If you’re thinking of creating a company newsletter, especially for the B2B marketplace, these tips are for you. We have distilled them from our experience of working on several newsletters for different technology companies.
Why do it?
In short, a company newsletter helps you attract and retain customers. Clearly, newsletters are a tool for disseminating information and supporting the sales process, but they are also important for customer loyalty because they help build relationships.
Who should do it?
It is particularly suited for any company with a complex product, such as B2B technology, because the newsletter gives you the chance to provide a regular stream of explanatory information. Many non-technology experts struggle to stay up-to-date with changes in technology, even though they are reliant on it.
How to do it
The key is to encourage your audience to interact with you, because if they do, they are far less likely to take their business elsewhere. Obviously, this will only happen if they read your newsletter.
So, our top tips are:
# 1 Create content that your readers want to read
Think carefully about who is going to receive your newsletter and what it is that they want to read. Is it customers or prospects? Or both? What industry are they in? You must produce good quality material that is of genuine interest and value. Nobody will read blatant marketing, but people will read genuinely useful information.
If, for example, you are a software developer, you may decide to educate your readership about some aspect of technology, or write tips and tricks on how to use your software. Or, perhaps customer case studies focussing on the business impact would be of interest to your readers.
# 2 Plan your content in advance
Decide the frequency of your newsletter – we normally recommend once a month – and make a plan for at least the coming six months on what the stories in each issue are. This plan should be seen as guideline because it will inevitably change. However, it is important to be organised because some stories, for example those where you need to interview somebody, take longer to produce.
While creating the plan, consider when your important events are, such as conferences or product launches and plan around them. Consider whether you or any of your colleagues are producing any kind of content, for example a presentation, white paper, or press release, that can be recycled into a newsletter article.
# 3 Consider how to distribute your newsletter
Most business newsletters are delivered as emails containing short juicy snippets of articles, with the full text on your company website. Do you have a suitable list of email addresses? Are you able to generate more?
# 4 Line up your resources
Producing a newsletter requires significant skills in writing, design and project management. To be successful in producing your newsletter on time each month, you need to be clear who is writing it, who is designing it and who is distributing it.
Each article should be written in a journalistic style and must be properly researched using quotes, facts and data. So, do not make unsubstantiated claims that your widget is the most powerful in the world – nobody will read this. Instead, do your homework, and write about the customer who is using your widget to save x hours and $y every month. This clearly takes a significant amount of time and skill, and may be something you need to outsource.
Depending on the scale of your newsletter and your budget, you will probably need a professional designer to either set up a template or design each issue. Your writers will also need to help your designers source relevant photos – for example portraits of people who are quoted in the stories. Good quality photos, an eye-catching design and intriguing headlines all play in a role in enticing people to read your newsletter.
If you are managing the project, make it your job to inform everyone involved in the production and distribution. There’s nothing worse that being two days late completing the newsletter, only to find that there is nobody available to send it out.
# 5 Always have a call to action
If you can get a customer or prospect to interact with you, there is a far better chance of doing business with them. So, make sure that your stories always contain a call to action – for example, email or call for more information, sign up for a webinar, or even just download a white paper.
# 6 Proof read!
Get a good proof reader. We have seen some very embarrassing typos in our time!
Want to know more?
To find out how meaning can help you with your company newsletter, contact Tim Macer at meaning: firstname.lastname@example.org or +44 20 3291 2931