In the age of email marketing, virtually every B2B enterprise has its own newsletter.
For you, a newsletter performs a very important function. It’s the most efficient way (by far) to be sure you can maintain contact with your potential customers until they are ready to buy.
Use these steps and killer email newsletter examples to help you keep your subscribers up to date on anything you want them to know.
The Purpose of a Newsletter
The purpose of a newsletter is to keep those on your email list updated on anything that has to do with your business. For instance, you may send a newsletter with information about new products, updates on changes, testimonials and reviews, helpful resources, and other pertinent information.
Newsletters should not be used to hard-sell your products or services to your audience. They should be similar to an update from a helpful and interesting friend, rather than an intrusive salesperson.
Sending newsletters as a part of your email marketing strategy helps you to connect and engage with your customers on a more personal and meaningful level.
This can help you achieve your marketing goals since email marketing often provides your business with generous returns. In fact, research shows the big picture impact your email efforts can have on your business:
- Email marketing has the highest return on investment for small businesses.
- Nearly 80 percent of marketers say they've seen their email engagement increase over the last 12 months.
Simply put, the power of email marketing is hard to overstate.
How to Write a Newsletter
Writing a newsletter should be fairly simple with the large variety of email marketing tools that now have full libraries with newsletter email templates. Here are some easy steps you can take to start writing your first newsletter draft for your business:
1. Decide What You Want to Share.
Before you can write any information into your newsletter email, you must decide what message you'd like to send your subscribers.
For instance, you may include the following components:
- Newly published content such as blog posts and videos
- New product launches
- Other people's content that you believe relates to your audience in a meaningful way
- Shorter form blog posts
- Progress your business has made with new projects
In many cases, businesses select a couple of different things to share in one newsletter, depending on the frequency of the newsletter they are sending.
For instance, if you have a monthly newsletter, then you may consider making it longer and more comprehensive. If your newsletter is daily, then you may select one specific topic to explore in your email content.
Once you decide what content will be the most beneficial to your list in your newsletter, you can begin drafting your newsletter.
2. Write a Draft First.
Start by writing your first draft as though you are writing to a specific person. This could be a specific customer or buyer persona you made up to represent your ideal subscriber, or it could be someone you may know.
When you write the email as though you are writing to a specific person, you make it more personalized and interesting to the recipient.
Don't take too much time on your first draft; just flesh out all of your ideas and then trim it down or beef it up from there.
3. Review the Draft.
Now that you've written your first full newsletter draft, it is time to review it and make edits. You'll want to make sure your newsletter sounds interesting and that it flows well.
You should also check for grammatical and spelling errors by reading the email out loud at least once or twice.
If you can't read it out loud, then you can use a text-to-speech tool to catch these errors. Word has a tool that reads your text for you, or you can use tools like Natural Readers.
It may also be helpful to have a coworker or friend read the email to help you refine the email further.
Don't forget to add images and links in the review stage!
4. Test Your Newsletter With a Portion of Your List.
You may want to consider testing your newsletter with a portion of your audience before you send it to your whole list. This helps you to see the open rates the email gets and allows you to gauge whether or not the content in the newsletter is working ok.
5. Schedule a Send Date.
Once you determine that everything is as good as it can be with your newsletter, you can schedule a send date for it. Be sure to check your inbox for emails from the users you sent the test batch to.
If they mention that links or images don't show up correctly, fix the issues before you send the newsletter to your entire email list.
15 Newsletter Tips You Can Use Next Month
If you’re looking for newsletter tips, then odds are good you’ve noticed the problem with the idea of a corporate newsletter: It’s valuable for you, but it’s not always obvious how to make it equally enticing to the audience you plan to serve.
Let’s look at email newsletter tips that help you to provide value for your subscribers and increase engagement.
1. Put Your Audience First.
Your audience is the most important consideration for your email newsletter. Work to segment your audience from the beginning so they only get relevant, high-impact messages. A handful of on-target messages do more work than a daily email that’s hit or miss.
Consider what your subscribers have clicked on and engaged with in the past and segment them by their interests. Test different newsletter styles and headlines for each segment to help you improve open rates.
2. Include One CTA at a Time.
If you have a CTA in your newsletter, you are already ahead of the game.
There are two exceptions to this rule: A newsletter that aggregates your top content (where any click to your site is a win) or newsletters from retail brands. Specific, targeted offers should take the spotlight in most emails.
3. Optimize for the Mobile Devices.
In the last few years, most emails have been opened by mobile rather than on desktop. This is why it's essential to ensure your email is optimized for mobile display and navigation.
You don't want to miss out on providing value to a large section of your email recipients because you forgot to make sure your newsletter emails were mobile friendly before sending them off.
4. Be Consistent About Email.
Tell your leads what frequency of emails to expect as soon as they’re on your signup form. Once they actually do sign up, be consistent in delivering what they expect.
If you fade away, your campaign will lose impact. And if you overwhelm them with messages, they’ll run away.
5. Use Email to Amplify Content.
If you have some recent content that you’re especially proud of, an email campaign is a terrific way to get more eyes on it. Blog posts, videos, and infographics are especially popular for email recipients. Don’t be afraid to show off content just because some subscribers might have seen it.
