Many people think of newsletters as relics of the past. They were printed cheaply and mailed out, handed out, placed on flyer racks, or distributed internally within a company. And yes, that form of newsletter (outbound marketing) is phasing out.
Printed newsletters are a novelty, though they can still appeal to specific audiences. We live in a digital society, and newsletter formats for the rest of us have had to adapt to our changing times.
“Adapt” is the key word here because many businesses have been able to adapt the old-fashioned concept of newsletters to the 21st Century. These modern newsletters can be effective marketing tools if executed and distributed strategically.
The Anatomy of a Modern Newsletter
So, what does a modern newsletter look like? There’s no perfect answer—what is most effective and efficient for your business may rely on your marketing or information-sharing objective.
Email marketing is among the most popular newsletter option. Email allows you to brand and customize your newsletter communication, and you can develop specific email templates for digital newsletters.
The primary purpose of most effective company newsletters (digital or on paper) is to communicate information you want to share. There may be relevant news articles, product features, employee profiles, and updates on the latest things happening in your company.
Most importantly, the last thing they are is “salesy.”
How Should Our Newsletter Relate to Our Blog and Social Media?
Blogs have also taken the place of newsletters for some of today’s marketers. You can share much of the same information in richer detail, as blog posts will generally be much longer than traditional newsletter articles. As we see it, blogs and newsletters can work together quite well.
Post informative and engaging blog articles before pulling micro-content from them to share in your email newsletter. A rule of thumb is to provide links to the full articles so recipients can click through and “read more.” This approach can help drive additional traffic to your website and generate a loyal blog following.
Social media is another way to present a newsletter. Again, we think your blog campaign, social media posts, and email newsletters can work together to create a more comprehensive information-sharing network. This will allow you to reach more people in different ways. It is essential to offer something a little different in each medium to make it feel exclusive and “special” to the reader. If your blog, email, and social media have identical language, you forfeit variety.
How Effective Are Newsletters?
Research tells us that email newsletters earn an open rate of 22%, and website visitors who click through from a newsletter tend to spend much more time on the site than visitors who find your site through other methods. In addition, email newsletter campaigns are a great way to stay engaged with your core consumers, whether they opted into your email list or are past customers.
Intranet for Internal Newsletter Communication
If you use newsletters for internal distribution of information within your company, another modern method to consider is creating an employee intranet page. This is a privately hosted website that only your employees (and sometimes vendors or other VIPs) can access with a login ID and password. The intranet system provides a real-time newsletter experience with information, articles, forms, and resources. You can also have an internal blog and other engaging features that offer a more engaging experience for your employees.
If you want to take your newsletter strategy into the 21st Century (as well as your website, blog, email, and social media campaigns), contact Red Mallard to learn more about our custom content services.