Beyond sharing news about your company’s offerings, current initiatives and plans for growth, opt-in newsletters are also a great medium for highlighting your areas of focus and expertise. A creative and efficient way to engage your business’s loyal fan base, newsletter content can also earn shares and reach new potential leads if the content both provides value to your current customers and appeals to a broader audience.
First, though, there are some key things to focus on as you plan your newsletter strategy to ensure it will be effective in helping to meet your business and marketing goals. Here, 15 members of Forbes Coaches Council provide their best tips and insights to help you create an impactful company newsletter that recipients will be delighted to open.
1. Fill A Need In Unique Ways
All inboxes are full nowadays. For your newsletter to be a must-read newsletter, it needs to be unique and fill a need in a way your readers can’t find elsewhere. Prior to every newsletter you send, ask yourself, “Why am I sending this email? What impact will it have on the lives of my readers? Would I read this and find value in it if I were in my reader’s position?” – Bri Seeley, Seeley Enterprises Inc.
2. Commit To Consistency
What is the purpose of your newsletter? How will it make your customers more successful or better? What is the outcome you expect from the newsletter? How will you deliver it in a way that others look forward to and inspire them to share it with their colleagues or friends? Finally, will you be able to keep to it consistently? Consistency creates a strong message of reliability and becomes part of your reputation. – Bobbie Goheen, Synthesis Management Group
3. Deliver Newsletters In A ‘Snackable’ Format
Newsletters can be a valuable way to build connections with the audience you want to serve. Newsletters should be delivered in a “snackable” format that provides a call to action at the end of each “snackable” idea or point that is delivered. Asking yourself who your audience is, what they are missing and how your newsletter can solve problems they may face in the future are keys to success. – Colby B. Jubenville, PhD, drjubenville.com
4. Understand The ‘Why’
Start with this question: Why a newsletter? If it’s to communicate with your clients, validate whether or not this is how they consume information or use it to make decisions. Perhaps they would be better served by a robust social media relationship with you. Ultimately, ask yourself, “How might I put myself in the shoes of those I am reaching out to, what information do they need and how might they prefer to get it?” – Lisa Schmidt, Worksphere
5. Pick A Recurring Format
Newsletters should have a recurring format and contain consistent sections in each issue. Readers will want to know what to look for with each new issue. Four to six sections, each with a purpose, are highly suggested. Have at least one lighthearted section—a great song to lift spirits, for example, or words of wisdom from a popular influencer or even some humor to lighten up a reader’s state of mind. – Steven Pfrenzinger, Executive Coaching for the Highly Ambitious
6. Know What Your Audience Wants
Being clear on what your audience would like to read about is the first step. This usually includes solutions to common challenges or insights on problems your clients are currently facing. Your readers will want quality, content-rich insights from you, so ensure that it’s always relevant and of the highest quality for your readers. – Simi Rayat, Wellbeing Face Ltd
7. Consider How You Will Sustain It
It may seem minor, but in the excitement of planning your brilliant content and fabulous graphics, the one thing often overlooked is, how will you sustain it? Plan and incorporate your production process for the next six to 12 months into your workload, commitments and calendar now. Identify triggers that will signal when to hire help now. Stay on top of production so that you do not lose trust with your list. – Kelly Tyler Byrnes, Voyage Consulting Group
8. Include Actual Tips And Strategies
Are you providing value or just marketing yourself? In today’s world, everyone gets tons of email, and all of it competes for our eyes and attention. If you want to build an audience, provide value by including actual tips and strategies readers can apply right away, as opposed to just talking about yourself or selling something. And keep your email content short and punchy to ensure it gets read. – Glenn Taylor, Skybound Coaching & Training
9. Obtain A Double Opt-In
Email inboxes are becoming increasingly crowded with work to do and previous opt-ins your customers have signed up to receive. Obtaining a double opt-in is essential and, even then, corporate and personal spam filters make it increasingly difficult to get newsletters through to subscribers. Even when people sign up, they forget and never read newsletters. Make it fun and informative. – Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
10. Start With The End In Mind
What will your audience’s takeaway be after reading your newsletter? Determine the insight, the learning and the action before even starting. Give them a purpose for reading your newsletter. Let them get to know you and what’s important to you. Then, take your audience on an interesting journey. Leave them with a call to action. – Frances McIntosh, Intentional Coaching LLC
11. Add Credibility With Customer Testimony And Interviews
The most important thing to keep in mind is the reader. What do they want to know? Many times a newsletter is written by the author, for the author, which misses the needs of the intended audience. If you can bring customer testimony to your newsletter, that will add credibility. Ask a few of your most satisfied customers for an interview for your newsletter! It could really go a long way. – Curtis Odom, Prescient Strategists, LLC.
12. Position Yourself As An Expert Resource
Newsletters are only useful if they’re useful to readers. Remember your customer base and audience. The best newsletters are the ones customers have a use for, even if they don’t plan on buying anything from you right now. Use the newsletter as a way to turn yourself into an expert resource for your customers, and that way, when it comes time for them to buy services or products, they will automatically think of you. – Dhru Beeharilal, Nayan Leadership, LLC
13. Engage Customers For Feedback
Newsletters are terrific, but remember your reputation is tied to it, as it would be with any service or product. Therefore, rely heavily on creating content that is consistent and delivered on a cadence that allows you to actively engage customers for feedback and improvement. Doing this will grow your newsletter, your client base and your understanding of your customer needs. – Amera McCoy, McCoy Consulting LLC
14. Keep It Simple With One Resolute Headline
Keep it a lot simpler than you think. Most newsletters I get are cluttered with so many points, ideas and implied time commitment to read them, I ignore them totally. To have a chance today, a newsletter needs to have at least one absolutely resolute idea or headline that will benefit the reader. They are inundated with input, so your newsletter should stand out with one idea that may lead readers to dig in. – John M. O’Connor, Career Pro Inc.
15. Be Agile With Your Content Strategy
It is imperative to address what is relevant for your target audience, which may change and evolve over time. In fact, with the current pace at which we live and work, you may find your audience’s needs changing more often than anticipated. Make the time to connect to your clients in order to gain more insight into the areas where you could add value. – Linda Aiyer, InfinitU Consulting
ABOUT JEFF ALTMAN, THE BIG GAME HUNTER
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 2000 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.
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