What is a newsletter?A newsletter is a periodical email sent by a person or business containing news, updates, and curated content from the person or business focused on delivering free, valuable content. A newsletter is used to share relevant and valuable information with existing customers and prospective customers.
Why use a newsletter?
It is a way to share information about your brand, your activities and your products and/or services in a different way. It ensures you are speaking to people who already have some sort of base interest in your brand enough to share their contact information with you.
What makes a newsletter good?
The number one thing that makes a newsletter tick is the value it provides readers. From inside information about your brand and its operations to helpful tips to help readers use your brand’s product and/or services, newsletters help you share information and market your brand in one action.
These are 5 major things you need for a good newsletter.
1) Easy To Use Email Marketing PlatformAn email marketing platform is where you are going to send and track your newsletters. The easier it is to use the better for you because you can easily send out newsletters quickly. Options are MailChimp (which we have used a lot over the years), Mailjet (which we used a lot on a recent project) Constant Contact (which we have heard good things about), Convert Kit (which we have also heard good things about) and more.
You have to explore each one to be able to know what works for you in terms of ease of use and cost (yes they are not all 100% free).
2) A Good & Reliable Writer/Editor
Newsletters are essentially a combination of text and photos even if they are mostly dominated by text. It's very important to get things right from the text POV and nothing will help you better than having a reliable writer. A writer can either help you start newsletters from scratch, edit whatever you have put together or do a mix of both.
Whichever situation you find yourself in per newsletter (yes it will be different situations per newsletter), a reliable person will help take the pressure off you and improve the quality of your content.
3) Simple & Clear Rules To FollowFor something that has to happen periodically, rules are critical. They are simple principles that will help to keep things moving and guide you towards the end goal (send quality newsletters) if followed properly. As time goes on, rules can be modified to suit your community or brand needs.
Examples of some useful rules are
i) Each paragraph should be 60/90 words
ii) Each paragraph should be followed by a relevant image or general brand image
iii) Each newsletter should have a call to action
iv) Each newsletter should be sent out by a certain time over a certain period eg 3pm Thursdays Weekly or 6pm Wednesdays, BiWeekly
v) Each newsletter should be a maximum of 5 paragraphs
4) Great Visuals
We are in visual times. Visuals not only help your audience process and retain information – they make it easier to remember your brand. The more interesting your newsletter content is to look at, the more engaged your audience will be. Good visuals for newsletters are essentially high-resolution photos and graphics. When your visuals are consistently good, people will take your newsletters even more seriously
These are some tips to help you get good visuals going for your newsletters
i) Less is more. Keep your graphics and photos clean and neat. Nothing should be choked up anywhere in it
ii) Size your photos and graphics consistently. If you want to use square then use square all through the particular newsletter. If you want to use wide, then do so throughout the particular newsletter
iii) Text in visuals should always be bold, straightforward and legible. iv) Make sure there’s enough contrast in your designs so they are easy to read.
5) An Easy To Use Blog
You can only have so much in one newsletter before it appears too long because newsletters are essentially more suited for short and medium-form content. When you have long-form content a blog becomes handy to have.
Your long-form content can be put on your blog while a summary is put into your newsletter with a link to guide interested readers to get the full information on your blog. You can either have your own website + blog combination or you can use platforms like Blogspot, WordPress, Medium, LinkedIn, Squarespace and so on
There's definitely more
A good newsletter is surely more work than what we have listed in this blog post. It will require research, marketing and some more research and marketing to make it better over time. If you lay your foundations on the 5 items above then you will be able to make progress and succeed.