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A newsletter is one of the easiest ways to communicate with your clientele. It takes the benefits of social media, the speed, and mass distribution, and allows for extended thoughts and creative marketing. However, producing a great newsletter is not just about sitting at a computer and writing a letter.

A great newsletter is based on your unique company, your industry, and your goals. Here are some of the secrets and techniques that can help any business produce a newsletter that will drive business and grow their companies’ bottom line.

Size matters

The size of a newsletter is important. Most people don’t have the time to sit down and read a 1000-word piece. Try keeping the text of a newsletter to a couple hundred words. If the recipient has to scroll the page down more than 3 times it means the newsletter is too long. Understanding this size constraint helps you to carefully pick your words and imagery so that they have the maximum effect.

Size and content issues can be solved by understanding who will be reading your newsletter. A real estate agent is going to want to feature more imagery of available listings over text, while a doctor or financial advisor will want to have more readable content to establish expertise.

Know when to send

Nobody likes spam. Whether in print or digital form our first inclination is to throw it away. When a newsletter arrives every day, with the same info over and over again most people tend to delegate it to the spam file. Knowing how often to send a newsletter and what to put in it are important to prevent it from becoming unwelcome.

There’s no exact time frame that works best for when to send a newsletter. A Stockbroker, for example, may want to send an email blast every morning with his buying and selling tips of the day. A small clothing boutique may prefer to send once a week to showcase new or on sale items. This is where understanding your clientele becomes essential. Many newsletter services offer mailable preference forms, which allow a business to understand exactly what to send and when, so no client or customer ever feels inundated.

Subject lines are the first thing a reader sees

Subject lines are the first thing your reader is going to see. Therefore, they need to be good. A bad subject line will drive readers away, and your newsletter to the trashcan. A spam sounding headline, such as references to money or the latest news stories will more often than not turn readers off.

In general, a good choice for a subject line will be based around why the newsletter is going out. If it’s a new blog post on a website, make the subject line the title of the post. If it’s for an upcoming sale list why the sale is going on, not just the word sale.  This ensures that receiver knows what they’re opening, and is more inclined to read it.

Design for the smaller screen

Most people check their email on their mobile devices. As such they are more likely to see a newsletter on a screen about 5.6 inches in size. Ensuring that the content of the email is properly formatted for a smaller screen ensures that people are going to read it. Content formatted for a traditional 13 or 14-inch laptop won’t fit on the screen, requiring the reader to scroll multiple times to the bottom and sides to read it (remember what we said about only scrolling 3 times).

Most newsletter creation systems will have scalable templates, so this shouldn’t be an issue, but it is something to consider when looking at what software to use.

Social media is everywhere

The final tip for a successful newsletter is to make sure that the email has links to your website and social media. If this is fishing, the newsletter is the hook but your digital presence is the net. By connecting to other real estate in your digital presence, whether that is a Facebook account, a LinkedIn page, or a company website, the newsletter is ensuring that the reader is drawn deeper into your company. They then develop a connection that is deeper than just the occasional newsletter and are more likely to go to that business for their needs.