Your brand’s monthly newsletter: it feels like one more task you need to complete…one that you don’t have time for. And for your audience, it feels like one more thing clogging their inbox…something they just don’t have time to read.
You work hard to get people’s email addresses. Why? Just so you can grumble about the communications you’re “forced” to send them?
Does it have to be this way?
Since this is the way most of us think of email newsletters, how can they possibly be good for our brands? How can they be worth the time we invest, since no one is opening and reading them?
Hold up for a minute. Whether you realise it yet or not, you have just been presented with a unique opportunity to build a community that rallies around your brand. This is your chance to create email newsletters that are not only interesting, but that entertain, prove your expertise, build trust and more.
How, you ask? With an email newsletter that is going to be vastly different from the rest. It’s going to be a time investment that people actually look forward to making.
Your Email Newsletter: A Community-Building, Money-Making Tool
Your email newsletters haven’t worked to build your brand in the past because you have viewed them as an afterthought. You have skipped some months. You have thrown loosely related information together, or a bland list of upcoming events or industry facts, just for the sake of keeping your delivery commitment.
Or, you’ve used this monthly mailing to commit a hard sell against your brand’s advocates, betraying their need for relevant information and valuable advice.
What can you do to reverse the damage your current newsletters are doing to your brand? Here are some tips:
- Stop calling it a newsletter. When people read the word “news” from a business (as opposed to a news outlet), their thoughts immediately go to self-serving information about the business, from the business, for the business. It doesn’t really promise any benefit to the reader. Think about your ideal customer and what he or she wants most from your brand. Now use that benefit to create a customer-centric, service-centred title for your newsletter.
- Speak specifically to your ideal customers with content. What does your ideal customer want? Information about events in their area? Tips for making their lives simpler? Positive affirmations? Inspiration and motivation? Humour and entertainment? Listen to your audience and they will tell you (directly and indirectly) what they want most. Deliver that and your email newsletter will get the open and the clicks.
- Use your newsletter to tell your story and build your personal brand. Your email newsletter is a great way to connect with your audience and build a community that supports your brand. Get personal. Tell them things about yourself and ask them to do the same. Demonstrate your values, so that ideal customers feel compelled to connect with you and learn more about your brand. Tell the story of how your brand got started, giving evidence about why this brand is your passion project. In short, show how much it means to you (and why) and you will endear people to your brand…people you want to work with.
- Deliver variety. Your ideal customer wants one main benefit; however, that thing should be delivered in a variety of ways, to keep your email newsletter interesting. Develop different segments, using elements that will appeal to your audience…like historical facts, market trends, the future of the industry, and interesting facts in the forms of video, images, links and text. Switch it up and keep it interesting, always maintaining a WOW factor and only delivering those segments that your audience will enjoy, find value in and be compelled to share.
- Keep it simple. No one will open your email newsletter in hopes of finding rambling, pointless prose. This is not the place to flex your creative writing muscles. It is, however, the place to deliver valuable, helpful and relevant information in a succinct, direct manner.
- Show, don’t tell. This is your chance to demonstrate your corporate values, rather than simply telling readers about those values. If your values include service, then share a story about how your team members volunteered at a homeless shelter. If one of your values is fun, share photos from your company outing to an amusement park. Make a values checklist, and focus on showing at least one in every instalment.
- Deliver it on time. Schedule your newsletter to go out on the same day every month, and at the same time of day (customised to your target audience members’ behaviour and most receptive times). Recipients will soon catch on to the trend and will develop opinions about your brand’s commitment to timeliness. They will then make [positive] assumptions about how you run the rest of your business.
Make it your goal to create a newsletter that people look forward to receiving. Focus on what they need every time, so they’ll want to open it and experience what you have to offer. Focus on serving, and the selling will practically take care of itself (with the help of a provocative call-to-action in every newsletter, of course).
Looking for more ways to enhance the building and growth of your brand…from the very first step? Then sign up to receive a FREE Chapter from the The 7 Reasons Why Customers Don’t Choose You, the book that outlines the 50 proven activities, techniques and strategies for achieving all of your business growth goals.