Ten things to put in your newsletter
Why even bother?
If people have voluntarily subscribed to your mailing list then they have demonstrated an interest in hearing about your product or service. The same could be said of social media, but the difference is that your email goes straight to their inbox. On social channels your message can quickly disappear down the feed, or not appear on the majority of your followers' feeds at all. With an email list, you have direct communication with your audience and you have the control.
Email is still the first thing that most people check at the start of their working day. And email stays in an inbox until it is deleted. It's searchable, and people often go back to look at email several times over. It's still the most effective way of communicating with your audience and a great way to convert leads to customers.
But, when you start building an email list then you have to put some thought into what valuable information you're going to share. If you're stuck for ideas then here are my top ten newsletter tips to get you started.
Start with an automated welcome email. It’s easy to set up with an email service provider (ESP). Whenever someone new subscribes to your list they will receive your charming welcome and be reassured that they’ve come to the right place. Mailchimp is probably the best-known ESP, and it’s the one I use, but there are others out there that you might prefer.
2. New Product Launch
If you’ve added a new product to your range, brought in a new supplier, invented a cocktail that will blow their head off, or made all your packaging eco-friendly, put it in there. You can also invite them to give you feedback and include a promotional offer too.
3. Industry News
You don’t want to hit your list with a constant stream of salesy emails. Nobody wants that. But if people are interested in what you do then they’re probably interested in the sector in general. Share ‘curated’ content about what is happening in your industry. Use sites like ‘Feedly’ and ‘Flipboard’ to find interesting stories on relevant topics.
4. Bonus Info
Your subscribers may well have signed up whilst reading one of your informative and engaging blogs. If you have some extra info, tips and advice that you could share to your mailing list only, then that makes them feel extra special – which they are! So if you're posting valuable content, hold a bit back and share the love with your devotees.
5. Upcoming Events
Another great way to promote your business is hosting or attending events. Offer your list an early sign up or a VIP spot. It might be a ‘meet the designer/celebrity’ event, a training programme, a free-tasting, the opening of a new branch, a fashion show, a pop-up shop or an Instagram live. Your subscribers should be the first to know.
6. Behind the scenes
It may be surprising but we all like to know what’s going on back there. If you make something beautiful, delicious, clever, or unusual, people love to see how it’s done. Or maybe you have a cool, trendy, office or skilled craftsmen working in your factory. It’s a personal insight into your business that builds trust.
7. Get Personal
It’s a bit of a cliché but ‘people do business with people’. Make yourself and your business more relatable by getting a bit more personal. Share the history of your business, or the history of the building you’re located in. If you’re located in a beautiful area, share recommendations of local places to visit. If you’re creative, you could share information on what inspires you. Or, share an interview that you’ve given to a local newspaper or blogger.
Is there something that you can teach your list? A ‘how to’ video works well here, and you can embed a video in your newsletter. Could you share tips on maintenance or repair? Have you given a recent presentation or spoken at an event? You can also provide information through an automated sequence of emails. This allows you to send out information over a set period, building on knowledge over a number of days.
Case studies and testimonials are great for building trust. Particularly if your product is not an impulse buy or is an infrequent purchase. It could be a new kitchen, a holiday apartment, new technology, sports equipment, a pension provider. People will take time to reach a decision and whilst they’re mulling it over you can build confidence by reassuring them with reviews from other happy customers.
You don’t want every newsletter to be pushing for a sale, but this is the end goal after all so let customers know when it could be a good time for them to buy. They would expect to hear from you if you’re having a sale, offering a freebie, providing a discount code for online shopping or free shipping.
Let me know if any other strategies have worked well for you by leaving a comment at the bottom. Or, ask a question or drop me a line if you want to find out how I could help your business communicate effectively with your mailing list.