5 Ways to Create a More Engaging Newsletter
It isn’t easy to make your organization’s email newsletter stand out in the increasingly crowded inboxes of your targeted audience. So what steps can you take to make your newsletter a must-read?
Email is still widely cited as the preferred method of business communication, which means a newsletter is an important avenue for content distribution and an effective method for your organization to generate new membership leads.
There always are opportunities to improve newsletters with innovative techniques and approaches. Here are five key components that every association email newsletter should prioritize.
#1: Standout Branding
Your organization’s brand is your personality, and it needs to shine through in your emails. For example, Applied Client Network has implemented a strong brand tie-in between its Connections online content hub and its bi-monthly newsletter (example below and here).
#2: Timing is Everything
Making sure newsletter content is timely and relevant is another critical component to engaging readers. In addition to time of day sent—are your members more likely to read during their commute? Midday? On a Monday? On a Friday?)—the topics you are covering are critical.
The example below from The National NeedleArts Association (TNNA) went out in March (Women’s History Month) with the subject line “The Power of Her, Stitch Clubs and More,” in an effort to engage the audience’s connection with and interest in Women’s History Month. (Click here to reference the full issue.)
#3: Keep it Simple and Catchy
Another way to catch your readers’ elusive attention? Simple, catchy copy writing! Though association members often are a highly engaged audience, it’s still on you to make your email newsletter’s subject lines and internal headlines and calls-to-action both to the point and eye-catching.
HR Leader Today, the newsletter of the Human Resources Management Association of Chicago, showcases how the organization shares just enough information to entice readers with the latest news without being too cumbersome or time-consuming for a busy professional. The intent is to pique readers’ interest so that they will click through and consume more content on the organization’s online content hub.
#4: Share the Love
Sometimes, what makes people most excited to open your newsletter is the work you do to curate third-party content. Taking time to showcase others’ work to your audience makes readers feel that your organization understands their priorities and interests. The monthly SIGGRAPHITTI newsletter from ACM SIGGRAPH does this with a quick-hit “In the News” section (example below), and TNNA’s newsletter (shared above) includes a monthly book club feature that recommends a resource to readers. View the full SIGGRAPHITTI newsletter.
#5: Be Unique
Your email newsletter should not just regurgitate everything that your organization is doing and sharing on your blog, social media or website—it should provide your readers with something they can’t access elsewhere. At a minimum, your newsletter should provide access to information that might be difficult to find elsewhere.
The Legal Marketing Association’s LMA Weekly newsletter does a great job of this by rounding up regional events and webinars into easy-to-follow lists at the bottom of each issue (the newsletter’s most-clicked section).
Emily Drake is a Senior Content Coordinator for SmithBucklin Content.
SmithBucklin Content helps you position your organization as an authoritative source of timely, relevant, comprehensive and engaging industry intelligence. Contact us to learn about partnering with SmithBucklin Content to create a customized content strategy for your organization.