If the thought of coming up with a newsletter every week or every month is intimidating to you, this blog post is for you. Coming up with content for your email newsletters can be a huge deterrent to many business owners but email is still an important marketing channel that connects you to potential and existing customers on a more personal level than social media marketing.
Your newsletter should be mostly educational and not entirely focused on promoting your business. The main objectives is help your customers resolve a specific issue related to your industry and continue to engage them so that when the time comes, they will turn to your business’s products or services to help them resolve their issue. We’ve put together a list of 10 killer email newsletter ideas for your business to help you nurture your relationship with customers and grow a loyal following. With any of these ideas, remember that your email newsletter subject line is what determines whether people even open the newsletter, so make sure it is a good one!
1. Company News/Highlights
Familiarize your customers with your business by including company updates in your email newsletters. These updates can include any multitude of topics ranging from introducing new products or services, a behind-the-scenes look at business renovations to employee updates. Remember to make it easy for yourself- your email newsletter doesn’t have to be the literary masterpiece of the year. One way to format company updates is use bullet points. Not only does a simple email format make it easier for you to write your newsletter, it also makes it easy for your email subscribers skim the content and digest the information quickly.
Learn how to piggyback events like national holidays or local events- for inspiration download our 2016 Marketing Calendar. The goals of quality marketing content, like an email newsletter, are to entertain, educate, inspire, or convince. This could be anything from helping them find the perfect gift for the holidays to sending them a funny anecdote/jokes related to events. Even highlighting an inspirational quote for a holiday like Martin Luther King Day can help you connect to a customer by communicating the values that your business is founded upon.
Of course, if your business is hosting an event like a special class or an open house, an email newsletter containing a description and a link to the event invitation would be quick way to spread word about the occasion and often works better than Facebook invites.
Related: Email Marketing for Business Owners
3. Customer Feedback
Being responsive to your customers is important for the success of your business. Small businesses have an advantage over larger corporations, your agility and response time to customer feedback. Most business owners have to wear multiple hats in running the day-to-day operations, you’re most likely the one engaging with your customers and writing the newsletter so comment on something that you’ve been hearing a lot about from your customers. Address customer feedback, answer FAQs, and feature positive testimonials or reviews from Yelp.
Embedding a survey in your newsletter is also an engaging way of soliciting feedback. Whether it is a brief one-question survey that’s just for fun or a longer survey you’re using to get actionable feedback for your business, you can reward your customers with a low-cost discount for participation. Don’t forget to share your results in your next newsletter!
4. Industry News
Share and educate your customers about the latest trends in your industry. Keep the update short and simple; try to leave out terms that are too technical. Remember whom you’re writing for, so adjust accordingly to the level of knowledge your customers have and write for them. Click the link below for some business email examples.
5. Best of…
Start a “Best of…” section in your company newsletter introducing your subscribers to the best products, tools, industry blogs, technology… etc. Feature a free resource that you’ve curated online that presents as a solution for your audience. Give a brief description about the product or service, share your expertise about it and give them information about where to find it.
The process for curating the best products/services/websites/blogs to feature for your “best of” list will keep you up to date on your industry, showcase your expertise, and help educate your customers. Your newsletter subscribers will look towards your emails for valuable content that will help them resolve a problem that they have no background knowledge in.
6. Employee or Customer Spotlight
Since company newsletters are a great way to nurture relationships with customers, writing a profile on an employee is a way to grow a more personal connection with your potential and existing customers. People love a behind-the-scenes look at their favorite local business and an employee profile is an easy way to establish a bond between your business and your community.
The same goes for customer or client spotlights. For example, if you’re an interior designer or landscaper, write up an article featuring the work you did for a recent client and add visuals (perhaps before and after pictures). If you run a school, for example a martial arts school or driving school, write up a little feature about one of your students. Spotlights are good at filling up space in your newsletters because they require very minimal writing. Just upload a picture, and publish the spotlight in a Q&A format.
Related: 100+ Email Subject Lines
7. Guest Highlights
If you’re stuck for an idea, go through your contacts and see if any of them want a guest spot on your newsletter. Maybe one of your contacts is in a business that’s in the same industry as yours, but doesn’t sell the same products or services. Look for business owners whose business is complementary to yours. For example, if you’re a florist, invite someone who owns a local greenhouse to give expert advice on houseplant maintenance. Guest features are great for generating new ideas and making valuable connections in your community.
8. Special Offers or Discounts
Offering your email subscribers a special discount occasionally will help you reengage customers who have not visited your business in a while. You can also incentivize word of mouth sharing by reminding your subscribers to forward the email and pass along the special offer to their family and friends. Including “exclusive” promotions for “subscribers only” will also help keep your email newsletter subscriptions up and give your subscribers a reason to open your newsletter instead of sending it to the trash folder.
9. Product Reviews
Product reviews are a good way to showcase your industry expertise. What’s a better way to sell products and services that you carry than by reviewing them and educating your audience about the pros and cons of each?
Select one product to write about as the “product of the week/month”, give a little background information about the producer, talk about its pros and cons, and how it compares to other products. And just because you don’t carry a certain product, doesn’t mean you can’t review it. What’s your opinion on a product that has just been released or any other product related to your industry? Product reviews aren’t just another way to feature products in your own inventory; they’re a way for you to build trust with your potential or current customers by educating them.
10. Advice Column
Solicit or ask questions from your subscribers or from your fans on social media and feature the Q&A in an advice column in your newsletter. This is a great way not only to display your knowledge of industry topics; you’re also opening another channel of engagement with your customers.
Writing regular email newsletters don’t have to be a grueling task. Once you have come up with a combination of topics that fits your audience, it’ll be easy to generate ideas more regularly. Despite the rise of social media marketing channels, emails still provide a more personal and direct way of reaching your customers. For more tips on how to write great emails, check out our blog post “5 Actionable Tips to Write Killer Marketing Emails“. Do you need ideas specific to your business? Comment below and we’ll try to help!