How to Create a Newsletter Your Audience Will Actually Read

Reaching stakeholders – from customers to industry influencers to government officials – can be difficult amid a crowded digital landscape. Your target audience is likely barraged with communications at home and on the go – both solicited and not – and it can be challenging to break through the clutter and grab their attention.

Studies have shown that email marketing is very effective, even despite the proliferation of social media. Companies can use email newsletters to provide a large number of stakeholders with information about their business at the same time. Almost everyone has an email address (or two!). However, before you head to the computer and start searching for newsletter software and programs, you should make sure you know what works – and what doesn’t – when it comes to email communications.

Know your audience. Before you even start considering content, it’s critical to identify your goals for the newsletter. Who will you be sending it to, and what action do you want them to take after reading it? Then, you can delve into story ideas, ensuring each one serves your ultimate goals.

Don’t cram too much into each edition. When it comes to email newsletters, less is definitely more. Rather than sending a newsletter that has readers scrolling endlessly, each edition should be concise and highlight only the most important information. If your newsletters tend to run long, consider increasing their frequency.

Touch on the big points. According to Vertical Response, stakeholders find these newsletter topics relevant. Pick and choose and add your own according to your company’s needs.

  • Product, service and technology updates
  • Employee benefits/perks
  • Competitor updates
  • Training and career opportunities
  • Industry-specific innovations and news
  • Changes in leadership
  • A message from the president, owner or CEO
  • Employee-generated content
  • News on company celebrations
  • Employee spotlights
  • Customer survey results and actions the company is taking to improve processes or to reward good performance

Invest in design. Even if you’ve got the content and length right, your newsletter will only have an impact if people read it. That’s where an eye-catching design comes in so you can get them to keep reading.

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