The notion of sending a weekly or a monthly newsletter out to email subscribers is not a new one, especially if its core objective is to promote a brand’s other online content. A tried and tested marketing tool, newsletters can be hugely successful for driving traffic and increasing sales, however the adoption of a slightly different approach can also create a sense of community and encourage brand loyalty.
Take a few moments to put yourself in the shoes of your audience. If you were presented with a choice between two newsletters, one featuring content you may have already seen on a brand’s website or social feeds, and the other featuring entirely new content, which are you going to be more tempted to click on? Treating newsletters as a medium for content creation in their own right can improve open rates, encourage discussion and provoke deeper, more personal brand/audience connections. Here are 3 reasons why.
1. The Exclusivity Factor
We’re all constantly bombarded with content. Brands naturally want to ensure their posts are delivered to as large a percentage of their audience as possible, but as we have all become accustomed to seeing the same articles shared across multiple platforms we’ve become very good at quickly filtering out large quantities of content. Easily accessible content can quickly make it on to our ‘read later’ lists, only for us to then find ourselves distracted by other things capturing our attention in the moment. So, how do you avoid ending up at the bottom of a pile of links never to be clicked on? Deliver new, interesting, exclusive content directly to subscribers’ inboxes.
Many brands offer incentives to entice users to sign up to newsletters and it works, so continuing to incentivise your audience to open and read your newsletters with the promise of exclusive content will help you to create and nurture a dedicated, loyal community of readers open to your message.
2. Intimate and Without Distraction
Websites are brilliant and ensuring yours is consistently updated with new information is important, but sometimes content can get lost amongst the other messages your website needs to communicate. The simplicity of a newsletter means that it’s just you and your readers, which also instantly feels more personal as your readers are actively choosing to read your content rather than simply scrolling through their social feeds to pass the time. It is during this meaningful engagement that your audience will be most open to absorbing information and discussing it with you.
3. The Social Factor
Although not a forum where discussions can begin through comments, you can still encourage interaction within your newsletters. Ask questions and encourage your audience to engage in conversation through your social feeds. From there you can retweet or feature interesting topics of conversation as they happen and invite the rest of your audience, who may not be subscribed to your newsletter, to join in as well.
There will likely be a percentage of email subscribers that prefer keeping up to date with brands solely via newsletter without having to follow multiple feeds, but it is possible to include older content alongside new articles that can’t be viewed anywhere else. Like everything, it’s about creating a balance that suits your unique audience.