For many, newsletters and e-newsletters are a preferred component of their content marketing strategy – measures by which you create and share content with the aim of acquiring and retaining customers.
In fact, business-to-consumer marketers rank e-newsletters as their most effective content marketing tactic, while over one-third include printed newsletters in their mix. Business-to-business marketers also appreciate their value: 83% distribute e-newsletters, and 20% publish printed versions.1
Affordable and effective, there’s a lot to like about newsletters. With them, you can deliver information, drive engagement and nurture relationships with your prospects, clients and donors. They’re also a great way to keep your employees or members of your organization up to date.
But, where do you begin? With interesting content, of course! As thought starters, consider:
- Awards and announcements: Has someone in your company achieved special recognition? Or, perhaps your organization itself has gained honors? Let your readers know and, if applicable, put a face to your good news by publishing a photo.
- Case studies: Highly readable and convincing, a case study typically introduces a customer, fills in readers on the challenge they experienced, and concludes by relating how your product, service or organization helped them achieve satisfaction.
- How-to articles: Is there a preferred way to use your product, or has someone discovered some new and unexpected applications? A how-to article can be a great way to connect with customers … and perhaps spur greater sales!
- Interviews: In a question and answer format, satisfied customers, key employees, company officers and enthusiastic donors can often offer unique insights of interest to your audience.
- News: Launching a product or service, publicizing a new location, or announcing an upgraded benefit? Unconstrained by the space limitations of say, print advertising, newsletters can be a great place to explain, tell and show their benefits in greater detail.
- Opinions: Concerned about a new regulation that might impact your audience or a recently enacted law that could affect your business or nonprofit? Newsletters offer a perfect forum in which a company executive or even a guest authority can weigh in on the subject.
- Photography: Don’t think that your newsletters need to feature only printed articles. Take a page from People magazine on occasion and support your stories with photography.
- Repurpose: If running late of otherwise stretched for content, subscribe to news feeds or save links to online content you could share. Tip: Be sure to credit the original source!
Printed newsletters, electronic versions, or both?
Both types of publications have their advantages. For example, research supports the perception that printed communications offer more substance and value. What’s more, their higher costs for production and mailing can be offset by using your own customer database or highly targeted prospect list that minimize waste.
E-newsletters, on the other hand, can be produced very quickly – allowing you to spread the word on sales, special events or new products fast. And with low distribution costs, they’re often a great complement when used in concert with other marketing channels.
When in doubt, use both or experiment with either format. Reader feedback will help guide your way. So, too, will open and click-through rates if evaluating your digital efforts.
1Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, 2015 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends for North America and 2015 B2C Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends for North America