Social media might be all the rage right now but it’s not always the best way to reach your customer. There is another tool your customers are likely to check every single day, sometimes even multiple times. We’re talking about the good old e-mail. If you want to engage your e-commerce customers, sending newsletters is the way to go.
But newsletters aren’t good just for the sake of it. Customers’ inboxes can easily be spilling over with different newsletters they never open. That’s why you need to spend time crafting the best newsletters – those that fit your business and brand image like peas in a pod.
What are great newsletters?
If you’re looking for inspiration and the best newsletter ideas, it’s best to start with the basics. You can create beautiful and effective newsletters if you understand what makes great newsletters in the first place.
There are three elements to a wonderful newsletter:
A good newsletter speaks to its reader. When you open it to read, you know you’ll find something unique and personable. You want to ensure your newsletter has content the reader can’t find elsewhere. It doesn’t mean everything in the newspaper has to be original – simply that you show you take the time to curate or craft the newsletter.
You want readers to know the newsletter is from you and your brand. Personalization can happen with a short personal introduction at the start of the letter. It could be just a simple message to let the reader know what’s happening with you and your business.
Consistency is the key to great results, even when it comes to writing newsletters. As a business owner, you’re a busy bee most of the time. But if you want your newsletter to achieve results, you need to publish it regularly. You want your customers to expect the arrival of your newsletter. If you have a consistent schedule, they will keep checking your newsletter every time it arrives. They’ll get used to receiving it.
You can set your schedule, however. If you don’t have the time to commit to a weekly newsletter then that’s OK. You can choose a bimonthly publishing schedule, for example. The only thing that is essential is the consistency. You must publish at the same frequency and the same time. If you want to take a break, make sure to inform your readers about it.
Is your e-commerce business about selling leather clothing? Do most of your clients use your clothes at work? Then talking about swimsuits might not be the best idea.
Your newsletter needs to be relevant – and relevant to your audience, not you. Just like the content you put on your website, your newsletter must engage your readers. If they don’t find the things you talk about interesting or meaningful to them, you are wasting your time. Sharing information about pets can be pointless if you know your audience isn’t a group of animal lovers.
You need to remember that it’s not possible to write newsletters that are for everyone. Your customers have unique desires, interests and qualities. Don’t be afraid to specialize and target those.
5 content ideas for your newsletter
Now that you know the building blocks of a great newsletter, it’s time to start thinking about the topics. Newsletters are incredibly flexible. You don’t need to limit yourself to anything specific; you can throw different ideas around and find something that works for you and your audience.
You could use the following five newsletter ideas as inspiration:
1. Curated content
Curated content is a simple way to get started. You can scour the web to find the most interesting blogs, social media posts, videos and books. Include an original take on why you wanted to share the specific type of content with your audience to make it personal. Curating content can be less time-consuming than always drafting your own videos or blog posts to share.
2. User-generated content
Engage your readers with content they’ve been part of creating. You can get readers involved by sharing testimonials, social media posts and quotes in your newsletter. Depending on your business, it’s also possible to create customer interviews and profiles. These can be a wonderful way to excite and engage, leading to relevant and personalized content.
3. Promotions and sales pitches
Although you might not want to turn your newsletter into a pure promotional e-mail, it’s a good idea to share information about your products. Your newsletter is the best place to talk about new products and inform your customers about promotional events. If you are running a discount campaign, keep your customers informed in advance.
4. Industry news
Any big events and news occurring in your industry? Customers could be interested in learning more. If your e-commerce business operates in the health industry, you can share the latest scientific findings. Similarly, a sports equipment company could talk about big sporting events on the horizon. There are lots of things happening in the world and you could use your newsletter as an opportunity to talk about them.
Newsletters don’t have to be boring. You don’t have to talk only about the ‘serious’ stuff. Share the fun with entertaining videos or funny tweets. If you see something your customers might find entertaining and relevant, don’t be afraid to let loose!
Give customers a reason to click
Your newsletter should always encourage the reader to engage further. You want to give readers a reason to click on your website, make an on-site search or share the stories on their social media. Including a call-to-action is important – it can be a good idea to offer readers the option to directly contact you back.
Ultimately, you want your newsletter to be a conversation rather than just a one-way street. Communicate with your customers but let them also get back to you. With engaging content, this will be simple!