|An Unsung Hero: the Newsletter
The number one pitfall with newsletters is that marketing folks get tired of cranking them out every month and look for more exciting opportunities to get their message out there. Trouble is - your target audience, your readers, relish consistency and count on seeing your newsletter land in their inbox. With origins that are decades old, the fundamentals of newsletters are still intact. So don't buck a tried and true marketing tactic. Rather, take a look at your newsletter and be sure it is all it can be, and take a look at your list and be sure you're talking to all your key constituents.
Bottom-line: newsletters speak volumes -- they say a lot about your commitment to keeping your community up-to-date and informed.
A Leveraged Approach to Newsletters
Many are daunted by the thought of coming up with new copy every month for a newsletter. We often hear from clients that they just don't think they'll have something new to say and shy away from the idea of creating new content. The secret is leverage. Yes, leverage everything you have already done and simply repackage what you've got. We have yet to find a company that doesn't have assets that can be leveraged for a newsletter.
Leverage content. Your newsletter is a perfect platform to repurpose your marketing/PR content. News releases, white papers, conference proceedings, webinars, case studies, etc. Whatever has been written can be reinterpreted into a reader's digest format for your newsletter.
Leverage media coverage. Why not report in your newsletter what the media has said about your company? Play up where you've been covered, what has been said and how your company is a resource for industry leading journalists.
Leverage events. Talk about a tradeshow or conference you have participated in and point to how well your solutions were embraced and how they address some of the key issues of the show. Promote your speaking engagements and what events are next on the docket.
Leverage products. Why not pull a neat feature from your datasheet and highlight why it is important? Or simply highlight one or more products that your readers may not be familiar with.
Leverage people. New or old, your executives and management team are worthy topics that give readers a connection with your company.
You get the idea! Within your very own walls there is an unlimited repository of content that is just right for a newsletter.
Make Your Newsletter a Springboard, not a Dead-end
A successful newsletter is a platform for communicating and allows your readers to engage by providing feedback, commentary or clicking on links of interest to get more on the topic. Think about how wonderful it is to allow your readers to 'spring' into action when something triggers their interest!
A few tips to make your newsletter a success:
- Be consistent -- newsletters are for building and maintaining relationships.
- Short bits, mini stories that offer links to more info, your website, or blog. Make your newsletter a quick read with a bridge to dig deeper into the topics of interest.
- When you drive readers to your website, don't disappoint. Have something to reward them.
- Respect your readers with well written copy and a graphic format that has appeal.
- Socialize your newsletter -- make it easy to share and worth sharing.
- Invest in a template and don't be penny wise and pound foolish. You're going to be reusing this template each month and building affinity with your audience.