recently i posted what i believe are 5 elements of a kick-ass newsletter and asked for reader submissions to demonstrate some examples of how you can effectively use a newsletter as part of your marketing plan for your biz.
after looking through all of the submissions, and scouring my own inbox and contacts for some further examples, i have chosen 11 newsletters that i hope will give you some inspiration for making your own newsletter be fabulous.
what i looked for in the examples:
- a newsletter from a business that is selling goods or services
- creative branding…. for instance with a memorable name for the newsletter
- visual appeal & nice layout… something i was happy to sit an look through
- variety of content… not just something trying to sell sell sell me stuff all the time
- a clear incentive by the business to sign up for the newsletter… the ‘what’s in it for me’
- wow factor… something i would be excited to receive, browse through, and share with others
the characteristics of a good newsletter:
use a professional email newsletter provider so that people can easily subscribe and unsubscribe, so that you can include a pro-looking opt-in box/page on your site, so that you can easily track results, and so that your fans receive something that looks and feels professional. (my recommendation is mailchimp. easy, free, and professional.)
2. awesome branding
brand your newsletter to match the branding on your website and other marketing materials. give your newsletter and even your subscribers a fabulous name to match your brand. have some fun with the appearance and feel of your newsletter!
be clear about what people receive when they sign up for your newsletter. you may offer an incentive for signing up (a free download, a discount voucher etc.) or you may offer fabulous content that you know your fans can’t resist.
have a specific purpose in mind for your newsletter, one which does not involve spamming your subscribers with sales offers. determine what your people need and want from you and find a way to deliver! have a plan for your content, your schedule and your call to action for subscribers.
5. wow factor
get creative and find a way to offer your subscribers something they will look forward to receiving, something they will forward to their friends because they love it so much. stand out from the competition and do something no one else is doing.
more newsletter tips:
i subscribe to a lot of newsletters, and received a number of additional links from my readers. looking through them all has given me some further ideas and suggestions for creating a truly effective newsletter.
if you have a newsletter for your biz or would like to get one started, here are a few extra tips that will help you along the way:
- include links back to your original blog posts, your website, the products at your online shop etc. make it easy for people to visit your site & buy from you!
- include links to your facebook page, twitter, google+ etc. so people who like you can find more of you!
- ask people to share your newsletter – include like, tweet, email buttons to make it easy for them
- make sure you have your info and links on your newsletter. if someone has received it from a friend or a social media link they will want to know at a glance what your biz is, what your newsletter is about, and where to find you.
- have a link to the archives of your newsletter so new subscribers can benefit from previous editions
- be sure to have a good headline to entice people to open your newsletter
- never send a newsletter to people just because you happen to have their email address. that is spam-ish. you need to have an opt in system where people sign up to hear from you.
- treat an email address like currency! don’t waste it, don’t take it for granted. make an effort to offer those people who told you they want to hear from you something they will LOVE to receive. don’t just fill inboxes with junk.
- don’t sweat the unsubscribes. those people are not your right people, so it is ok if they leave your list. concentrate on the right people!
- just get started! you might not know yet what you want your newsletter to be, but that is ok! just get started and evolve as your ideas evolve. the sooner you get people opting in to hear from you the better it is for your biz
11 excellent newsletters to inspire you:
here are some examples of newsletters that show off some or all of these elements. i hope they inspire you to kick your newsletter up a notch and do something really fabulous with it!
once again, terrific branding; i like the way it visually is like a newspaper when you open it. i like the layout and the way so much content is included without being busy or overwhelming. and i really like the inclusion of a fun contest at the end as a way of getting reader participation. excellent idea!
this is another great example of a newsletter that offers an incentive to sign up: you get a free checklist and access to 6 interviews upon joining. i like the format of this newsletter (with a table of contents at the start) and the mix of content is great.
i chose this one as an example of how effective images are in a newsletter. it reminds me of looking through a catalogue – colourful, vibrant, and fun with a pleasing layout. i also like the way it clearly matches the visual branding of the website.
this is another example of a very visually appealing newsletter. images, colour, layout and visual branding can all enhance a newsletter, making it a joy to receive and browse through. i personally enjoyed the more visually appealing newsletters than the ones that were all text.
i chose this newsletter as an example of the variety of content you can offer. i like the inclusion of the different catagories: what’s new, where to find us, hot items etc. and also the call to action to hear from customers what stock they would love to find.
i wanted to include this magazine style newsletter as an example of wow factor. remember, your newsletter doesn’t have to look like everyone elses! do something fabulous, do something that matches your brand and your business and your clients. stand out!
i hope these newsletter examples give you some ideas for your own newsletter. i truly believe it can be one of the most effective tools in your marketing plan, when done well. have fun =)
do you want some step-by-step instructions for creating your own awesome newsletter? click here to have a look at the blueprints to builld a newsletter.