Creating an effective email newsletter for your small business requires the right mix of content and design.
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 the quality of your newsletter content.
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.
If you're just getting started, be sure to check out this post for my best email newsletter content tips.
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 email 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:
- How digital designers brand their business cards
- Networking mistakes you didn't know you were making
- Really cool startup profiles like this one about Startup Guide
- Special promotions and discounts.
Their monthly MOOsLetter is equal parts creative inspiration, news, and helpful tips and tricks.
Intercom.com is one of my "must read" blogs. They talk about sales and marketing, product management, startups, and more. There email newsletters do a great job of highlighting some of their best content each week which is a real time saver if you want to stay current. They're also always looking for feedback from readers on potential topics including podcast guests or even new books you're interested in reading which is really cool.
- Tips on how to build a brand.
- Aligning sales and product teams.
- Ideas to increase customer retention.
3. Freshly Picked
What do you do when you can't find well-designed baby shoes? When you're Susan Petersen from Freshly Picked, you start making your own. Instead of focusing solely (no shoe puns intended) on products alone, they also look for opportunities to clearly and immediately communicate what makes their products unique. In addition to their newsletter, be sure to check out their "About" story--they do a really great job!
- Updates on new product releases and designs (also notice how they feature new items prominently on their website).
- Promotional offers including a 10% discount off your first order.
- Messaging and positioning to reinforce their business and their brand.
4. Phipps Conservatory
Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens’ ecoINSIDER email newsletter 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 their event calendar.
- Links to a range of topic-specific blogs.
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.
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.
Looking for more email marketing tips?
[Image: Flickr user RaHuL Rodriguez]
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.