The first rule of sending anything to someone’s inbox is: It has to deliver value.
The second rule is that each email communication has to strengthen your relationship with the reader.
Most newsletters don’t follow either of these rules. They’re not written for the benefit of the reader; they’re written for the benefit of the company (and readers can tell – it’s why newsletters have such abysmal open rates).
But isn’t a newsletter just a way to tell customers what’s been happening in your business?
Yes and no – mostly no. Yes, a newsletter contains news about what’s happening in your business. But its real purpose is to keep your customers engaged with your brand, which you can only do by delivering value and building relationships.
Five newsletter tips to keep customers engaged with your brand
- Create a good mix of updates on your product and business (what do your readers need to know?), customer success content, and content that builds your relationship with your readers on a more personal level.
- Add value to each newsletter by showing customers how they can reach their ideal outcomes (in and outside of your product) faster and better. This is customer success content, and it’s what will make your newsletter into a valuable resource people will want to open every time. They key here is to make sure that you’re not including “fluff,” but genuinely brilliant insights.
- Celebrate client successes, not just your own. If your clients allow it, sharing their successes with your product (and giving actionable tips for how others can achieve similar results) can be a great way to strengthen relationships, reinforce the idea that you’re providing value, and give credit to innovative teams who are doing great work. It’s also interesting reading to find out how other people are using the same product/service.
- Put some personality into it. If your business involves close interaction with customers, it can really help to feature your client-facing employees. We do this in our newsletter with the Team Spotlight section. It’s where we recognize our team members for specific things they’ve done and activities they’re involved in. By sharing a little personal information, you’re giving your customers conversation starters for their next interaction (Oh, you’re into dog rescue too? So am I!).
- Include content that speaks to your Purpose. While your Engaged Purpose is a purely internal statement, your customers feel it in every interaction they have with you (Read our previous post Engaged Purpose: Why Does Everyone Get This So Wrong?). And that should go for your newsletter as well. We include an Engaging Moments section where we share the everyday experiences our team members have with people who go above and beyond their job descriptions. They’re short, fun examples of how good engaged interactions make everyone feel.
When you follow these guidelines, you will, over time, train your readers to open your newsletters and read them. Track your open rates – you’ll be surprised at how much they’ll improve!