How to Create a Newsletter Your Clients Will Actually Read
As a business owner, you want to be able to communicate with and engage with your clients. There are a variety of ways to do this – involving either face to face interaction or online engagement.
For businesses without a shopfront, it’s difficult to make a connection with clients (and potential clients) and while social media is a great way to keep in touch, sometimes a newsletter is also needed. In the field of building, it can be a great way to keep tradespeople, supervisors and other staff up to date with what is happening from the office.
Once you have decided that a newsletter could be of benefit to your business, the next step is deciding how often you want to send one out. This will depend entirely on you and what you have to communicate – you may send a weekly or monthly newsletter out, but you may only require a quarterly newsletter. Think about whether others in your industry are producing newsletters and what sorts of information they are including.
The important thing is to be consistent and not to spam people without their consent. Allow people to opt in and out and you’ll be far more likely to reach the right people who will connect with your business.
Remember that a newsletter is akin to you speaking directly to clients or staff. So you don’t want to offload the job of writing the newsletter to the junior down in accounts. If you wouldn’t send that person to speak directly with your client, then don’t lug them with the newsletter. Also remember that spoken and written words are two very different things and require a different skill set. A copywriter can be your polished and professional voice and write your newsletter for you.
So, what does your newsletter need in order to be read and not deleted?
Captivating subject line
If your email inbox is anything like mine, you probably don’t open every message that comes through. Often, you’ll simply hit delete. Your clients are no different. Everyone is busy these days, and nobody has time to waste. Just because a person has subscribed to your newsletter, doesn’t mean they will click on it. If you want people to open your newsletter, you need to give them a reason. A captivating subject is essential. Simply typing “Newsletter 3” into your subject line, isn’t going to cut it. Think about what your clients want and give them that in your heading.
Easy on the eye
You don’t need to get all fancy with your newsletter, although you can certainly hire a graphic designer to create a template that your copywriter can use. The most important thing is to keep it clean and uncluttered. Even after people have opened the newsletter, they won’t stay and read it if they are met with flustered print and a block of writing with no breaks. Use subheadings, use photos to break up the print, use links to articles rather than reproducing the whole article in the newsletter. All these things allow the client to quickly scan and read the parts they need or want to read. This will make them more likely to open your newsletter the next time it lands in their inbox as well.
You have now got the client to open your email newsletter and start reading it, but they won’t keep reading unless the content is interesting. For example, a boring paragraph giving the specifications of a new product won’t light up their life. Their eyes will likely glaze over and that will be that. A lost opportunity. However, if you give a descriptive account of a new product and explain how it will benefit them, they are more likely to pause and consider buying it or using it.
Make it about them
If your newsletter is full of self promotion, specials and talk about how great you are – it will read like an advertisement or a mailbox catalogue – and people will tune out. Of course, there can be a place for these things in a newsletter but they need to be balanced out with other features. Granted there are some businesses that lend themselves to that sort of “newsletter” but in effect it’s not really a newsletter, and regular subscribers will know that. Thinking again about my overflowing inbox, I know which emails contain sales jargon – and I will only open those if I’m looking to buy a product that they would sell. Most of the time I just delete. However, if I know that business offers expert tips or interesting links to articles, I’m more likely to open it – and then, if there happens to be a product or special of the week included, then I’m more likely to see it and consider it.
Make it actionable
Think about what you want your client to do after they read your newsletter – and make it easy for them to do that! If you want them to talk to a salesperson about the product you have featured, include a link to a phone number at the bottom of that section of the newsletter. Many people access emails through their mobile phones so if you have them thinking about a product and then give them a phone number that they just have to click, they are more likely to call. Strike while the iron is hot. Likewise, if you want your client to share your newsletter or some aspect of it, place social media sharing links on there so they can do so with a simple click. Everything is fast paced these days. The easier you make something, the more likely you are to get a reaction.
Promote your newsletter
You can have your copywriter write you a brilliant newsletter, but nobody will even have the opportunity to read it if they don’t know it exists. You need to tell people about it. Include simple subscription forms on your website so that people can join up. When you are speaking to someone who is interested in what you do or sell, let them know they can sign up and keep up to date with your products/services. Don’t be afraid to promote yourself!
Best of luck with your newsletter, and if you need some extra help, please get in touch.
Is there a business you know of that writes amazing newsletters? Share a link below and let us see how well it can be done.