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Tips to Make Your Business Newsletter Stand Out
by Startacus Admin
Our inboxes seem to be full of business newsletters, and with increased volume nowadays it's unsurprising that many businesses are experiencing a decline in the effectiveness of this tried-and-tested marketing strategy.
However, this downward trend is not an inevitability. By employing some common sense and clever strategies when creating your newsletter, you can fight the decline and significantly increase the success you see.
We will go into some of the finer points another time; but to start, here are the main general points which could help boost the effectiveness of your business newsletter.
The two things that your recipients will see first are you the email is from and the subject line. The majority of people will make the decision to open the email or not based on these. If possible, it is a good idea to ensure that the ‘From’ part says your business name rather than something like ‘[email protected]’ – this looks better in terms of professionalism, but also because it will stick in your recipients’ minds better as they skim through their emails.
More important is the subject line. If anything will make the difference between them opening the email and not, it will be this. It goes without saying, really, that your subject line needs to grab the reader’s attention and make them interested in what’s in the newsletter. There are two camps about how much your subject line should change each time. You could have the same subject line, or start it with the same word or phrase so that it is instantly recognisable, but there is a danger of the subject line becoming part of the background, as it were. There is certainly a lot to be said for this method, though. However you do it, the important thing is to make it irresistible and ensure it doesn’t sound spammy or too click-bait-y.
Once your recipients have opened your newsletter, it would be helpful if what’s awaiting them is something they want to read. Content is king, and this applies to all of your content, including these newsletters.
Consider your average audience in as much detail as you are able to find out – age, hobbies, interests, etc. – and use it to paint a picture of the people opening your newsletters. This should help you decide what kind of themes to give your newsletters, what they will most like to read about, and the way in which to address them.
You can also use your audience profile to work out what kind of external content you could link to. It may seem counterproductive to send your audience to another website, but this will give them the impression that you are interested in what they are interested in and what they care about, rather than simply trying to drive traffic to your site. This can help strengthen the all-important bond between you and your audience.
It’s something we’ve written before: creating a connection with your audience and making them feel like they are personally involved in your business. Don’t forget that connection when you are writing your newsletters. The most obvious start is to have each newsletter open with the recipient’s name. Don’t expect this to get you too far on its own, however, as most people are savvy to this kind of tactic these days.
Small touches, such as ‘You know that we are fuelled by coffee’ will help. Do they know that? They will if they are a loyal follower of your brand, read your articles, blog, newsletters, etc. (unless you’ve never said it before, of course). Imagine you are talking to an individual, a friendly acquaintance, and write the newsletter accordingly. This will help you give it a personal feeling.
Again, we have said it many times: your audience will like to see your personality rather than just a shiny business façade. This can be your own individual personality, or the personality of the team if that’s more applicable, but coming across as an actual human who is engaging with your audience will always be more…well…engaging, than a company entity talking at them.
What is the focus of your newsletter? Its purpose is to drive more traffic to your website, increase sales, etc., but what direction are your newsletters taking in order to do that? A purely advertorial newsletter will not do much good, as it isn’t far removed from spam, even if the recipient has signed up for it. It could be full of condensed versions of articles or blog posts that you have on your website, giving tips, delivering relevant industry news… The best thing for a newsletter to be is informative and entertaining, not pushy and sales-oriented.
In the sea of newsletters, one that has a unique personality and something interesting and entertaining to say will stand out and ensure that the next one from you will be opened.