Ensure Your Email Newsletter Makes the Right Impression

By Chris Wadsworth

Published in The Source issue 6

When publishing a newsletter the objective is to produce a competitive advantage for your business. It may offer added value to your clients, present your expertise to prospects or simply keep your products and services front of mind. If it’s not done professionally though what is emailed out has the potential to do more harm than good.

Poor content, irregular delivery or unprofessional design can create a bad impression of your products or services and be detrimental to your brand.

Professional design

Any communications produced by your business need to look professional, be appropriate for your audience and integrate with your branding. Recipients should recognise your newsletter has come from you at first glance and find it easy to scan for information that interests them. A newsletter is an important way to present your brand to your clients on an ongoing basis, which makes it all the more important to get it right.

Generic templates that are packaged with email marketing software are used quite regularly with varying levels of success but overall they have a tendency to fall short of other communications produced by businesses. A better approach is to have your designers create a bespoke template designed specifically for your communication needs and company branding so that you can deliver a professional image for your business time after time.

The practice of sending newsletters out as a jpeg or pdf attached to an email is becoming a thing of the past. It’s an unprofessional approach, is not easy for the recipient to access and has no options for links to online content. There’s also no way to track data or provide an unsubscribe button.

Stick to the schedule

Decide how regular your newsletter will be published and keep to this schedule. Sending your email late compares to being late to a business meeting and doesn’t make a good impression. If you keep to a regular schedule your audience will come to expect your newsletter and be more prepared to open and read it. It’s also worth considering the frequency of sending out emails – several a week could quickly become a nuisance while anything over a quarterly publication could fail to get traction.

There are different opinions about what day of the week is best to send out email newsletters. Some people claim Monday morning is good before people get busy with their workload. Others say Friday, ready for the weekend wind down. The audience and the nature of the newsletter will influence what day is best. With email marketing software it’s possible to segment your mailing list and use the statistics to see the results different days get before settling on a specific day.

Content, content, content

No matter how good your newsletter is designed or how punctual it is delivered, if the content is not of interest to the recipient it will not be read. When planning a newsletter be clear on what it is the newsletter delivers and whom it is targeting. It’s not a bad idea to state this in the newsletter and it will definitely help when you are deciding what content to include. It’s important to provide information that is of value to the audience and ensure it is easy for them to scan for content that interests them by investing in good design and layout.

An email littered with mistakes is going to turn readers away and will reflect poorly on the quality and reputation of your business. Take time to check your copy thoroughly and get a copywriter to proof read it before sending it out.

Useful marketing tool

With the ease and value of producing an email newsletter more and more businesses are publishing their own. Email marketing software that provides email list management and comprehensive statistics for email campaigns are making email newsletters a useful marketing tool with measurable results.

Before you hit send on your next email campaign remember that every piece of communication you produce reflects on your business. How does your newsletter stack up against your other business collateral and your competition’s?

Posted 16 November 2010

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