There are so many tools companies can use to market themselves these days. Social media is a very large player in this game, as each platform helps businesses reach larger audiences, share news and develop a fan-base. However, there is another tool companies of any size or status should be using to connect with current clients, prospective customers, other members of their industry’s community and other professional contacts. That tool is the trusted, time-tested company newsletter.

A newsletter is an easy-to-use, cost-effective tool that all businesses should be using to help promote themselves, the work they’re doing and to share important, well, news. There are several sites that allow you to create and send a newsletter for free. NRPR Group uses MailChimp, for example, but a quick Google search will reveal a plethora of options. With a little research, you’re sure to find a site that will fit your company’s needs, while also making the designing and sending process as easy as possible.

A great aspect of the company newsletter is that you have full control over what goes in it, who receives it and how often it goes out. If it makes sense for your business to focus on larger, more long-term initiatives, you might consider a monthly newsletter that contains long-form content and news relating to more lengthy projects. However, it might make more sense for your company to release a bi-monthly newsletter, in which you’d share specific updates, events and initiatives every other week. Lastly, you could decide it’s best for your company to release a newsletter once a week, in which case you’ll want to make sure your sections as short, sweet and to-the-point as possible to keep readers interested in opening your emails.

There is no right or wrong way to plan your newsletter schedule; it revolves entirely around what works best for your company and its goals. However, these are a few specific sections that every company newsletter should include:

  • Subject Line: A newsletter’s subject line is often something that is put on the backburner and thrown together at the last minute. That is a giant NO. Your subject line is the very first thing your audience will read, and if it doesn’t catch their interest, you run the risk of your hard work heading straight to the trash bin. A subject line should be descriptive of what’s inside; it’s okay to be cute, fun and catchy, but always make sure your subject line correctly cues readers on what they’ll be diving into. On the other hand, keep it short. We recommend about 50 characters — any longer and your text will be cut off in a mail server preview. Lastly, NRPR Group HIGHLY recommends starting your subject line off with an emoji. Emojis are eye-catching, fun and will set your newsletter apart from a slew of other emails in someone’s inbox.
  • Header: Since your company newsletter is an extension of your brand, it should have a consistent theme and follow a similar format regardless of how often it’s sent. Give your newsletter a name, and make sure all subsequent newsletter follow the same general layout. Continuity is key in keeping subscribers on your list.
  • News Sections: Here’s our no-brainer tip. Of course your newsletter is going to contain news, but it’s important that you break each piece of news off into its own section to help clearly differentiate all of the great things your business is doing. A newsletter is not a blog post, and no one will want to read a novel of an email. Make sure each section is useful and informative, and utilize “read more” links for readers who want to, well, read more. Each section should be a summary of what your news is about, accompanied by a link to learn more.
  • Promotions or Sales: This section is very important for consumer-product companies. Many brands don’t realize that newsletters and email blasts drive sales at a much higher rate than social media posts. Don’t get us wrong — social media does play a huge role in your company’s marketing mix, but it doesn’t always drive sales. Including promotions or sales in your newsletter affords you the option to target a specific audience for any given promotion. Sites such as MailChimp allow you to build out a master list for your main newsletter, then create additional sub-lists tailored for specific promotions. PRO TIP: promotional and/or sales-based newsletters are not limited to only consumer-product companies. Being a PR firm, NRPR Group works with many consumer-product clients. Their newsletters are always tailored with promotions in mind, but we utilize our own newsletter to help boost their initiatives and spread the word to our contacts.
  • Footer: Last but not least, your newsletter should contain a footer with contact information and links to your social media pages. This turns your newsletter into a free platform for you to cross-promote your social platforms to an audience who may not already subscribe to those outlets. Leave an email address where people can contact you with any questions, and don’t forget to list your website.

Newsletters are a great way to maintain relationships with professional contacts whom you might not get to speak with as often as you’d like, as well as to connect you with prospective clients through word of mouth. Your company works hard, and your team is achieving great things. These things are NEWS, and it’s important to share that news with your community.

Do you run your company’s newsletter? We’d love to hear your advice on what works for YOU! Share your tips in the comments below, and stay up-to-date with the latest and greatest news from NRPR Group by signing up for OUR bi-monthly newsletter, HUSTLE WITH A CONSCIENCE!