Newsletters have many benefits. They can help raise awareness for businesses and events as well as provide information to readers on any number of topics. Constructing a newsletter from the ground up may seem like an impossible feat, but it can be done with the help of these 29 ideas to construct the ultimate newsletter.
1. Know Your Goals
Before you can create a successful newsletter, you need to fully understand what you’re hoping to gain from the process. Determine if you are looking to spread information about a cause or get more traffic to your website. Perhaps you are looking to increase sales or get newsletter ideas for school functions. Whatever the case, it is important to set clear goals that will help you determine the tone, content, and format of your newsletter.
2. Build Your Email List
You can’t send out an email newsletter without a list of readers to whom it will be sent. The simplest way to start your list is to harvest customer information from their previous purchases. When customers make a purchase on your website, include a checkbox for them to opt-in to receiving your newsletter. This will add their email address to your email list, and they will be able to receive your content. If the newsletter is going to be directed at people within the organization, consider using lists of work emails as one of your company newsletter ideas. Using company emails will ensure that employees are receiving the content without bogging down their personal email accounts.
3. Don’t Flood the Inbox
Of all the customer newsletter ideas out there, this may be one of the most important. The average person gets multiple emails a day, even more from spam sources. Flooding your subscribers’ inboxes is a surefire way for people to unsubscribe, even if they enjoyed the content that was being sent to them. It may seem illogical to send fewer emails, but it will prevent your subscribers from becoming annoyed and disregarding your content entirely.
4. Don’t Get Too Promotional
Newsletter content ideas often center around sales or promotions that businesses hope to attract customers to. While attracting customers is often a goal, readers are likely to refrain from reading a newsletter if they feel like they’re just being coerced into making a purchase. Alternating promotional content with other information will help readers feel less pressured into buying a product.
Readers are much more likely to open and read a newsletter when it refers to them personally. This may be the inclusion of their name, or any other detail that is personal to each reader. This personalization will stand out to the reader and make them feel as if the newsletter was written specifically for them.
6. Add Urgency
When promotions are included in newsletters, it is often helpful to add a sense of urgency to the content. This urgency gives readers the sense that they must act immediately, rather than miss out on something important. This is one of a few newsletter content ideas that strikes an instinctual urge within the reader. When a reader sees that there is limited time or resources for them to obtain a product, they are more likely to jump on the purchase so that they don’t miss out.
7. Go with a Larger Font
With smartphones more prevalent than ever, more people are checking emails on their mobile devices. It’s important to consider that a newsletter will likely look quite different on a mobile device than it does on a desktop. Utilizing a larger font size in your newsletters will allow recipients to read the content more easily, increasing the chance that they will respond favorably. Design related newsletter layout ideas can have a huge impact on how the reader responds to the content, so ensure that the design is pleasing before you press send.
8. Keep a Schedule
When readers enjoy your content, they are likely to look forward to receiving your newsletters. Keeping a consistent schedule will allow readers to have an idea of when the newsletter will be arriving. Their excitement will build until they receive the newsletter, which will drive them to read the contents. When readers do not receive content on a regular basis, they will not be able to anticipate it, and will be less likely to engage with it.
9. Utilize Images
Readers can get bogged down when there are too many words in a newsletter. Using images can help to break up the page, so readers will only have to focus on short bursts of writing. Additionally, images or diagrams can help explain information in a succinct manner that would otherwise take a lot of words to explain. When using images, be sure to incorporate them in a way that is design friendly. You don’t want the whole newsletter to look off because of a poorly placed image.
10. The Header is Key
The header of the newsletter is one of the most important parts, mainly because it’s the first thing that readers will see after the email’s subject line. The header should get exactly to the point of what the newsletter is about, to save readers the time of trying to work out the main idea. The header may also incorporate your logo, as a way to ensure that readers will become familiar with it over time.
11. Investigate Trends
One of the best ways to improve your newsletter is to analyze the trends in how readers are
interacting with your content. Analyzing trends and data are awesome information technology newsletter ideas because there are a variety of computer packages dedicated to statistical analysis. You can choose to look at a variety of stats, including the number of newsletter clicks or even trends in your website’s traffic after each newsletter has been sent.
12. Reflect the Company’s Culture
This could be used as one of your internal newsletter ideas, or for a newsletter that goes out to external recipients. The goal is to make the company atmosphere feel relatable by showing the company as a collection of individuals rather than a cold corporation. This is one of many HR newsletter ideas that is perfect for content directed at employees. Use pictures from social office occasions or other events to show that your company is relatable to other employees and customers alike. This will make readers feel more comfortable with your brand, increasing the likelihood of their making a purchase from you.
13. Add A Video
This idea is similar to the one about adding images but is even more reliable for enticing readers. While a video cannot be played in an email directly, the included hyperlink will often be enough to entice readers to give it a click. They will be drawn in by the anticipation of what the video could be about, increasing their interaction with the email. Make sure the video is exciting and interesting, so that readers will continue through to the end.
14. Make It Exclusive
Readers don’t want to get newsletters that regurgitate the same content they’ve already seen in your blog posts or other website content. They subscribe in the hope that they will get something from your newsletters that they otherwise would not get to see. Provide readers with exclusive deals or other content that they would not see if they weren’t subscribed. This will keep them reading your emails and may even prompt them to convince others to subscribe as well.
