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40 Clever Newsletter Content Ideas to Engage Your Audience

By: Compose.ly — April 24, 2020

Would your business benefit from more robust relationships with your clients or customers? An email newsletter is an ideal vehicle to help you build brand loyalty, improve sales, and encourage word-of-mouth promotion.

Well-crafted email newsletter content can help you extend a personal invitation to your readers to connect with your company on a deeper level.

Nielsen Norman Group’s Email Newsletter Usability Report has indicated that “newsletters feel personal because they arrive in users’ inboxes, and users have an ongoing relationship with them.” This review of 270 email newsletters from around the globe shows just how powerful this connection can be. Researchers pointed to the positive impact newsletters have on creating a bond that is more effective for conversion than website engagement.

Coming up with fresh, engaging newsletter content that encourages conversion is challenging. These newsletter ideas can help you build meaningful client relationships while enhancing your brand—and your bottom line.

1. How-To Guides

Give your clients an actionable plan to complete a task related to your product. A financial services organization, for example, could explain how to correct credit report errors. Tech-related how-to guides are a potentially useful topic as well.

2. Polls and Surveys

Create a poll or survey about your product. Or, create one on a related topic just for fun. Promise to share the results in your next edition to encourage continued readership.

3. Behind the Scenes

Give your clients a glimpse of what it takes behind the scenes to create your product or service. Try a short video tour of your production facility or a quick interview with a key member of your team.

4. Top Products Spotlight

Take a look at your latest sales data and showcase your most popular products. Include photos and snippets from positive reviews. Don’t forget to link to the products you feature!

5. Current Event Tie-Ins

When your target consumers are likely to be focused on an event with a widespread impact, use your newsletter to express support. For example, if any of your clients are dealing with the aftermath of a significant natural disaster, you can take the opportunity to empathize and explain how you are helping the community heal.

6. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Quiz your customer relations reps or review survey responses, emails, and other communications to create a list of common inquiries about your products or services. Chances are, many of your readers have had the same questions and will welcome the opportunity to read your answers.

7. Blog Highlights

Entice your readers to check out your blog by featuring a few popular posts. Be sure to include just enough from each post to pique your readers’ interests so they will want to click over and see how the posts end.

8. Holiday Focus

Remember to create newsletters related to upcoming holidays or seasons. Show your readers how your product or service can enhance their holiday experience.

9. Birthday Celebrations

When the anniversary of your company’s founding comes around, invite your customers to share in the moment. Consider creating a special promotion as a “gift” to your loyal customers, and don’t forget to thank them for helping you succeed.

10. Employee of the Month

Each month, focus your newsletter on a great employee who is making a difference at your company. Include some fun personal details, a short interview, and a picture.

11. Letter from the CEO

Share a letter written by your CEO or founder every quarter. They could focus on new products, share a bit about their day-to-day activities, or base their message around any relatable topic.

12. Industry News

If your company is part of an industry impacted by periodic innovations, share these discoveries in your newsletter. Connect your product or service with new advances, highlighting how your company stays relevant and in the know.

13. Partner Introductions

Use your newsletter to introduce your customers to your partner companies. Feature an integral member of your supply chain or a co-branding partner to show your readers how important it is for your company to forge lasting relationships.

14. Customer Reviews

Share a few recent reviews from your website, social media, or survey responses. Intersperse comments in response that show you value and listen to customer feedback. For example, if a review mentions a specific feature of the product, you could add, “Thanks, Gail! We love that feature, too.”

15. Unique Uses for Your Product

Include links to your social media channels inviting customers to share how they are using your product in an unexpected way. Put together a list of some of the most intriguing uses for your newsletter.

16. Top Ten Lists

Create fun lists of “top ten” topics that relate to your product or service. For example, a logistics consultant could list ten ways companies might move goods through the supply chain in the future. Your list could also include a list of suggestions related to your product. If you’re in the exercise industry, for example, readers might benefit from lists that offer helpful ideas related to movement and health.

17. Newsletter-Exclusive Deals

Encourage continued readership by periodically offering discount codes available only through your newsletter. This is a great way to evaluate how effective your newsletter is for conversion. Verify subscribers by requiring a matching email address on the order form.

18. Company History

Share the story of how and why you (or your founder) created your business. Include photos from your early days or of your founder as a child. Sharing this part of your story enhances the authenticity of your messaging.

19. Pop Culture Connections

Link your products to pop culture to encourage readers to open the latest edition of your newsletter. Topics like “6 Things We Learned from Shark Tank (That We’ll Never Do)” can attract more readers.

20. Trade Show and Convention Promotion

Will you participate in an upcoming trade show or convention? Spread the word through your newsletter. Even if your readers are unlikely to attend, they can learn about what’s going on in your industry. They may also take note of your participation as a connected member of the business community.

