Newsletters are an invaluable tool for marketers. With the right targeting and content, they let you keep in touch with customers and prospects, while giving them a soft sell on products and services. For organizations, it’s an incredibly cost-effective way to keep in touch with audience, and serves as a great pathway to share success stories and keeps customers updated on company news. Newsletters may even serve as a tool for fundraising for events or campaigns that an organization may be promoting.
Due to the tremendous amount of spam we receive in our inboxes, it’s critical to understand your audience and what you have to offer. The first instinct a marketer has when it comes to newsletters is to avoid the inbox delete button – obviously an important first step. If you can make it past the first level, the next concern is how to make it actionable and impactful to reach your overall goal – promoting your organization’s mission, current news and successes.
We’ve had the good fortune to work with hundreds of non-profits and philanthropic organizations on the fundraising front, and here are some of the best practices we’ve learned to make sure your newsletter are providing a return for the effort.
1. Make Company Logos and Links Visible
Brand awareness and expanding audience reach is not the sole reason for sending newsletters, but it’s definitely an important part. Don’t be bashful — put your company logo and applicable links out there for everyone to see! It’s easy to add a logo and link it back to your website. And don’t hide it away, either. Make it colorful and prevalent so readers know how to get more information and connect with your company.
2. Keep It Brief and Interesting
Readers don’t want to open a newsletter and see a wall of text. Keep your content brief, easy to digest and interesting. A great way to keep it manageable is to include well thought-out headlines and summaries of important news in your newsletter and link them to full articles on your website or your company’s blog. As a bonus, you’ll get increased traffic to your page!
3. Use Photos and Video
Remember the old adage that says “A picture is worth a thousand words?” That’s especially true in newsletters, where your audience’s attention span is limited and staying concise is important. Pictures and videos help readers connect with your company, build enthusiasm for the work you’re doing and show the successes that your company has seen. A few well-placed visuals will make a world of difference when it comes to readership involvement.
4. Link Out!
You spend a lot of time and effort building your online presence. You write blogs, you send Tweets, you update your Facebook. Let people know! Include links to your website, news page and social media channels — anywhere you think your audience will interact with you.
5. Make It Shareable
Social media connects millions of people all around the world and is quickly becoming the main way people share news and information with each other. You can put that global network to use by making your newsletter shareable on Facebook and other social media sites. After you enable sharing, your readers can post your newsletter to Facebook, Twitter, and other sites, which can help build your audience and your customer base.
The newsletter should be an extension of all of your marketing efforts. Done right, they can significantly improve current brand awareness efforts, while helping pave the way to new readers and customers in an organic and impactful way.