15. Be Concise
The goal of any newsletter is obviously to convey information to its recipients. This is done best with concise writing that gets exactly to the point of the newsletter. If the newsletter rambles on for too long, it’s likely that readers will click away before they’ve finished reading. People are often too busy to pay attention to anything that takes up too much of their time. This is especially important when considering newsletter ideas for office related content. Office workers are already tasked with responding to a high number of emails everyday so it’s better not to waste any of their time. Keeping your newsletter short will ensure that readers can get to the point before their attention is dragged away to something else.
16. Inspire a Conversation
Email newsletters are almost always a one-way conversation. Newsletters show up in readers’ inboxes and provide information, but do not typically inspire a response. Consider ways to make conversations possible between readers of the newsletter. This may be in the form of a comments section, or some other way for readers to start a conversation about your content. These newsletter business ideas will be crucial to readers spreading your content and increasing your email lists.
17. A Call to Action is Key
The goal of every newsletter is to inspire a certain action on the part of the reader. This call to action should be clear and specific so that readers are easily able to understand what is being asked of them. Consider designing your call to action in a different color or font size from the rest of the text. Play around with the design until you find a way to make a call to action a central aspect of the newsletter.
18. Ask for Feedback
Each newsletter should include a section that asks for feedback from readers. Not every reader will complete them, or will do so every time, but if they are completed the information will be valuable. Feedback sections can be designed in a variety of ways including sections for text or multiple-choice questions. This feedback will allow you to adjust your design in a way that is more pleasing to your subscribers.
19. Choose Your Tone
The tone of the newsletter should be targeted to the audience that will be reading it. The tone used to address young adults should not be the same tone used to address corporate professionals. Avoid slang or popular culture references in professional newsletters. Similarly, avoid a professional tone if you’re considering newsletter ideas for college students.
20. Avoid Jargon
Utilizing industry specific jargon should only be considered for employee newsletter ideas. Employees should be expected to understand industry specific jargon, but this is not the case for nonemployees. The average person will get frustrated if they are reading content filled with jargon they don’t understand, causing them to click away. Consider having your content read by someone outside of your industry first, to make sure you didn’t accidentally include industry specific jargon.
21. Focus on the Subject Line
Make sure the subject line of the email is attention grabbing and inspires the reader to open the email. Newsletter content cannot reach readers if they don’t open the email, so it’s important to make sure that the subject line is interesting.
22. Let Readers Share Your Content
An easy way to improve any newsletter is to add a way for readers to easily share its content with others. This can be done by including a “share” button on the newsletter. This button could allow readers to simply copy the link, or directly post the newsletter to the social media platform of their choosing. Readers may share your newsletter with their friends or colleagues. If those people like your content they may subscribe themselves, increasing your email list.
23. Foster a Sense of Community
For newsletters directed at a specific group of people, fostering a sense of community is critical. These community newsletter ideas make readers feel a part of something greater than themselves and brings them closer to other people like them. Try incorporating information about community events or find other ways for readers to get directly involved in the community.
25. Reading Level
In addition to avoiding industry jargon, you’ll want to ensure that your newsletters are at a reading level suitable for most readers. Keeping the reading level at about an eighth or ninth grade level will ensure that most readers will not struggle to comprehend the content. The reading level of your newsletter can easily be checked online.
26. Keep Design Consistent
Once you’ve decided on all the design elements of the newsletter, be sure to keep these elements consistent with each issue. This will help readers learn what to expect. This consistency will give readers a sense of familiarity that will make them more likely to interact with the content.
27. Focus Groups
Using focus groups is helpful in determining how people will respond to your newsletter before it is sent to readers. For companies with the available resources, individuals can be paid to be a part of each focus group. This will bring in individuals who are unbiased and able to give honest feedback on your newsletter. For smaller companies and organizations without the resources for paid focus groups, this can be done using groups of company employees.
28. Link Your Social Media
If you’re looking to build a strong social media presence, try including links in your newsletter. These can be linked to your website blog or links to business accounts on a social media platform. Linking social media accounts is a great way to get readers more involved with your content.
29. Test Your Links
If you choose to include links to videos or social media, it’s imperative that you check the hyperlinks before you send out the newsletter. It’s easy to incorrectly code for a hyperlink, making readers unable to access the link you included. Not only does this make your readers unable to access all your content, but it also makes your newsletter look rushed and unprofessional. Be sure to test all links before the newsletter is sent to readers to avoid this simple accident.
A well-written newsletter has the potential to impact its readers in a way that is beneficial to the organization or company. A poorly written newsletter, however, can cause readers to unsubscribe and fail to interact with your content. Hopefully, the tips above will give you all the help you need to create a newsletter worthy of your readers’ inboxes.
- 15 Tips for Crafting an Engaging Email Newsletter, Forbes
- Considering an Email Newsletter? 11 Expert Tips to Help You Get Started, Forbes
- 7 Ways to Perfect Your Email Newsletter, Forbes
- Best Practices for a Successful Effective E-Newsletter Content, University of Washington
- Creating Newsletters, Community Tool Box