When done right, a company newsletter provides additional value to your customers, educating them about new products, perhaps highlighting a manufacturing partner, or simply letting them know there’s a great sale.
If you’re considering starting a newsletter as part of a broader email marketing strategy, you’ll need to generate some original and high-quality content delivered in an appealing package for your target audience. Here are some newsletter ideas to get you started.
What is a newsletter?
A newsletter is a written publication that provides regular communication to subscribers, typically delivered via email. Newsletters complement other forms of digital marketing by focusing on company news, events, promotions, product updates, or other information related to any topic the company or organization deems relevant to their brand. For the email subscribers, newsletters should provide useful content they find valuable—beyond content to encourage readers to visit the store or check out a sale—such as how-to guides, gift guides, or an interesting article.
Since readers usually opt in to a newsletter by providing their email address in a form on a business’s website or at a store, they are often highly engaged. Companies use these newsletters to build brand loyalty and foster deeper customer relationships.
4 types of newsletters
Newsletters take many forms, each with its own distinct purpose. Here are four popular newsletter formats for ecommerce vendors and small business owners.
1. Promotional newsletters
Promotional newsletters highlight product and service offerings. These digital marketing tools alert email subscribers to new product drops, items back in stock, and improved product designs. They can also be a good place to announce sales, discounts, and other promotions.
2. Informational newsletters
An informational newsletter updates subscribers on a wide array of relevant topics. Such newsletters might feature industry news or behind-the-scenes content from the company’s office or factory. Informational newsletter content may offer exclusive information not available anywhere else, thus providing tangible value to subscribers.
3. Educational newsletters
Educational newsletters share useful content. Many feature how-to-guides or other instructional articles, like recipes. You might include a link to a video (or embed it directly into the email if you’re sending an interactive newsletter). You might also consider including user-generated content, letting product fans teach other product fans.
4. A mix of content
Many newsletter creators opt for a mixture of content. This lets you promote products and direct people to your ecommerce store, but it also provides steady value to your readers. For instance, you can use a newsletter to create buzz about a new product, roll out a how-to video, and announce upcoming events. By blending promotions and useful content, you serve the needs of both your company and your customers.
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7 newsletter ideas to keep customers engaged
Putting out a single newsletter is easy enough. Scaling up to a quarterly newsletter, monthly newsletter, or even weekly newsletter is trickier. You’ll need a steady stream of compelling material to keep readers from clicking unsubscribe. Here are some fun newsletter ideas that will keep new issues flowing.
- Company updates and news
- Industry news and updates
- Tips and advice
- Testimonials and reviews
- Team features
- Future events or promotions
- Special theme editions
1. Company updates and news
Use your newsletter to take readers behind the scenes at your organization. Share new projects in the pipeline and preview products coming to market. This type of newsletter doubles as content marketing while offering insider access.
2. Industry news and updates
You can go beyond your own company and use your newsletter to report on the industry at large. An industry roundup newsletter can comment on trends and breakthroughs, much as you’d see in a traditional blog post. You can also offer shout-outs to other brands in your sector, signifying that you’re allies, not rivals.
3. Tips and advice
Newsletters can feature how-to guides in the form of text articles or videos. You can also share pro tips from other subscribers or link to a forum or blog post where readers can exchange ideas.
4. Testimonials and reviews
Five-star reviews and glowing testimonials are a source of what’s known as social proof, showing readers how highly their peers regard your company. Consider a newsletter segment—or even a whole issue—dedicated to customer testimonials and or other user-generated content.
5. Team features
Showcase individual members of your staff, from designers to inventory specialists to office staff. This puts a human face on your company and may inspire an extra degree of brand loyalty.
6. Future events or promotions
Give newsletter subscribers special or exclusive access to sales or a customer loyalty program. Or, you may offer them to the general public but give subscribers first dibs on the news.
7. Special theme editions
Add flair to your content marketing by using special newsletter themes. Consider structuring a whole newsletter around a holiday, such as New Year’s or Halloween. Dedicate an entire issue to a single product. Hand off one month’s issue to a guest author. Include contests or raffles. These are just a few of the ways you can use special themes to enhance your newsletter content.
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Newsletter ideas FAQ
What types of content should I include in my newsletter?
Unlike traditional email campaigns, which tend to lead with marketing messages and pursue short-term sales targets, newsletter content should have a long-term impact. It should provide readers with content that’s actually valuable to them, like industry news or material that teaches them something. You might also provide exclusive promotions to your subscribers.
How often should I send out my newsletter?
Most busy small business owners choose either a quarterly or monthly schedule for their company newsletters. Some offer weekly—or even daily—newsletters, but keeping up that pace takes a lot of work. Choose a schedule that is sustainable for your business.
How do I build and maintain a mailing list for my newsletter?
It can take time to build up a mailing list for your newsletter. Some companies offer ways to opt in during checkout from their ecommerce store. Others feature subscription pop-ups on their web pages, encouraging people to provide their email address in exchange for a discount code. You can also gain subscribers via your social media page or by signing people up in person at a brick-and-mortar location. Once you have your initial list, you’ll want to use a professional email client such as Shopify Email or MailChimp to maintain and update your contacts.
How do I design a visually appealing newsletter?
Visually appealing newsletter design tends to feature a consistent color palette and font set, a graphic banner at the header (top), and images sprinkled throughout the body of the message. Using a professional email creation tool such as Shopify Email or MailChimp makes this easy.