It used to be that the BtoB publisher’s newsletter was the only way to reach your audience on a more personal level. The newsletter hasn’t lost its value, by any means, but today, it is the hub of a larger suite of tools to help you build relationships with your audience and it needs to be leveraged in the context of a bigger digital-first strategy.
It’s worth taking some time to make sure your newsletter is doing what it needs to do, in order to maximize it’s potential.
1) Easy reading: you know people don’t have that much time—in the case of the newsletter, you are lucky if you get a minute of someone’s time. So, make it easy to skim. Choose a simple layout with visible headlines, clear summaries (bulleted lists aren’t so bad!), a lot of white space and a table of contents, if you have a lot to share. Of course, always give them the option to read more, but don’t force them to.
3) Don’t get too fancy: eNewsletters must comply with a range of email and mobile preferences. You must make sure that your newsletter can translate. Avoid large and complex media files, and
4) Give them options: It doesn’t hurt to provide a link that allows readers to view the letter online, in case it isn’t doing what it should on their screen.
5) Craft your subject line: “Well, duh!”
6) Be social: Before, you sent your eNewsletter and hoped it would drive people to your site. You still want that, of course, but there are so many more ways to engage people around your newsletter now. Don’t forget to give them an option to share on their favorite social platform and also encourage them to find your social profiles and follow them. Maybe the eNewsletter isn’t quite their dish, but social interaction could be.
7) Be visible: Make sure it’s easy for readers to know and recognize where the eNewsletter is coming from. It’s that trust piece that makes them want to engage.
8) Manage your list!: So, you have this great subscriber list. Have you assessed it lately? Make sure you look at open rates and shed anyone on the list who is not engaging with your newsletter. Also, think about what your active readers are doing and find ways to engage them more deeply. Start by asking them what they want!