Newsletters are tricky. Trying to find the perfect mix of content that makes your weekly mailer tick can stump even the most seasoned of marketers. Add to that the diverse audience a typical list contains, and you’re looking at trying to address a whole spectrum of expectations and requirements. Overwhelming? Not really, if you know how to approach the matter. Let us look at 4 simple tips for creating newsletters that deliver results, rather than having to worry about creating ‘something special’ every time:
- Develop a clear goal: Much confusion about the value of a newsletter can result if the marketing goals of the newsletter are not defined or are unclear. For instance, if a newsletter is supposed to jolt the readers and make them click and generate leads, then its content should be very different from when it just needs to communicate and give people food for thought. A clear concise path that leads to a compelling call to action is what is needed for a great newsletter structure.
- Deliver what you promised: A common cause of newsletter failure is that companies fail to follow what they promise to people while signing them up. For example, your sign-up page might say that the newsletter brings you best-in-the-industry white papers and marketing studies, but if your subsequent emails don’t provide this information, you risk losing the goodwill of your subscribers.
Similarly, if you promised them news, updates and information but end up trying to sell them a product or service, then again expectations don’t meet reality and you could end up with a few unsubscribes, or worse still, spam complaints.
- Avoid the extremes: Let’s not forget that people are in a hurry and nobody wants to receive a newsletter that has about 1,000 words of content, no matter how valuable. On the same note, a newsletter that’s only a few scattered lines does nothing more than waste the subscriber’s time. Always plan the content carefully, in terms of quality as well as quantity.
- Make it mobile friendly: Your subscribers are increasingly checking their emails on the go on their mobile phones and tablets (as research indicates). So make sure your mailer design doesn’t break on different devices. Even the best newsletter content can lose all its impact if it looks like a broken mess of gibberish on somebody’s phone. Instead design it in such a way that people don’t mind spending a few extra minutes reading through it on a smaller screen.
A newsletter is all about planning in advance, meeting the expectations of your subscribers and maintaining the right kind of balance between information and promotion. Even with all the spam complaints, people still do sign up for information that is relevant or interesting for them and give us the privilege of getting in touch with them on a regular basis.
As marketers, we shouldn’t abuse that opportunity and make sure that every time we dispatch a newsletter campaign, it is for the benefit of the subscribers. After all, customer goodwill is a huge component driving forward any marketing ROI expectation and your newsletter is a great channel for developing it.