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Outside of Social Media marketing, one of the easiest ways to build your brand awareness and reputation is to create a newsletter that allows you to communicate directly with your customers and clients. Your customers don’t spend all day thinking about your brand and might miss your updates on Social Media. A relevant, concise, eye catching newsletter with a strong call to action is a great way to reach your customers directly and keep your brand at the top of their minds. There is research that backs this up; according to Experian,$1 spent on email marketing typically provides a return of $45 to $50.
So, what is the point?
Incorporating a newsletter into your marketing comms allows you to do the following
- An opportunity to offer your thoughts / stance on industry related issues
- Build a reputation as an industry expert
- Build brand awareness
- Highlight promotions that are available to customers
- Showcase your product line
- Track customers to see opportunities for rewards
- Gain feedback directly
- Increase traffic to website / social media / online store
How exactly do you create a newsletter from scratch?
Step 1 – Define your goals for the newsletter
Why are you sending out a newsletter? Think about this question critically as it affects your tone, design & layout, your content and how often you send out the newsletter. Are you sending out as a means to get feedback from your customers? Is it so you can establish your position as an industry expert? Is it strictly for sales or brand awareness? How often do you want to send it out? Monthly? Weekly? Bi-Weekly? Make sure you aren’t bombarding your customers’ inbox with daily newsletters but also make sure they don’t forget about you with newsletters that are sent out 6 months apart.
Once you work through your goals for the newsletter, you can now define your language and develop content
Step 2 – Figure out what tone / language to use
The language and tone of voice greatly depends on why you are sending out the newsletter. For example, if you are sharing opinions on industry matters or building your reputation as an industry expert, you will need to keep the language clear, concise and professional.. almost academic. If your goal is to raise brand awareness and remind customers about your promotions and sales offerings, you have some freedom to keep the newsletter light-hearted. Ultimately, your tone and language also depends on your industry and the product / service you are selling. Make sure you have performed your SWOT analysis and developed your marketing strategy as a whole as this feeds into your newsletter.
Step 3 – Develop content
By now you must have heard that content is king. In 2018, it is content that drives sales and increases brand awareness and loyalty.
Make sure your content is varied month to month (or however often you send out your newsletter). One month can focus on your milestones and employees, the next month can focus on your product offerings and promotions. Most importantly, plan ahead so the month doesn’t catch you off guard without any content for your newsletter.
A simple way to get readers engaged with your content is to fall back on the seasons and holidays where you are based. Big holidays to consider are Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas / New Year season etc. This makes for easy content that resonates with readers.
Hint customers of an offer in your next newsletter to incentivize them to open the next edition.
Specific content ideas to consider
- Industry news
- Industry events you are attending (or think your readers should be aware of)
- Behind The Scenes – Employee news and updates
- Feedback forms and polls
- Company milestones
- Short interviews with yourself or staff
- Product spotlight (e.g. product of the month)
One important aspect of the newsletter that we tend to forget is the subject line. Make sure your subject is short and gives the reader a hint of what to expect. Newsletters with subjects such as ‘May’s Newsletter’ will most likely go to spam or will get deleted.
Step 4 – Develop the layout / design
There are tools such as Canva and MailChimp that allow you to design the layout of your newsletter easily. If that is too much work for you, you can work with a graphic designer to develop a simple and easy to read layout for your newsletter. Keep the colours subtle, make sure the font size is readable and make sure to include various hyperlinks which direct the readers to your website / online store. Make sure your design doesn’t stray too far from your brand identity and keep the design consistent with every issue you send out.
Step 5 – Develop your mailing list
Ideally your mailing list should be developed organically, that way you know that these customers are actually open to hearing from you. Make sure your website includes a ‘Subscribe to our Newsletter’ button and your Social Media posts include a call to action for subscribers. Offer rewards through Social Media which incentivize followers to subscribe to your newsletter and whenever you attend events such as exhibitions, make sure you always have a signup sheet.