Four types of content for winning e-newsletters

Many companies and organizations send out a regular electronic newsletter via e-mail. Whether it’s daily, weekly, monthly or as the mood strikes, it can be difficult to know what types of information to include. What interests your newsletter recipients? Are they customers, potential customers, or both? Here are four type of content that are usually good fodder for e-news blasts:

  1. Personal notes from company leaders. Too often, company leadership is anonymous—if you’re lucky, they’re a name on a website. It adds a touch of humanity and personality to add a message from the company’s top dog, especially one that he or she actually wrote themselves. Include a photo, and don’t use the same shot every time. For more frequent newsletters, rotate who writes the piece—one month, the CEO; the next, the head of R&D.
  2. An insider premium. This might be information not available to people who aren’t on the newsletter list, a discount on certain products, coupons, or an opportunity to receive a free gift.
  3. A look inside the organization. Much like company leadership, what goes on behind the company’s front doors is often secret. What about a video tour of the factory where your company makes its guitars? Or a slide show featuring field tests of a new product?
  4. What’s happened, and what’s next. Talk about what the company’s been up to since the last newsletter. How are sales? How are new products being received? Who’s been hired? And talk about what’s upcoming: which trades shows you’ll be attending or what new products are on the horizon. It’s okay to be coy—leave them wanting a little more, or refer them to your website for more information.

Many e-newsletter facilitators, such as Constant Contact or MailChimp, offer detailed reports that show authors what links their readers clicked, how many e-mails were opened, and so on. They also offer A/B testing of newsletters or groups of mailing list recipients. This can help determine which content is being read and which groups are more inclined to read certain types of information.

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