How to Construct a Great B-to-C Email Newsletter

January 14th, 2008 | By Adam Holden-Bache | No Comments

Many companies use email newsletters to stay in touch with their customers. Since sending a newsletter is relatively easy, many senders don’t put as much thought into their publications as they should.

An email newsletter is a retention tool. It allows you to remain in front of your customers, keeping them informed of your latest corporate news, offers and events. Your recipients are already familiar with your company, and have provided you with their permission to email them. So selling to them in the same way that you would approach a new customer isn’t appropriate. Your newsletter should:

  • Provide offers that allow you to build on the existing relationships you have with your customers
  • Provide customers with relevant information that helps them understand your products or services better
  • Answer the questions that are most frequently asked by your customers
  • Focus on solidifying relationships with your clients and prospects over the long term (rather than on hard sales and quick promotions)
  • Offer additional content that provides real value to the recipient
  • Encourage feedback from your readers

Recipients should be enlightened, not surprised, by your content. Make sure your newsletter contains enough valuable information for the recipient. Create a balance that provides the information you want to communicate to your readers but provides value to those receiving your email.

Targeting your newsletter is also good practice. Varying your content to perk the interest of recipients within certain industries, geographic regions or by previous business interaction will provide maximum results.

Since many newsletters are constructed within a graphic template, it is important to be mindful of how your information is displayed. Best practices for newsletters include:

  • Subject lines should be short and describe the newsletter content accurately
  • Content categories should be listed clearly at the top of your message. For example, show the headlines in an “In This Issue” area that links to more information below
  • Keep your content and offers brief and to the point. You may want to consider writing one paragraph for each item and linking it to a complete article on your web site
  • If you do write more than a paragraph, use bullet points, bold face, italics or other visual identifiers so readers can easily scan the key points.

Newsletters have become a critical component of the online customer/company relationship. Put the effort into making yours as functional and streamlined as possible. Your customers will further value their relationship with you, and you’ll see the results in your business’s bottom line.

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