Nail Your Company Newsletter 🙌
Tips and Tricks from our Communications Manager.
My greatest achievement in life is my open rate.
A lady never tells, but it’s high. Super high. And I make it happen through sweat, tears and about fifteen minutes of careful thought before I start typing.Maybe your company doesn’t have a newsletter. If this is the case, you should start one. Newsletters — an old fashioned word for something that I think means “a general email that goes out to anyone who has ever handed over their contact details to your business” — are a fantastic tool for developing your community.
They might not lead to direct sales (but also, they might), and they might not get opened by everyone (but also, again, they might), but they are the perfect way to introduce a little of your brand personality into someone’s day.
Think of a newsletter like a very short, but extremely gripping novel. It needs to be self-contained, internally consistent and profoundly timely.
I’d never read a novel about how HR can impact on my company culture, even if it was called ‘Lord of the Files’! I hear you say.
Well, you’re a liar, because that title is amazing.
Which brings me to my top tips for joining The Newsletter Club (tip 1: what happens in newsletter club; only goes out to the people on your mailing list)….
Use puns. I never thought I’d say that to a decent human being, but this is the one occasion where it’s not only appropriate, but quite frankly, necessary. You don’t know what someone’s day is like, but you’re going to pop into their inbox, amidst all their bills and tasks, and I’ll be damned if you don’t give them a tiny burst of tingly joy.
The only rules are that puns have to be:
a) (broadly) relevant to the interests of your audience
b) related to the content of your email
Show some respect and don’t be misleading. Give the people what they want.
I also recommend an emoji or two, but sprinkle them like finely grated truffle, not all-meat-seasoning. We’re talking one or two emoji. One or two.
If you put any words in CAPS then you’re dead to me.
The rule of three
“Two’s company” in the same way that your nan’s dog is her best friend. The adventurous amongst us know that all good things happen in threes.
Three sections to your newsletter.
Three sentences in your introduction.
Three blog posts that you want to highlight.
If you need to use multiples of three you can, but trust me, three is the golden ratio of email marketing. The fancier amongst you can experiment with the Fibonacci sequence, but if you can’t be bothered that stick to three.
Carrot and stick
If you’re a real company doing actual things, you might have some information that you want to impart. On the off-chance that you can’t make it sound fascinating in and of itself, make sure that you pace it out with some fun stuff.
There are two options here:
Hit it hard up top with a GIF, video or quote. This is your showpiece. Make it count, but not too overwhelming that people don’t want to read on. Top tip: pairing your GIF with your pun is the modern woman’s nails-matching-handbag.
Diffuse your fun stuff into the way that you structure your content. This is going to be more of a theme, which you can play with in your titles and images. For example, if you’re going to include a number of blogs you could suggest that they’re all ways of preparing for the inevitable collapse of society as we know it (not at all like real life!).
It’s (not) all about you
A newsletter is a way of showing, not telling.
You demonstrate your brand and values through the way you choose to convey information, not by banging on about your brand and values.
It’s worth remembering that 99% of the time, people who are interested in your product don’t care about what you’re doing in your office on a Wednesday lunchtime. And if you’re shooting this out to people who both have and haven’t used your product, this probably isn’t the place for detailed technical updates (unless that’s literally your thing, in which case, go wild).
It should go without saying — but I’m going to say it anyway — you need to do the groundwork to understand who your audience actually is. Write about what they’re interested in, and no one will send you angry emails saying “UNSUBSCRIBE ME NOW WHY AM I GETTING THESE?” that hurt your feelings and make you doubt your talents.
Ask for what you want
You’ve thrown down some amazing content, wrapped it up in fun and tied it all together with the perfect pun…but before you press send, make sure you put in a call-to-action.
This is the part where you just straight up ask your audience to do something for you.
If you’ve done your job right they’re going to be like: “you know what, these guys seem great. I’ve enjoyed this newsletter and now I’m happy to spend under three seconds doing something for them in return”.
Want them to recommend you to a friend? Ask them to do it, and tell them how (“forward this email”). Want them to look at something new on your website? Let them know how quickly they can check it out, and how valuable it will be to them in the future.
A straight up instruction works better than any complex mechanism in the world. People who trust and like you want to do things for you. That’s a free life lesson.
Look at these words:
They are your God now.
Go forth, and spread mighty newsletters. 🙌