Keep Your Brand Front And Center With This Newsletter Strategy
So, you say that you want a newsletter for your brand.
I say, great idea!
There is no better way to deliver content to you clients and keep your brand front of mind.
Your alternatives are social media or blogging. But social is constantly scrolling, and will not live in your clients’ inboxes. Blogging is a great way to share content, but it won’t be delivered to your clients, unless you email them.
Newsletters are a pillar of a marketing strategy that will work to romanticize your clients so that they feel like you have their best interest at heart, and that you are a trusted company for nurturing their wants and needs.
There are so many considerations to designing a successful newsletter, and you may have already gotten started. Below are 9 time-test considerations to tweak your strategy so that you can make the most of your newsletters.
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(1) Have A Theme
A central idea that links all of your content together is as necessary for your newsletter as it is for your copywriting to have one point, as it is for your clothes to be matching, and as it is for a holiday party to have corresponding decorations.
This is all because a theme sets expectations for your readers, and gives them a way to mentally group the content in your newsletter. Doing this may be easier than you think.
If you plan to push out product releases and content updates, take a look at the details of what you plan to share. You will likely find a connecting theme, and you can use the copy and design of the newsletter to reinforce this central idea.
(2) Optimize for Scanning
This strategy also holds true for any good copywriting. Think of how much email that you yourself get, and how you will click on something if you can get the gist of the message in under three seconds. To make your newsletter scannable, minimize in words, differentiate typeface, and make sure you maximize the use of images.
One popular strategy is to use emojis amongst your copy. This will break up the text, and add a visual component to your message. A useful resource for this is the website Emoji Finder. Type in nouns or emotions and find corresponding emojis.
For emojis of people, you have to option to choose skin color, this way you can make an effort to further connect with your audience.
(3) Balance Content
A key to great marketing is making your message you-centric, and not me-centric. This means that you should not sell-sell-sell. You need to romanticize, entice, make participation fun, nurture your clients, then go in for the ask.
The community management leaders at Influitive, recommend keeping a content calendar where you categorize the type of content you share. This way you can be sure that your content is a balanced cadence fun, nurture, then ask. Then, when you go in for the ask, your clients will be more willing to work with you (and for you).
(4) Give Free Downloadables
Think of how much content there is available surrounding your brand, and every once in a while, give away for free something downloadable away.
For example, as community manager for Nearpod, I worked with designers in making this graphic to support our brand advocates. The resource ended up being so popular that when we marketed it as a free giveaway, we were able to get so many more eyes on our content.
The downloadable was relatively easy for us to make, since it was content that we worked with all day long, but the packaging was invaluable to our clients, and worked in our favor.
Use an easy-to-reference checklist while designing your newsletter
(5) Segment For Differentiated Content
If you do your marketing job well, you will make your clients feel special. This is not accomplished by saying the same thing to every single client, but by giving them a different message depending on who they are.
Most ESPs will allow you to segment your emails by past behavior. You can use data like open rates, clicks, and specific emails opened to inform what new message will be sent.
This way you will more likely tell your client what they are ready to hear. This means that you’ll have to differentiate your newsletter content for your population segments. But if you get organized with an editorial calendar, this won’t be too time consuming of a task.
(6) Use Responsive Design
Anywhere you look, statistics tell you that most email is read on phones, and if your newsletter doesn’t look well-formatted on a phone, people will delete it.
Yikes! You definitely don’t want that to happen. That would defeat the entire purpose of your newsletter. Luckily the solution to this is rather simple.
Most email templates will be labeled “responsive” if they are in fact responsive. Before you hit send, you also should make sure to test what your newsletter looks like in different web browsers, and both Apple and Android devices.
(7) Send Regularly
You should send your newsletter regularly to keep a steady stream of romanticizing engagement. Note that you don’t need to send often, but you do need to send regularly.
To decide on how regularly you send, consider who your population is, and how active they are with your brand. Those who are advocates will want to be contacted more than those who barely use your product.
You also need to take into account your own bandwidth. Make sure that you can regularly contact your clients, but also make sure that you have the capacity to (a) produce a quality product, (b) have enough content to differentiate from newsletter to newsletter, and (c) send on a regular basis.
(8) Share On Social
Following best practices of social media and community management, ideally you have a group of followers and advocates on social. At the same time that you send your newsletter, have a Facebook ad running that is micro-targeted to those who are on your newsletter list.
If you think of how often you need to see something to actually pay attention to it, your clients are the same way. If they see your newsletter in their inbox, and they also see the same images and copy popping up on Facebook, they are much more likely to pay attention.
(9) Track, Test, and Optimize
Analytics can tell you some pretty amazing things if you decide to pay attention. And you definitely should! Even though you think you know your clients, they can surprise you at times. That is why should should pay attention to what content is clicked on, and what is ignored.
You should also test your copy, images, and sending time. According to this Buffer article, the best times to send email are between 8 p.m. and midnight, and on the weekends. This may not hold true for your population, but it may. The only way to know is to test and track. Once you have your results, optimize for the next time.
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Summing It Up
Marketing with a newsletter may be one of the easiest things you do, and that is because you should already have content that you want to share with your clients. If you follow these time-tested strategies, you will think that this newsletter strategy is a breeze.
Remember (1) have a theme, (2) optimize for scanning, (3) balance content, (4) give free downloadables, (5) segment for differentiated content, (6) use responsive design, (7) send regularly, (8) share on social, and (9) track, test, and optimize.
These 9 time-tested strategies are meant to help you succeed, and I hope you enjoy this marketing process.