By: Kristen Crutchley, Communications Account Director
5 Tips to Making Your Company Newsletter a Success
Anyone who has recently opened their inbox to a newsletter, or five, in the last week can probably agree they have become a go-to source for companies to communicate information. But unfortunately, a majority of them are never even opened. In fact, studies show last year the average open rate for email marketing and newsletters was 21.5%. Newsletters however remain a cost-effective way for companies to reach their target audience when done correctly – so what can you do to make sure yours is a success?
1. Who is your audience? Speak to them!
While this might sound like white noise, the first step to starting or revamping your company newsletter is to ask yourself “who will actually be reading this?” and “why should they care?”. The answers will be the driver for all of your content. Keep in mind, the answer might be more than just your employees or customers. If it will be made public, consider prospects, business partners, or even industry experts that might have eyes on your newsletter. Once you identify your target audience(s), have a clear purpose. Is it to share company news and updates? Provide educational content or serve as a platform for engagement? Stay rooted in your message consistently.
2. Format your format.
One of the first interactions your readers will have with your newsletter is the title and subject line. Get it opened by grabbing their attention; have a catchy name and personalize it by using the recipient’s first name in the subject line or greeting. People are more likely to engage with a format that is visually appealing. Break up text with large headings, eye-catching titles and visuals such as pictures, graphics, or GIFs, and include links to relevant pages. Many readers access newsletters on their phones, so it’s important to make sure it is optimized for mobile. Use shorter sentences and paragraphs and larger fonts and buttons that are easy to click. An eye-catching design that is appealing, consistent, and professional is a must – websites such as Mailchimp already have thousands of newsletter templates to choose from that you can format to your company branding. Overall: keep it short and sweet.
3. Get those creative juices flowing!
Choose topics that your readers will find interesting and get them excited. Some unique content to consider is locally-relevant information such as events and community initiatives, lessons learned, open positions within your organization, career development opportunities, helpful advice to your products or services, or even health and wellness tips. Featuring an employee of the month or a success story from a client will make your readers strive to be highlighted. Including opportunities to attend an upcoming event or webinar or host a Q&A with a company expert are also sure ways to get readers to keep coming back. Make sure to use a conversational tone and avoid corporate jargon or technical language.
4. Get them involved.
Getting your readers to interact with you through your newsletter will keep them further engaged. Include a quiz at the bottom relevant to your industry, embed a poll, or ask readers to leave a comment. By offering exclusive discounts or promotions, or something they can only get within the newsletter will increase traffic and create loyal readers. Hosting a subscriber contest is another unique way to have fun with your audience while increasing your footprint.
5. Don’t settle.
So you’ve followed the steps and perfected your newsletter. Now what? Don’t let it turn into a checklist item. Set goals around open, click-through, and time spent reading rates and consistently track results to measure your readers engagement. Which newsletters had the most hits? Are you seeing an increase or decrease in these metrics? How are you surveying your target audience to better understand what they would like to see included? Stay up to date with local, national, and industry news and trends that align with your readers and continue to refine your content. Never just settle.
Company newsletters are a great way to provide timely, relevant updates and engage with your audience. They do however require creativity, time, and thought, and should not be treated as a checklist to-do. If you’re struggling with how to start or revamp your newsletter, reach out to us! At Anna Stallmann Communications, we are experts in creating thoughtful messages that will engage your readers and get the most of this popular method of communication. We’d love to help!