Author: Gina Mason
Keeping your target audience informed in this day and age is a challenge for all businesses. With the advent of the 24-hour news cycle and real-time social media sites, it is difficult to get your message to your audience without it getting lost in the shuffle. When it comes to communicating with your audience, I am a firm believer of the K.I.S.S. method, which stands for “Keep It Simple, Stupid.” With so many different platforms and multiple channels of accessing information, sometimes “keeping it simple” is the best way to reach your target audience.
One way to keep it simple and keep your audience informed is through a monthly or bi-monthly email or electronic newsletter. An e-newsletter is extremely simple to create (thanks to MailChimp and Constant Contact), is cost effective and can be a direct approach t0 streamlining important information to your target audience. A newsletter enables you to condense all of your information into one, easy-to-follow template and allows you to highlight different aspects of your brand or business. Through the use of newsletters, you can not only give your brand or business a voice, but also establish credibility and expertise with your audience. Newsletters also allow you to speak directly to your target audience in a more casual tone therefore, establishing a relationship and building brand loyalty.
However, the most important thing to remember when creating a newsletter is that you must be able to grab the attention of your audience and create content that won’t cause them to hit the delete button. So now the question is, how do you keep your audience engaged? Here are a few tips on how to create a newsletter that won’t end up in the trash bin.
Keep it Consistent
The most important thing to remember when creating a newsletter is that it should reiterate your brand’s message and reflect your brand’s image. Creating consistent content that aligns with your brand or company’s ideals is key when communicating with your target audience.
It’s All in the Subject
When crafting a newsletter, try to create an engaging subject line to pull your audience in. Think of it like you are knocking at someone’s door. Tell them who you are, what you want and why they should take the time to hear what you have to say. Getting them to open the door, so to speak, is the hardest part so make sure your subject is catchy.
Make it Interactive
Don’t use your newsletter to sell, sell, sell. That is a major turnoff and will most likely result in your newsletter floating in the dark abyss of cyberspace. Use your newsletter to build a relationship with your audience and create an open dialog. Entertain your audience while informing them on some of the great work that your brand or company is doing. Include photos, videos, tips, upcoming industry events, links to relevant articles and other interactive features to keep your audience engaged. Be sure to remember the ratio of keeping your content 90% educational and 10% promotional.
Keep it Brief
Whether you are posting news, events or tips, make sure that you are not writing a book. Your audience doesn’t have time to read a 4,000-word dissertation on what your company is doing during the month of December. To truly get the most out of your newsletter, keep your content in short, easy-to-read paragraphs.
Include Contact Information
This may seem like a silly tip, but make sure that your contact information is properly displayed at the top and the bottom of your newsletter. Also, be sure to include links to your website, social media sites and blog so that your company or brand is easily accessible to your audience at all times.
Mobile Device Compatibility
In today’s world with iPhones, iPads, and BlackBerrys there is a good chance that a majority of your audience will view your newsletter from a mobile device, so make sure that it is compatible. Nothing is worse than trying to view something on your phone and finding that the text is skewed. Many of the email-marketing programs offer this feature and will allow you to see exactly how your newsletter will appear on a mobile device. Send yourself a test email of your newsletter before sending it out to your contacts, just to be sure everything is formatted correctly.
Many email-marketing programs, such as MailChimp, will provide you with a ton of analytics after you send out your newsletter (i.e. how many people opened your newsletter, which links were opened, etc.). Take that information and change your newsletter according to your audience’s preferences. Tailoring your newsletter to fit your audience will only make your newsletter more successful and extend your reach to your audience.
As stated above, newsletters are a fantastic tool to reach your audience and can be extremely beneficial if created with your audience in mind.
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