Newsletter marketing is the term for sending your prospects, via print or email, an informational document. The newsletter may contain anything from company news to consumer tips to general interest reading. The main objectives are to stay in touch with your customers, build trust, and strengthen brand awareness.
Anyone may send a newsletter to its customers, from a grocery store to a hair salon to a real estate agent. It’s an effective marketing tactic because you stay top of mind by providing your customer with something useful or entertaining to read.
Why Newsletter Marketing?
Often times, newsletters aren’t very promotional, so you might ask:
What’s the point of spending money on something that isn’t directly advertising my product or services?
Potential customers are inundated with advertisements asking for their hard-earned money. Some have claimed that the average American sees 4000 ads a day. And while that might be a little high, no one will argue that we don’t see a staggering amount of advertisements each day.
The point of newsletter marketing is to advertise in a way people like and will respond to (the idea is to deliver value). Maybe your prospects won’t read your newsletter and immediately come running to buy your products or service—but if you’re doing newsletter marketing right, over time you’ll have built a relationship through your stories, articles, or tips.
Then when it comes time to make a purchasing decision, and it’s between you—someone your prospect has trust in—and an unknown competitor, they’ll be more likely to choose you. It’s the same reason many people buy brand-name, over-the-counter drugs even though they contain the same ingredients as the generic drugs that are often more affordable. In short, newsletter marketing helps you build your brand.
What Should Go in a Newsletter?
No matter how enthusiastically you start your journey into newsletter marketing, at some point you’ll likely be asking yourself: What the heck do I write about?
For many people, that question is too big an obstacle to overcome… but the benefits of newsletter marketing are real so it’s worth soldiering on. You want to deliver a newsletter to your prospects they’ll actually read… something that’s relevant and either entertaining or informative (bonus points if you can do both!).
Let’s start with what you might write for an informative newsletter.
The key to being informative is remaining relevant. For example, if you run a grocery store, maybe you could include tips about finding the ripest avocado. That’s something you’re prospects might read, especially because—since you run a grocery store—you probably know your stuff when it comes to picking ripe avocados. But, if you include tips about weatherizing your home, people could be confused and ignore your newsletter.
Creating an entertaining newsletter can be a bit more difficult. You’ll also have to consider your business and decide whether entertaining is really the tone you want to take. For example, if you’re a lawyer who specializes in wrongful deaths, you probably don’t want to be making jokes in your newsletter. That said, some ideas for an entertaining newsletter include adding a caption contest or heartwarming stories from your local community.
In addition to the informational and entertaining content in your newsletter, you should consider finding interesting ways to talk about your company. Recent charity events, company outings, new product or service announcements, and company news make for good reading material.
Just don’t overdo it with company news or readers may perceive your newsletter as being too salesy.
Design Tips for Newsletter Marketing
Designing a print newsletter is just as important as the words you put down on the page. The layout of your newsletter should be easy to scan. That way, you don’t put the pressure on one story or article to grab your reader’s attention. Rather, aim for your reader to quickly understand the information on the page and decide what they’d like to read more into.
Images should be chosen carefully based on the content of the newsletter. Don’t just choose an image just because it’s attention-grabbing. You should pick images that are both compelling and relevant to the content on the page. Otherwise, you’ll be making a false promise to your reader and they’ll be disappointed when they start reading… not the feeling you want readers associating with your brand.
Also, for the good of your readers, don’t get creative with fonts. Stick to what’s worked in direct mail since the dawn of advertising: serif fonts. This includes fonts like Times New Roman, Georgia, Garamond, Bookman, Courier, etc.. Your readers will thank you.
The monthly newsletter has been around for a long time, and for good reason. Newsletter marketing is one of the most effective tools you have to build trust and authority with your prospects. Don’t let your fear of designing and/or writing stop you from building a relationship with potential customers through newsletter marketing.