always ensure you have a newsletter subscribe widget installed, so people can easily subscribe. Second, add a separate landing page for newsletters alone. This way, readers who’ve just joined can easily browse through your past updates. And last but not least, make sure the rest of your website is as readable and valuable as your newsletter. This way, anyone who finds your company fascinating enough to explore your whole website won’t be put off by a disconnect between your email newsletter and the rest of the content on your website.
And that’s it! With these simple rules, you’re all set to create newsletters that will boost your audience numbers and get you more followers online!
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2. Mailjet, How to Create An Email Newsletter