Internet-savvy consumers are eschewing the lure of traditional advertising and instead searching online for the information they need. Businesses of all sizes realize the importance of providing that information. Creating a content marketing system helps grow customer bases organically through the use of blogs and social media platforms. Unfortunately, making content stand out in a busy marketplace isn’t always easy. That’s why delivering a targeted content marketing newsletter straight to a customer’s inbox is so powerful. In fact, recent studies reveal that 73 percent of millennials prefer to receive communication from businesses via email. That means a well-structured content marketing newsletter is an important tool for any marketer.
Benefits of A Content Marketing Newsletter
The statistics speak for themselves: Content marketing newsletters work. Email remains a popular form of communication, with 86 percent of consumers using smartphones for emailing on a regular basis. A 2012 report from the Direct Marketing Association revealed direct mail gets the most responses. Email has the highest return on investment.
Content marketing newsletters do well because recipients opt-in to receive them. It’s much more direct than posting online and hoping people find your info. Furthermore, content marketing newsletters build your contact databases. That way you can tailor content to ensure readers remain interested and engaged.
How Do You Create a Content Marketing Newsletter?
A content marketing newsletter is a way of speaking directly to your customers and potential customers. It’s important to make sure the content you’re sending out is valuable, and works towards your defined campaign goals.
Define Your Objective
The first step in any marketing campaign is to define your objectives. Do you want readers to subscribe to a mailing list, or make a purchase in your store? Do you want them to share your content, or respond with details on information they would like to receive? Without goals, objectives or benchmarks, there’s no way to know if marketing is worth the time and money.
Quality Not Quantity
Focus on quality content, and only send a content marketing newsletter when you have something to say. A weekly newsletter may seem like a good way to keep people interested. But, if you don’t have any valuable content to share, those emails start to feel like spam. You run the risk of losing readers as they bin or block your correspondence. Remember, the average person receives more than 88 emails per day, so you need to have a good reason for adding to that pile.
Use Professional Writers
If you want your content marketing newsletter to shine, get a professional on board to write copy that leaps off the page. Small businesses may not be in a position to have a dedicated writer, but bringing in a freelancer is a good way to ensure you get the quality you need.
Keep It Simple
Your content marketing newsletter should be clear and concise, and it should be immediately apparent what the value of reading it is. The modern world moves fast, and most people aren’t going to give up a lot of time to wade through topics they aren’t interested in.
Make It Personal
Where possible, use personalization. You want the recipients to feel like you’re talking to them directly, so use their names in the introduction, and give them options for opting in and out of specific types of content. For example, if you offer tips on a wide range of subjects, give your readers an option to select only the topics they’re interested in. This helps to ensure every content marketing newsletter they get contains something they’re pleased to know about.
Make It Engaging
You want readers to engage with your text — clicking through to your website or opting into a new subscription — so make your content marketing newsletter as appealing as possible. A wall of text isn’t going to catch anyone’s attention, so consider an interesting introduction, some bullet points of the contents, and even some graphics and diagrams.
How Do You Measure Your Success?
You can craft the best newsletter in the world, but you have no way of knowing if all that effort is worthwhile if you don’t define a quantifiable metric for measuring how successful your newsletter campaign is. The metric you choose often depends on your campaign’s main objective, but common options include:
When you send newsletters by email, a percentage of them never reach their destinations. This may be because you have an invalid email address for the recipient, or because the address is no longer active. Emails may also bounce if the recipient’s inbox is full, or if the connection times out. As your recipients may change address, move to another workplace, or pass away, it’s important to regularly update records to avoid too many bounces.
If your newsletters start to generate a significant number of spam complaints, it’s an indication that the recipients aren’t interested in the content. In that case, it’s time to reevaluate your approach.
Monitoring the number of people who choose to subscribe to your content so they get more of it is incredibly important. According to HubSpot, marketing lists expire by 25 percent year on year, which means you need a pick-up rate of 25 percent just to break even. It’s a big ask, so you need to ensure you’ve giving recipients as many reasons as possible to continue reading. It’s similarly important to keep track of the recipients who choose to opt-out of receiving any further correspondence, as a significant dropout rate may indicate you need some fresh new content or a new approach to retain your readership.
If recipients open your email rather than deleting it, you’re already on the right track. But what next? Did recipients click through to your website, or share the email with colleagues? Of the recipients who visited your website, how many completed an operation, such as subscribing or making a purchase? How much does your revenue increase on a per-email basis?
Whatever metrics you use, analyze the results every time you send a newsletter, and feed that data back into your campaign. Learn what’s working, and use it as a platform to create the best content marketing campaign possible.
Spelling It Out: Finding Success With Newsletters
When you think “content marketing,” your mind may immediately turn to social media, quirky memes, those funny Instagram photos that go viral, blog posts, and white papers in the business-to-business sector. But don’t rule out newsletters as a viable way to expand your brand’s reach. If you take the time to craft quality content that people want to subscribe to and share with others, it’s possible to develop a database of high-quality sales leads. Reach out through your outbox, and serve content directly to your customers in an engaging format that cuts through the noise of the internet.