If you’re looking to add something new to your marketing strategy, use the holidays to your advantage. While the holidays are a great time to promote a sale and use those catchy holiday phrases, they are also a great time to set a newsletter]r into motion. The great thing about starting a newsletter during the holidays is that these efforts will carry on into the New Year. In other words (and to be as cheesy as possible), newsletters are always in season.
A newsletter works similarly to email marketing; however, instead of receiving a coupon or special offer, those who receive your newsletter will receive content created by your brand. People sign up for the newsletter if they are interested, and then you have a quick (and scheduled) way to keep customers in the loop.
Why Your Company Needs a Newsletter
Most companies send out a newsletter on a regular basis. Whether it is weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, the important thing to remember is to stay consistent. If you can pull this off, the benefits are great. Consider a few of the reasons many companies utilize newsletters:
- Easy. Many businesses send out content already published on the website, so there is no need to write extra articles just for the newsletter.
- Reader Quality. People actually have to sign up for a newsletter, which means they are already interested in what you have to say. This will help you identify those who are serious about your business and more likely to convert.
- Linking Opportunities. Throughout the newsletter, it is possible to link to various resources and content to bring people back to your website and away from their inboxes, impacting sales and traffic.
- Content Exposure. If you have great content, distributing a newsletter helps with its exposure and solidifies your brand as an expert in its field.
While it’s true that sending newsletters might be an older practice that has been pushed to the side as newer online marketing options have come to the forefront, newsletters can still be successful if done right. Visit this checklist from HubSpot to learn more about what to include in your newsletter for the most success.
Should It Contain Original or Re-purposed Content?
As stated above, most companies prefer to send a newsletter linking to content they’ve already created and published. Think of a newsletter as a way to make your blog exponentially more accessible by delivering content right to a customer’s inbox.
Some companies, however, have found that creating an original newsletter is best. According to Scott Langdon, managing partner of SEO Company HigherVisibility, “This depends entirely upon the customer base of the company. Those who choose this option typically begin by using “old” content and then slowly the newsletter evolves into original content. If your newsletter creates original content, subscribers will be getting something special. This adds an extra incentive for those considering the newsletter.” It make require more time on your end, but the reward from your subscriber (e.g. higher click-through rates, more minutes spent consuming the content) might be worth it.
All you need to do to create your newsletter is use an email marketing software, such as AWeber or MailChimp, and choose a newsletter template. This will walk you through the steps of creating a newsletter and getting it distributed to your readers.
What About an Offline Newsletter?
If you already have an online newsletter, it’s easy to turn that content into an offline newsletter. Understand that printing costs can add up quickly, so I recommend only sending an offline newsletter to those who have asked for it. Include an option for those who sign up to choose whether it will be delivered online, offline or both ways.
Let the Holidays Work in Your Favor
Around the holidays many people are scrambling to think of something to buy for family and friends. If your company sells products or services that can be given as gifts, you will certainly be advertising and promoting sales; use the increased traffic and interest as an opportunity to advertise your newsletter and encourage sign-ups. If your newsletter offers ideas for holiday gifts, people will be more apt to sign up.
Do you have experience, either as a brand or a consumer, with effective (or ineffective) newsletters? Share your story below.