21. Social Showcase

You can use your newsletter to cross-promote your company and increase social media participation. Share news about social media giveaways and contests, or include a few of your favorite customer tweets, Instagram pics, or Facebook posts.

22. Office “Mascot” Naming Contest

Adopt a (plush) pet as your new company mascot and hold a newsletter-based naming contest. Include fun details about your mascot’s favorite foods, quirky habits, and origin story. Take photos of your employees posing with your new furry friend around the office or production facility.

23. Job Postings

Don’t forget to share open positions with your newsletter subscribers. This can be a handy way to find potential new hires who have some level of knowledge about your company. It also shows your readers that your company is stable enough to bring on new staff.

24. Infographics and Data Visualizations

There’s nothing quite as succinct and easy-on-the-eyes as a colorful, informative visual. Create a chart that tells your readers the story of your data with simple tools from sites like Canva and Adobe Spark. Choose fun topics like the most popular times of day for online purchases or focus on company growth based on key metrics.

25. Link Libraries

Provide a service to your readers by giving them a list of articles related to your industry, all in one convenient spot. Be sure to include informative sources from industry organizations, government publications, and trade journals. Take care to avoid accidentally sharing a competitor’s link!

26. Free Ebooks

Put together a PDF e-book that gives your readers valuable information about your industry and offer it free through an exclusive newsletter link. Highlight innovations, industry trends, or write a bio about a thought leader with expertise in your business.

27. Mystery Links

Invite your newsletter subscribers to click a link that will take them to a “mysterious” place on your website. At the link, offer a discount code, fun behind-the-scenes video, or a gift-with-purchase promotion.

28. Exclusive Peeks at New Products

Extend an invitation to your readers to take a look at newly launched or upcoming products and welcome their feedback. You can include photos or an exclusive link that allows newsletter subscribers to be among the first to buy a new product.

29. Customers of the Month

Select a long-time or brand-new customer and let them tell your readers why they decided to buy a product or use your service. Be sure to have the customer send a photo of how they are using your product, and include relatable details about where the customer lives, their age range, hobbies, and more.

30. Funny Customer Feedback

Share a few examples of funny feedback you’ve received about your product or service. Redact identifying information, of course! Writing witty Amazon reviews has become a rising online trend that can bring a great deal of attention to a brand, so encourage your readers to write reviews about the interesting ways they are using your product.

31. Gift Ideas

Give your subscribers a linked list of products that would make an ideal anniversary, birthday, or holiday gift. Organize your list by age, relationship, career, or other traits. Don’t forget about gift certificates—the perfect gift for any occasion.

32. App and Tool Recommendations

Do you use apps or tools that could benefit your readers? Give a shout out to a few of your favorites, especially those related to your industry. Include links for both Android and Apple devices.

33. Good News of the Week

Give your subscribers a much-needed break from the heavy news of the day. People love to read stories about everyday heroes, amazing or hilarious animal antics, and entertaining “slice of life” stories.

34. Webinar Promotion

Fully embrace your online presence by putting together an entertaining and informative webinar. Set up a camera and stream an info session demonstrating some of your favorite products or talking about the critical features of your services. Invite your readers to join you at a set time or to watch the recording later.

35. Unofficial Holiday Celebrations

Choose a “holiday” from one of the many websites featuring lists of holidays like National Margarita Week or Pet a Puppy Day. Tell your readers how your business is celebrating and consider a related promotion to one of the non-holiday holidays that fit well with your focus.

36. Opening Questions

Encourage readers to open your latest edition by posing a question in the subject line that you answer through your newsletter content. Get creative! A question like, “Could our product save your life?” is one that readers will want to have answered.

37. Employee Picks

Survey your employees to create a list of their favorite products from your catalog. Include photos and quotes about what they love most about their favorites for an engaging, quick read.

38. Regulatory Updates

If your company operates in an industry with constantly-shifting regulations, you can provide a service to your readers by sharing understandable information. Detail how the latest changes will impact compliance requirements, product development, and customer experience.

39. Featured Franchises or Outlets

Take time to shine a light on your distributors, sellers, or franchises. Get a few quotes about why they decided to sell or promote your products. A bit of history or personal insight into these partnerships can add flavor.

40. Before and After Stories

Everyone loves a good makeover. Use your newsletter to share stories about how your product or service has enhanced someone’s life or solved a problem. Include pictures, quotes, and video testimonials.

Best Practices for Writing a Newsletter

As you begin to write your first newsletter, take some time to evaluate how well it addresses these questions:

  • Is your topic on point for your target demographic?
  • What are you trying to accomplish?
  • How would you like the reader to respond?
  • Does the newsletter style fit your brand voice?
  • Is the newsletter’s format mobile-friendly?

Remember, a newsletter is just one piece of your marketing puzzle, but it can be a powerful one. An effective newsletter goes beyond conversion to encourage lasting, loyal relationships between your company and your clients or customers.

This article was written by Compose.ly writer Sarah Bricker-Hunt.


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