What to Include in your Email Newsletter
Starting an email newsletter but not sure what you should actually put in it? We've got the answers! Help boost subscribers and engage with your audience.
Published: 11 Apr 2020
4 minutes read
So you’ve decided you want to start a newsletter, you’ve collected the topics you want to cover, and … suddenly you’re staring at a blank screen. A newsletter is essential to get your website content out there, and more B2B companies are adopting this method to boost their contact lists, nurture leads and generate a bit of buzz. The difficulty isn’t in deciding that you need one, or even selecting the content that you want to send out - it’s when it comes to actually putting it together that the cracks start to show.
We’ve put together some things that should definitely be included in your email newsletter for the highest level of success. Don’t just take our word for it - sign up to see some of these tips in action!
Share thought leadership pieces
It’s not enough to just share every blog or content piece that you’ve published that week or month in your newsletter/ Think carefully about your audience, and select the pieces that you think will appeal the most to them. You might be exceptionally proud of a piece of work, but if it doesn’t appeal to the persona that is receiving your email, then ultimately it isn’t going to get you anywhere.
If you want to establish your business as a source of industry knowledge, then it’s a good idea to publish and share ‘thought leadership’ pieces. These can be honest reviews, opinion pieces, or handy tips and tricks that your readers can use. The key is to provide value - if your content isn’t useful to the reader, then they’re unlikely to click through.
Don’t just advertise your product or service
This is an important tip - and one that is forgotten by plenty of companies. If your newsletter, and the content that you put in it, is purely advertising for your product or service, then it’s unlikely to appeal to readers. Avoid using your email newsletter as a sales pitch, and instead focus on providing useful, engaging and interesting content.
Concerned that your content is too sales-focused? One easy (but bizarre) way to check is to read it aloud to someone. If you feel awkward, or like you’re giving a sales pitch, it needs changing. If it sounds more like you’re having a conversation, then bingo. Your readers (or listeners in this case) should want to know more, and not feel like they’re being advertised to.
Chill out on your CTAs
This leads on from the last point - too many CTAs is also a way of bombarding your readers with ads, and it isn’t welcome. If you’re using a tool like MailChimp or HubSpot, it can be tempting to litter your content with CTAs, whether they’re big red buttons or more subtle text links to downloads. Consider your audience - someone opening an email on their phone on their commute doesn’t want to download an ebook right now.
If you absolutely must include CTAs, try and keep it to two maximum. Any links in your newsletter should be taking the reader to more content (such as blog posts) or interesting news. Trying to push your latest asset often comes across as clunky, and with more consumers developing ‘banner blindness’, they’re likely to be ignored.
Include industry news
If you’re starting a newsletter, it’s a good idea to actually include news. If there have been any interesting developments in your industry, or even your local area, it’s a good idea to include these in your newsletter. It humanises your business and helps further establish you as a leader within the industry. Including the latest news also shows that you’re staying up to date on the latest developments - something that potential clients value.
Let people unsubscribe
This one doubles up as an important addition to your newsletter, and a legal requirement. Every email you send needs to have an unsubscribe option as a rule, but lots of companies add a tiny link that can be difficult to find. This isn’t the way forward - your readers want to know that they have a way out. Try adding custom unsubscribe text, and make sure that your link is clearly visible. Unsubscribing should be easy - if it can’t be done in one or two clicks, you risk your emails going straight into the spam folder. This isn’t good for your business, or your marketing strategy!
These are the basic building bricks for your brand new email newsletter, but when you’re creating it, the number one tip is to experiment with what works for your business. It’s key to understand your personas well, and tailor your emails to appeal to these. Try out different approaches, adding fun facts, or injecting some personality into your emails. If you have an email marketing programme that allows it, you can even A/B test your emails to see which subject lines, images and approaches are more effective.
Want to learn more? We’ve put together a series on email marketing and newsletters that offers tips, tricks and best practices that we’ve learned over the years. Sign up below to get them sent straight to your inbox!