A newsletter… do you really need one?
Many people think that the newsletter is no longer relevant. In fact, the newsletter has been abused and
misused by many companies that have polluted inboxes. Before the implementation of Bill C-28, many
companies sent unwanted communications to email addresses that were purchased or obtained
without our consent. Now, subscriber managers are much better able to supervise users in compliance
with the anti-spam law.
Yes, this mode of communication still has a role to play in the development of your business. It is part of
a complete communication strategy including blogging and other social media.
What is a newsletter?
According to Wikipedia, a newsletter is an information document sent periodically by email to a mailing
list of subscribers.
In short, the newsletter is an electronic communication sent to a list of subscribers. It is a powerful tool
provided it is well written and well used.
Who is it for?
- Addresses your subscribers
- To maintain a direct link with them
- Goes straight to their email inbox
Who can you send it to?
Canada’s Anti-Spam Act (Bill C-28) protects consumers and businesses from the misuse of digital
technology, including spam and other electronic threats. It prohibits the sending of commercial
electronic messages unless there is express or implied consent.
See Cyberimpact’s excellent visual for a full summary.
What can it include?
When writing your annual content calendar, think about the content of your newsletters.
Divide your calendar into different sections:
Latest news from your organization
- Tips and tricks
- Information about your team
- Features of your product/service
- Small section of your blog
- Unsubscribe link
A few good practices
- Have the right tone: address your target client
- Relevance: write according to your target client and your service offer
- Write a catchy title: a good title will increase the number of opens of your communications
- Give: Offer free content (tips, tricks, advice, etc.)
- Consistent look: Keep the structure consistent. Your audience will appreciate finding their way around your communications easily.
- Visually appealing; well spaced out: a newsletter is not a blog! Use pictures, videos, different fonts (but not too many!), bold, colours, buttons, etc.
- Not too long: the perfect newsletter would be 1 subject for 1 segment of your audience… But when it comes to a small or medium-sized company, this is not always feasible or even desirable!
- Plan it in advance: start writing it 15 days in advance. Have it proofread. Schedule it on your mailing list and plan it with the date of sending in mind!
- Optimize for cell phone: In Québec, nearly half of Internet users aged 18 and over (48%) primarily use their phone to access the web, while 34% of these people prefer to use a laptop or desktop computer. A tablet lags far behind, with 17%. So think about the size of both your pictures and your font.
In most businesses, regular communication with clients, prospects, suppliers and/or the sales force is
recommended and desirable. Without this means of keeping in touch, how do you expect them to
remember your service offer? How can your "cold" prospect warm up and want to take action? How do
you want to convey your values, your differentiation, your employer brand?
The newsletter is nothing more than a way to communicate your key messages to inform, pique
curiosity, help and share with the people who are most valuable to your business.