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  • Writer's pictureEllen Beardmore

The foolproof guide to writing a business newsletter

There are many advantages to having a digital business newsletter as part of your marketing strategy.

They are an effective tool to connect with your audience, raise brand awareness, and ultimately increase revenue or leads over time.

But where do you start when it comes to getting started? Let's begin.

Pick a theme

Are you launching a new product or discount event? Is it the company's tenth anniversary?

Picking a theme for your business newsletter will enable you to streamline the content ideas and, start writing it.

The importance of images

Having good photographs, graphics or both will have an impact on the aesthetic appeal and readability of your newsletter. Before you start writing the newsletter, ensure you have relevant images to help you tell that story.

For example, a newsletter about your new restaurant menu will require show-stopping pictures of the dishes.

An eye-catching opener

The success of newsletters can be measured by their opening rate and link click-through rates. Figures from email marketing provider MailChimp show the average open rate for the entertainment and events industry was about 20.5 per cent in 2019.

As a Sheffield marketer, I've created newsletters for clients in that same industry with an open rate of more than 40 per cent. The New York Times famously celebrates having a 70 per cent gross opening rate for its range of niche but personal newsletters.

I think the secret is to create a compelling subject line - or headline, if you are from a news background too. It's only one short sentence yet this is the part of the newsletter on which I probably spend the most time.

Look at the newsletters that you receive and see what makes you want to open them - or hit delete.

Then brainstorm ideas which appeal to your customer demographic and create snappy headlines to test.

Keep it short and sweet

Unless you are writing a journalism newsletter, it's best to keep them short.

That's because we all have increasingly short attention spans. Some studies have shown humans can no longer look at one single screen for more than 47 seconds (in which case, you may not have made it this far.)

Getting to the point with a few brief pieces of text and content blocks will mean your customers have a much higher chance of consuming the content instead of abandoning it halfway down.

You can always link to more detail via your business blog or social media channels - but ideally, keep the number of links included to three or fewer.

Have a business newsletter plan

You may not need a business newsletter every month.

You may have so much content you need to do one every week. And some businesses will ramp them up during key campaigns and then back off to reduce the number of unsubscribers.

It's up to you, but having a strategy and sticking to it is crucial for consistency.

I love newsletters

As a chronic subscriber to newsletters, and Sheffield copywriter who pens a fair few, I'm happy to chat about the impact of newsletters with anyone who will listen. There is much more to discuss, from whether you should include emojis in your newsletters to adding value for clients.

If you need help launching or improving a newsletter, let's book some time to talk.

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