So What is a Newsletter?
While some people view a newsletter as an annoying email that pops up in their inbox every morning, others find newsletters full of useful information. A typical newsletter attempts to convey information and keep groups or industries up to date all while attempting to gain subscribers.
For example, Universities send out daily newsletters to keep students up to date on-campus events and news. Further, companies also send out internal newsletters regarding what might be going on within the company, its executive members, and overall performance.
Newsletters can also be found in the form of places where you shop. Have you ever been to a certain retail store and they asked for your email when you checked out? This is because they’re hoping you will subscribe to their email list, so they may entice you with their promotional newsletters that feature their newest products.
There are a variety of effective newsletters, but they all share the same goal: inform and attract.
How Can I Make My Newsletter Effective?
When it comes to making an exceptional newsletter, there are a number of things to consider.
- What is the goal of my newsletter?
- Do I have an effective call to action (CTA)?
- Does the content I am sharing have value?
- Does my newsletter have an effective design template?
What is My Goal?
When deciphering what your goal should be, you must first ask yourself what are you trying to achieve with your newsletter?
Are you attempting to educate a certain group on a certain topic? If so, your goal might be to reach as many people as possible within that industry.
If you are trying to sell a product, your goal might be to convert your leads into customers.
This can be evaluated through your conversion rate.
These are just a couple of examples of questions to ask yourself when looking for the overall goal of your newsletter. There are a variety of ways to track performance, but when you narrow down on a specific goal you will be able to find the best way to evaluate the effectiveness of the newsletter you are writing.
What Should My Call to Action Be?
Once you have figured the goal of your newsletter, you must now find a way to keep people engaged with your newsletter. A CTA, or call to action, is a way of inviting someone to do something. CTA’s can also take a variety of forms. From having a “subscribe” button to having a “try it free now” link, both are effective ways of allowing people to stay engaged in your content.
When deciding which form of CTA to use, you must refer back to your overarching goal. If you are attempting to convert leads to customers on the product you are selling, it might be best to allow a free trial as people are far more likely to purchase a product after trying it for free and without consequence. On the other hand, if you are wanting to share information with as many people in a certain field, you want to make sure you deliver something valuable to the reader while also encouraging them briefly to click the “subscribe” button.
While there are a variety of ways to call someone to action, it all depends on the goal of your newsletter.
Here are some of HubSpot’s CTA recommendations.
Do I Have Valuable Content?
In order for your reader to agree to “subscribe” to your content, you must first appeal to them. You can do this by producing something your readers actually want to see. Providing useful and valuable content all starts with targeting a specific audience. Once determining your target audience you might want to see what they are most interested in viewing.
Say for instance you are sending out a promotional newsletter about the products you have in store for the upcoming season. While a majority of retail companies send ad after ad after ad, it is oftentimes more appealing to consumers to have a newsletter that is informative about their products. The healthiest option for your business is to find a blend of both promotional advertisements as well as some other information about your company/product that keeps your readers reading and keeps them from unsubscribing. A good rule of thumb is to stay around 10% promotional and 90% informational, according to Hubspot.
One can deal with informational newsletters in a similar fashion. Give your audience information regarding their industry or business, while also giving tips that could contribute to their job or daily life. People are far more likely to stay engaged in your content if they gain something from it.
Also, keep in mind that the content you are sharing should be purposeful. Content should be without frivolous information that does not relate to the industry or business.
Do I have an Effective Design Template?
The funny thing about an effective newsletter is the fact that it’s less about the visuals and more about the actual content. That being said, the more effective newsletters tend to have more toned down templates.
By keeping your newsletter to a minimal design, you are less likely to appear as a spam email. Further, using a simplistic design allows the reader’s eyes to catch a break. By leaving enough white space readers are less likely to get overwhelmed by content and stay engaged.
Keeping things concise is also important. You don’t want people to read everything there is to know in your newsletter. Instead, you want to redirect them to your website so that they may search further into who you are and what your company or group has to offer. Newsletters are intended to give a glimpse into what your company has to offer, not relay all the information before they have a chance to visit your website.
With these few steps, creating an effective newsletter is possible.