Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Newsletter Content that Engages Your Marketing Database

Take a minute out of your day and have a look at this ad (it's worth it):

Yes, this is an ad but what is appealing is the message. This is not about beer. This is not enticing you to go out and drink beer. It's providing a message that hits you on an emotional level and when they have you right where they want you (at the "Thank You"), they flash their logo up there. This beer company is going beyond their product to focus on their target audience. I can imagine the thought process of the agency in their board room: "What content can we produce that will engage Anheuser Bush's customers?" They succeeded with this ad.

Who are you Writing Your Newsletters for?

For many companies, newsletters are key to either keeping customers, creating repeat customers or nurturing prospects who are interested in your products but not yet ready to buy. Many company newsletters you receive in your inbox today talk about how their company is changing and what new products are being released. So what? Why do I care about that? How is that going to help me finish my work for the day? Why would I want to open your newsletter? Before you click the send button on your next email blast, you need to consider these questions.

Creating Relevant Newsletter Content 2.0

Creating relevant content does not just mean writing about an aspect of your product or service that appeals to the target audience. Of course you need these but it's the companies that go beyond this that are able to create, nurture and sustain a loyal audience that will keep your company top of mind. Consider writing about content that will entertain or enrich the daily lives of your email registrants. This goes beyond your product and beyond your company. Here are some examples:

  • Solar Ink (by Solar Winds). Check out this newsletter issue where they feature the "Game show for geeks". This B2B company is clearly in tune with its target audience
  • MEC Email Newsletter (by Mountain Equipment Co-op). Here is an example of their newsletter that contains how to videos on how to fix your bike.
  • The Smart Life (by TD Bank Financial Group). Here is a case study that outlines how this newsletter that is targeted at its customers is designed to keep TD top of mind so they renew. It doesn't just feature their products and promotions but includes "lifestyle topics about home and family, car care, vacation properties and vehicles, smart saving and spending ideas".
Based on these examples, here is the bottom line to consider: How can you provide content to your prospects and customers that goes beyond your products and services but focuses on what is interesting to them and will keep them interested so either they keep buying from you or will eventually buy from you?

Chad H.

PS: On a side note, it would be interesting to further investigate how these companies segment their databases and if they serve different content based on these segments. For example, does content differentiate based on past products purchased, geography, job title?
PPS: I receive these newsletters above and read them.
PPPS: This concept can go beyond newsletters and be used for your automated lead nurturing efforts or in an attempt to re-engage email subscribers that are unresponsive.

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Anonymous said...

I started our company newsletter as a way to communicate with our customers but our database of subscribers has now reached over 2000 (which is pretty good for a small B2B company). Most of it is content repurposed from our blog. It is a great way to re-use quality content and a way to get it out to more people. We do include an offer in the sidebar, usually a whitepaper download, and occasionally share relevant ReachForce news, but it is mostly great content targeted to our readers interests.

Chad said...

Hi Leigh Anne. I subscribe to your newsletter and have your blog in my google reader. Keep up the great content! I really like the new book club on your blog. This is a great example of really thinking about your target audience and interacting with them. Thanks for your note.



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