Creating an effective email newsletter for your small business requires a heck of a lot more than just having the right content.
From your subject line to your layout, your ability to engage your audience and generate more leads will have just as much to do with how your newsletter looks as what you actually have to say.
You can have the greatest content in the world, but if it’s impossible to quickly and easily scan there’s a pretty good chance nobody's ever going to read it.
Attention spans are only getting shorter
That means trying to cover everything in one continuous block of text just isn’t going to cut it. If you’re going to pull your readers in, you need chunk your content around a few particular topics and give them the option to read more by including a targeted call to action around each article or story.
Let's take a closer look at 5 email newsletter examples from organizations that are really doing it right.
What’s not to love about MOO.com's newsletters? They create beautiful high-quality business cards and their customer service is totally outstanding. In their monthly newsletter you’ll find a range of topics around branding and marketing including:
- A toolkit to evaluate business ideas including how to write a business plan, make your business stand out from the competition, and tips for starting a business blog.
- Tips on creating a vision board to help you put your plans into action.
- Curated TED talks to help you save time and make the most of your work day.
- Special promotions and discounts.
Their monthly MOOsLetter is equal parts creative inspiration, news, and helpful tips and tricks. Here's a great example--
What I Love Most: Clearly defined call to action (ex. Evaluate your business idea) to encourage readers to go deeper
When it comes to the world of email marketing, you don’t have to look much further than Constant Contact. Their newsletter contains a solid mix of marketing advice for small businesses that's really easy to read and wrap your head around including:
- How to create a social media post schedule—one of the most common questions I get from businesses when it comes to social media
- Answers to frequently asked questions about email marketing and social media.
- Tips to help increase your visibility in the Facebook news feed.
- Tools you can use to improve your social media productivity.
What I Love Most: “What’s Hot” highlight above the fold that draws attention to a helpful resource
Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens’ ecoINSIDER is green in more ways than one. Each month they share gardening tips, information on upcoming events, and other helpful information related to sustainability:
- A nice mix of content targeting members, donors, and gardeners. A great example for businesses juggling messaging to multiple audiences.
- Highlights of speakers, new exhibits, and special events.
- Links to a range of topic-specific blogs.
What I Love Most: Warm welcome under the header that provides an overview of their newsletter content
When you’re in the photography business, you have no choice but to include images in an email newsletter. The folks at PhotoShelter share a nice mix of helpful how-to’s and downloads designed specifically for their unique audience. In this edition of their newsletter, they include:
- A preview of their latest guides designed to help photographers grow their business. A great way to showcase resources and provide value-added content to current and prospective customers.
- Helpful tips on how to get the most out of photo shoots.
- A callout to raise awareness of upcoming workshops.
What I Love Most: Free download offer for their latest guide which gives them another way to engage with prospective customers
And of course we can’t talk about email newsletters without a reference to Customer.io. They are in the business of helping people write highly effective business emails. Unlike some of the other examples we’ve looked at, Customer.io doesn’t rely on flashy graphics or email templates. Instead, their minimalist approach is a refreshing throwback to the early days of email marketing.
- Unlike most B2B newsletters, Customer.io typically focuses each newsletter on one particular topic.
- Advice on how to get your customers to love you, how to get clicks on your newsletter, how to craft a perfect subject line, etc.
- For those pressed for time, each newsletter is easily digestible. No need for a foot stool and a pot of coffee.
What I Love Most: Conversational tone which helps to pull readers in
One parting thought...
As you create your next newsletter, don’t forget about visual content and aesthetics. The right images can make content jump off the screen. They create a perfect one-two punch, helping to drive your message home in a way that otherwise wouldn’t have been possible. They help to establish a vibe and personality for your email newsletter content—something that will help you stand out from your competitors.
[Image: Flickr user RaHuL Rodriguez]
Like these newsletter examples?
You'll definitely want to check out my post on 5 Smart Email Marketing Strategies.
As a disclaimer, I use affiliate links for some of the products listed. They are all products I absolutely love and trust and would recommend regardless of whether they have an affiliate program.