Emails are also easy to forward, and some of your subscribers may be willing to share your content with others who they think may be interested. This can help you increase your website traffic.
6. Nail the Subject Line.
Your email subject line is like the headline of your blog posts: It determines whether people will be intrigued enough to read the first few lines.
If you want to maximize your ROI from email, then it’s a sound idea to start split testing email subject lines as soon as you can.
Speaking of maximizing ROI...
7. Hook Email into Your Analytics.
Analytics won’t make any one particular email better, but they can help you kick start a general trend of continuous improvement.
Email data gives you insight on what subject lines were most effective, what links got clicked, and what days and times are the best for engagement. Use it!
8. Have Clear Email Onboarding.
An email onboarding sequence is the perfect way to acclimate your new subscribers to being contacted by you so your first messages won’t spook them.
It also serves as customer education, helping you make sure leads will get the most value from your website.
9. Vary Your Content Styles.
Email newsletter tips should point out this overlooked fact: A “newsletter” doesn’t have to be the same thing every time.
With different content styles, you can key into audience preferences. For example, you can try “best of” lists from your blog, curated content, case studies, and more.
10. Use Seamless Social Integration.
When marketers look for “engagement,” they’re usually thinking of likes, shares, and clicks. If you want emails to drive these actions in the right direction, then make them easier.
Have simple social share buttons on your messages so recipients can forward them to their networks fast.
11. Ask For (and Facilitate) Comments.
People love to sound off on topics of genuine interest to them. Call for comments, questions, and suggestions and you just might get them.
A comment system that creates a clear link between your site users and their social identity will encourage them to comment more.
One thing stands out about the best email newsletter tips: If you’ve been following the inbound way of doing business, then you already have a strong idea of what might work.
Inbound marketers truly understand the impact of delivering value upfront and educating their target audience. Your newsletter is an essential component of inbound marketing.
12. Identify the Sender.
Most people don't want to open emails from people or businesses that aren't identified no matter how good the subject line and preview text may be.
There are a lot of spammy emails out there, and you want to make sure your subscriber knows that you aren't spamming them or, even worse, sending them a virus.
Most email marketing software allows you to set the sender name within the content. For example, HubSpot Marketing Hub offers personalization tokens you can use in various forms of content, including emails.
A popular format that is used today is as follows: [firstname] at/from [company name].
13. Customize the Preview Text.
Customized preview text enhances the headline of your email header. According to data collected by Litmus, about 24 percent of people consider the preview text before they decide whether or not they will open an email.
The preview text presents you with an opportunity to increase your newsletter email open rate. Some things that you can do with preview text includes:
- Add a call to action.
- Personalize it using the recipient's name.
- Add a simple description of what's in the email.
Remember to avoid leaving the default text because it is uninviting to your recipients.
14. Select the Right Format.
Format for an email newsletter is everything! Make sure your format is simple and easy to read so that your recipients can absorb and digest the information with ease.
Use templates with a clean and sleek design and insert your content and links appropriately to make sure the format still looks good on mobile and desktop computers.
15. Test. Test, Test.
You won't know if your newsletters are truly effective until you test them. You must test what works for your business and for your audience. You can:
- Conduct split tests.
- Pre-test content by sharing posts on social media with different headlines.
- Try different headlines within the newsletter.
- Vary your CTAs.
With continuous testing, you can build a great newsletter for your business.
5 of the Best Newsletter Examples
To help you develop your newsletter further and get inspired, here are five great real newsletter examples from businesses:
The user-friendly web-based project management tool Trello has a newsletter from “Taco” that is sent to users about once a week.
It is a simple and direct newsletter with helpful tips and tricks on how to work Trello better or manage projects more efficiently. Essentially, it is a roundup of Trello’s best content.
The colors and images they use are eye-catching. Plus, they add a nice touch by assigning Taco, Trello’s adorable dog mascot, as the email sender.
Sendinblue is a digital marketing agency that serves small and medium-sized businesses. Their newsletters provide subscribers with product updates and helpful resources.
They make sure their audience is educated and informed about the company and its offers with their simple newsletters. They also include several CTAs to encourage their readers to find out more.
The Nature Conservancy
This newsletter ensures contributors that progress is being made within the organization to make a difference.
The newsletter also includes several pictures, CTAs, and links to social media channels. Social media is a touchpoint for readers who want to know more about the organization’s story and efforts, and the CTAs take readers to a place where they can donate money to help.
Robinhood, a popular investing app, sends newsletters to their subscribers every day. In their newsletter, called "Robinhood Snacks," they highlight key financial and stock information from the day prior.
They break each section down into small paragraphs and bullet points to make it easy to read. They also include an image and links to other content that users may click on if they would like more information.
Statista is a data platform that reflects important numbers pertinent to various businesses. It has a great newsletter that shows several visually interesting infographics with business data.
They take a unique approach with bright images that make business data fun to look at and interpret with their newsletters.
The secret is to take your existing content – which should be useful, informative, and helpful for your unique readers – and break down the best of what you offer into bite-sized chunks.
That will leave them wanting more ... and, ultimately, spending more time actively engaged with your brand. Stick with it, and you’ll soon see the difference in user activity. Email really works!