You hear often: send more educational content than offer in your email newsletter.
Ok, but what to write about?
There is wide variety of content you can integrate into a newsletter. The following list highlights some of the most popular and effective types:
Tips that demonstrate your expertise
The purpose is to inform and educate your readers, and build your reputation as a subject matter expert (SME).
- Provide useful tips and ideas
- Be short, and be on point
- Use examples and stories
- Use pictures and graphics to make it more entertaining
- Write short paragraphs and break the text often to make it easier to read
- A check list for every content writer before they send their copy to print
- 5 tips on how NOT to buy used cars
- 10 myths about long-term investments
- Questions you must ask before you buy a house
The goal is to build a relationship with the customer. If they know what’s going on in your company and how your team is doing, they will feel closer to you than to your competitor.
Virtually anything can be news:
- Introducing a new employee on the team
- Sharing the results of a special event like a charity fundraiser
or an open house
- Letting people know about a new partner business
- Announcing the grand opening of a new store
- Celebrating the anniversary of the company
- Providing a calendar of upcoming events
Personal image building
People buy from someone they know, trust, and with whom they feel a personal connection. Let your personality shine through in your newsletters once in a while. Don’t be afraid to share:
- Your goals and milestones
- Your personal opinion about a trendy subject you feel strongly about
- Family, pets
- Your hobby and interests
- How you broke an old habit
- Life lessons learned
- Your mentor
- Memories from a vacation
- A challenge you are dealing with, especially one that may impact your business operations
A new product
People love new things. More than anything, they love feeling like they are part of a special group and have inside information that the general public doesn’t. Before you launch your new product or service, promote it in your newsletter and build some pre-launch excitement that can turn into quick sales when you launch.
- We are looking for new product testers!
- We are preparing the store for the high volume of customers tomorrow
- Breaking news: Our newest product is on shelves – be one of the first to try it out!
Something as simple as fun facts related to your industry offers an easy way to spice things up and entertain readers.
- A comic strip or joke about your industry
- A funny picture or meme related to your business, for example, one that pokes fun at common misperceptions
- Appalling statistics about your business or industry
- Celebrity news that can relate to your industry, for example, a makeup stylist could include: “This week’s makeup fail in Hollywood”
If you receive a good question via social media, email, on your website, over the phone, or in person, include that question and your response in your newsletter. Your subscribers will be happy to read it, and may have even had the same question for you, but hadn’t asked yet.
Industry news and trends
What’s happening in your industry and how does it impact your business? Your customers will appreciate your take on current events, and it shows that you’re in touch with what’s going on in the world. This also reinforces your reputation as a SME in your industry.
Some great ways to talk about your industry:
- Review an industry-related book you can suggest
- Tell your readers about a new/old trend, or a significant change in the industry
- Industry-related statistics and quick facts
- Graphs, charts, and infographics
- Tell readers about an upcoming trade show, or tell about a trade show you attended
Being involved with the community is huge for small businesses. Keep an eye out for what events might be happening in the community and get involved. When your business will participate, attend, or sponsor an event, be sure to let customers know in advance so they can come out and support you, and let them know the results!
- Events you might consider including:
- Sponsoring a local charity event, school event, or fundraiser
- Participating in a community help program, such as a Habitat for Humanity build or a food drive
- Having a booth at community or county fair
- Participating in a local job fair or internship program
Accomplishments or unique news
Sometimes, ending up in the news is newsworthy in itself. Or you may have a special accomplishment that is worth sharing. Some of these could include:
- Being featured in a local or national TV or radio story
- Attending a trade show or industry event in a foreign country
- Completing an industry related class or seminar, and what you learned
- Winning an industry or community award
It’s always interesting to change things up and reach out to a third party for their insights, opinions, and experiences. It may be industry-specific, or it could be a candid one-on-one conversation with someone who is considered influential in your industry.
For example, you might sit down and hold an interview with:
- A role model in your industry
- Business partners, such as a critical supplier or the owner of a company you co-market with
- Award-winning experts (that aren’t competitors)
- Celebrities that represent or promote your business, brand, or industry
Testimonials and case studies
First-person testimonials from happy customers can build trust, and convert someone who never bought anything into a paying customer. Always ask the customer’s permission to include their full name, and if possible, a website to build credibility.
Likewise, for some businesses, using case studies to tell about success stories can demonstrate your industry knowledge and your ability to provide solutions to people’s problems. Always be sure to include the starting situation, the challenge your customer was facing, the strategy and tactics you used to solve it, and what the end result was. For example, if you are in the heating-cooling business and you were able to cut someone’s heating bill by 70% through the installation of a more efficient furnace, that is worthy of a case study!