In today’s world, the social media algorithm reigns supreme. Long gone are the days of social media feeds organized chronologically. Now, someone can follow you and, depending on what a given platform tells them to look at, they may never see anything you post. Businesses often focus on engagement via social media, but sometimes neglect the powerhouse of purposeful engagement that is a well-crafted email newsletter.
Social media is a brand’s heartbeat on the internet—it shows a business is alive by offering shorter, more concise daily content. It has its uses, but a monthly email newsletter allows you to craft longer, richer content and send it directly to an engaged audience.
What makes a good newsletter?
Email has become a staple of daily life. Currently there are 4 billion daily email users. In a recent study, it was found that email ROI is $36 for every $1 spent, and 46% of smartphone users prefer to receive communications from businesses via email.
So, what makes email marketing so effective? By allowing for longform communication, a good newsletter is built to offer a meaningful message to a subscriber. It’s less about asking for something from your audience and more about giving something based on your expertise. For example:
- Advice on a given topic
- Opinions on an issue
- Informative success stories
- Relevant news and updates
An effective newsletter is transparent and honest. It is also organized, easily scanned, and sectioned by headers. Hyperlinks in newsletters often link back to a business’s blog, where that content can be indexed via tags and easily accessed by people looking for specific information. Putting something new on your website every month is like adding money to a savings account—it accumulates over time and lends credibility and trust to the expertise of your business.
Targeting your audience
When it comes to mailing lists, commitment is key. A newsletter is an agreement between a business and its audience. Subscribing to a newsletter means joining a mailing list you want to be a part of—a conscious choice to continue engaging with a brand’s content. And in turn, you send them relevant information on a consistent basis. Because of this exchange, subscribers can develop long-term loyalty to a brand.
One way to strengthen that loyalty is through subscriber segmentation and targeted content. Subscriber segmentation is the most effective strategy for email marketing. By using the tools of a mailing list manager like MailChimp, you can section out your mailing list into groups. From there, you can personalize your message to be more relevant to each segment of a mailing list.
The anatomy of a newsletter
Generally, a newsletter is broken up into three parts:
The introduction is the section most personalized to a targeted audience. It’s often a letter from someone in the business, written to the reader, and introduces the information to come.
The middle of the newsletter is the meat of your content. Here’s where you link back to blog posts to drive web traffic. It’s important to keep a healthy mailing list to track data as accurately as possible. By analyzing data, you can use findings to better understand your audience and what they’re looking for.
A newsletter concludes with additional information reminding the reader of the services you offer, how to contact you, and where they can connect via social media.
Tips for improving engagement
- Set goals: a certain number of new subscribers or opens, and driving traffic to your website by a certain percentage
- Weed out email addresses that bounce back
- On your website, ask for subscribers’ interests to better section out your mailing list
- Keep track of what subscribers are clicking on and use that to develop your next newsletter
- When signing up, inform your subscribers of what to expect—how often they’ll receive the newsletter and the kinds of content it provides
- Send out an occasional touch point email with information about a specific event or fundraiser
A recent study showed that 37% of brands are increasing their email budget, compared to just 1.3% making cuts. More impressively, it’s expected that email marketing revenue is estimated to reach almost 11 billion dollars by the end of 2023.
While mailing lists and email newsletters are one of the oldest forms of digital communication, they remain a tried-and-true method of brand engagement.
In our experience creating newsletters for behavioral healthcare providers, we prioritize authenticity—no clickbait subject lines here. We’re interested in sharing rich content that remains true to a company’s mission, while consistently monitoring and analyzing the data. In this way, we engage purposefully with the audience, which in turn expands the opportunity for referrals.
At designRoom, we make it our business to find real answers and create custom healthcare brands. We believe effective healthcare branding is grounded in research, directed by insight, and driven by strategy.
We love seeing how strategic branding helps the right clients find the right organizations and receive the right care. That’s been our focus for over a decade. Today designRoom is an award-winning, national branding and design firm, known for helping clients build and promote healthy, sustainable brands. And we are super proud of that.