Newsletters are a very vital part of many brand’s marketing strategies. It’s for good reason, as newsletters are used to communicate important information to users and customers. But, what exactly goes into creating a good newsletter? What should you include in yours? Don’t worry, we’ll go over all the newsletter ideas that you need to get started off on the right foot.
Let’s start with the basics.
Why are newsletters so important?
As I stated just above, newsletters are important because they’re used to deliver information to customers and email subscribers.
But more than that, they allow you to connect to the very people using your products or services. Typically, newsletters aren’t used for hard upsells. Instead, they are aimed almost exclusively at announcing interesting updates and friendly reminders.
Marketers lean so heavily on newsletters in their email campaigns simply because they’ve proven to bring better results. In fact, according to McKinsey & Company, newsletters in email marketing are significantly more likely to convert than social media marketing.
Now that you understand why newsletters are so important, I’m sure you can understand why nailing the content in your newsletters is important, too.
Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as sending a quick email. There are a few layers to a good newsletter, but again, don’t worry. Here are 10 newsletter ideas to really get your email campaign off the ground.
1. Present your product, but don’t be a salesman
As important as it is to let email list subscribers about new and upcoming features, products, and so on, you definitely don’t want to oversell anything.
Basically, all you want to do is present whatever it is you want to present, and then let them decide if they want to purchase. Upselling is important, but newsletters usually aren’t the right time and place for it.
The best thing to do is to give a full presentation and give a simple CTA.
2. Highlight new features
If you’re operating a SaaS company, then newsletters are the perfect opportunity to display and explain new features.
There really isn’t a guideline to this sort of newsletter idea other than keep it as simple and to the point as possible. Even if your new feature requires a massive explanation, it’s best to give them only enough information to get them interested, and then direct them to some sort of landing page.
Alternatively, you could also provide a video explanation. The goal is to limit the amount of text in the email. Oftentimes, people see these walls of text and get discouraged from reading it completely. No matter how good your open rate is, if people aren't taking the time to read what you send them, it’s all for nothing anyways.
3. Use newsletters to conduct polls
If you’re trying to gather information about your subscribers and customers, then a newsletter might just be the perfect place to drop a poll.
When I say poll, I don’t mean surprise exam. If you have any experience with conducting research through polls or surveys, then you already know that most people won’t do it with some sort of incentive.
In the same way, you don’t want to just drop a surprise exam on an email subscriber without any sort of notice or reward.
My advice is to add the option to take a survey in an already planned newsletter. Basically, conduct your normal business. Give them an update about the platform, tell them about some changes, and then create a small section with a clear CTA to take the survey/poll.
This way, people won’t feel like they’ve been cheated, and they will be more likely to click on the survey. Alternatively, if you offer a decent enough incentive, you might be able to dedicate the entire newsletter towards a poll. Either way, a great newsletter idea is to use your reach with your newsletter to gather some helpful information.
4. Contests and giveaways
Speaking of rewards and incentives, a newsletter might just be the perfect medium to host a contest or giveaway.
Depending on your goals, and your email subscriber list, a great newsletter idea is to send information about a contest your brand is hosting through your newsletters. This is an easy way to get more people interested.
There’s not much else to be said about this point. People love the idea of winning. If it increases engagement with your brand, then you might want to consider hosting a contest or two.
5. Promoting limited-time offers
Okay, I know we said not to oversell a product through a newsletter, but there are some exceptions to this rule. For instance, a limited-time promotion might just be enough cause to make an announcement through an emailed newsletter.
There are some people that might not appreciate a promotional newsletter in their inbox, but I can assure you that there are some people that would appreciate the reminder that the sale is ending soon.
In a way, I guess you can consider this one of those “friendly reminders” we talked about up top. Either way, you definitely want to make sure that you have an audience that would appreciate an email like that. Otherwise, you might have a really massive unsubscribe rate.
5. Blog update
Most big brands nowadays run blogs to help them bring in more organic traffic. This really isn’t anything new, but it can be used to your advantage.
One of the best and most simple newsletter ideas on this list is to send subscribers a blog emailed newsletter. Many people enjoy a good read. You can pump those traffic numbers up pretty drastically if you add some sort of announcement via newsletter.
You don’t have to get fancy with it, but you can highlight maybe the last 5 articles posted on your blog. Or, perhaps you can choose 5 articles that need some help with traffic numbers. It’s really up to you, but either way, you should be utilizing your newsletters as a distribution platform for all your content.
7. Job postings
If your company is looking for a new colleague or two, then why not announce it via newsletter? At least here, you know that you’ll have candidates with at least some knowledge of your brand.
The best practice in this scenario is to send out an email with the headline “We’re hiring”. Give a brief explanation, and then provide a link to your careers page.
Although you want to give them enough information to be interested and click through, you also don’t want it to look too overwhelming. Remember: people can easily get overwhelmed by a big wall of text in emails. Be short and to the point.
8. Holiday specials
It’s no secret that people are in a spending kind of mood around the holidays. While this shouldn’t be a normal practice, you should definitely capitalize on holidays when it makes sense to your brand.
Many brands launch full-on holiday email marketing campaigns that include many of the newsletter ideas on this list. They use that opportunity to bring something special to the table.
Let’s be clear here that you really have to make it worth someone’s time if you’re selling something through a newsletter email. You have to remember that although these customers are in a spending mood, they won’t just buy anything. These special holiday promotions have to be bigger and better than anything else all year.
For a lot of companies, this is an easy way to pump those holiday sales numbers up, and for others, it’s not really worth it. Some companies are doing just fine without any sort of special sale. Do your research before you pull the trigger on any sort of special sale, but above all else, make sure you’re giving the customers something that they want.
9. Customer stories
A great way to engage your customers is to show them the success of other customers. Oftentimes, the input of someone that has already used your brand is the deciding factor for other, potential customers.
Think about it. When was the last time you bought something online that had a bad review? Never! Potential customers value the input of people that have already taken the leap.
Customer stories can almost be treated like a review. They are stories of customers using and succeeding with your brand. These success stories can influence a buyer just as much, if not more than a review can.
10. Customer reviews
Finally, since we mentioned customer reviews briefly above, we’ll list them here as the last of our newsletter ideas.
Customer reviews provide essential feedback for both you as the company and for the people looking to make a purchase with your brand. Providing these reviews in a newsletter format has proven to be a very effective way to convince people to purchase products and services.
We won’t go into this much more since we talked about it a bit in point number 9, but as someone that has undoubtedly purchased something online before, I’m sure you can appreciate the insight that a review supplies.
Well, we’ve made it to the end of the list of newsletter ideas that you definitely need to know about. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of ways to use a good newsletter. In fact, depending on the brand and goal, there are essentially an unlimited number of ways you can use a newsletter to your advantage.
Overall, the best results of a newsletter depend completely on your audience. If your email subscribers are active, engaging, and real, then a newsletter can definitely prove to be a powerful tool in your email marketing tool box.