Wednesday, October 9, 2013

What Elements Should You Include in Your Newsletter?

Knowing what components to include in your next email newsletter can be tricky, especially if you don’t yet have much data to indicate what content your customers and subscribers want. On the one hand, you want to offer exclusive, high-quality content they can’t find anywhere else, so they learn to trust you and want to engage with you. At the same time, your emails need to drive traffic and sales to support your business. It’s a delicate balancing act. If you’re unsure what to include in your email newsletters, follow these guidelines until you have collected enough data to decide if you should do something differently.

If your goal is to build trust, loyalty, and engagement:

Exclusive, high-quality, super useful content is the way to go. Include articles, tips, and tutorials that directly help subscribers ease their most pressing pains and solve their biggest problems. Tell success stories and anecdotes to connect with your subscribers on an emotional level and show them what’s possible. Share special news you’ve discovered or deals you’ve secured just for them. Use questions, polls, and surveys to get valuable feedback. These elements of your newsletter help customers get to know and like you, encourage them to trust you, and prompt them to engage with you.

If your goal is to send traffic to your website:

For this goal, you add links to the amazing content that builds trust and engagement. Include articles and tips that link to relevant pages on your website, such as products, tutorials, videos, instructions, or white papers. You could also include summaries of recent blog posts with links to the full articles or include a calendar element with links to each event. Individual email blasts separate from your newsletter can also effectively drive traffic to your website. The trick is to clearly convey the value of clicking each link. Be careful not to overwhelm your subscribers with too many options.

If your goal is to increase leads and sales:

High-quality, relevant content that builds trust and engagement is still very important for this goal, but it might take different forms. In addition to articles, tips, or tutorials that truly help your subscribers, consider including customer spotlights and success stories, which show customers what’s possible and illustrate how your products or services are helping others. Testimonials provide concrete proof of either your company’s trustworthiness or the usefulness of a particular product. One way to build engagement and get leads is to host events such as webinars or virtual product demos; include a special section to invite subscribers to participate. Don’t forget coupons, sales, special deals, and other promotions, but don’t overdo any of these elements, either.