Newsletter best practices – Part 1

I originally created this article for in-house purposes when I kept seeing the same mistakes over and over again when it comes to creating a newsletter. It is too easy to just produce a monthly newsletter and assume that your readers want to read every update that your company has to offer. This is a waste of your time and their time. Creating a structure and a strategy will lead to better use of content and formulate a longer-lasting relationship with subscribers. I have broken this into 2 sections. Today, we will focus on ‘Planning’ and ‘Goals’.

Planning 

This is where you ask a lot of questions and analyze the answers with your team. This is crucial to the success of any endeavour but ahead of creating a newsletter, I have found it really useful to ask the following questions;

  1. What are we trying to achieve from the newsletter this month? 
  2. How does this newsletter offer value to our customers? (exclusive/early access content)
  3. Does the content align with the company branding/copy guidelines?
  4. Is the content balanced 90% educational 10% promotional?
  5. Are we thinking about mobile-first? (54% of newsletters will be opened on mobile)
  6. How will we measure success from this month’s edition? (previous editions/conversions)
  7. Does it hit 4 brand attributes (the number of brand attributes can vary based on your company)

Answering these questions can help to create a very clear idea of whether or not we have a very focused brand and content idea before starting to formulate the newsletter. An inability to answer any of the above through referencing a draft newsletter indicates more work could be required in that specific area.

Goals

This is where you need to outline what you want to achieve. Outlining goals ahead of releasing your newsletter is another useful exercise that I recommend to avoid trying to achieve too much with a single newsletter. This will also create a laser focus on the specific goals for each newsletter that will follow. The four principal goals I would start with are the following;

  1. Brand Awareness – This is a pretty obvious one and is going to be a high priority for any business in the early stages to ensure people are aware of your brand and know what your brand values are. The newsletters will one of the main tools along with social media that can help you create this.
  2. Brand Consideration – This is not only a strong KPI (Key Parameter Index) for advertising; it is primarily a measure on Brand (Health) Tracking studies. It depicts a consumer’s likelihood of purchasing a brand next, which is generated from their predisposition toward that brand. This is important to establish in a competitive market. 
  3. Brand Advocacy – This is something you can do a lot of by leveraging partnerships and ecosystem connections to help establish you as a leader in the market. 
  4. Conversions – Your subscribers are some of your most engaged potential customers as they have already taken action and want to see our content more.

This is a lot of information to take in but I think you will really find this useful. As always, any questions or suggestions for content don’t be a stranger and message us! Part 2 to follow…