Your newsletter subscribers may initially sign up to learn about your offerings or receive a discount code. One thing holds true — you had their interest at one point. But what if your newsletter content doesn’t grab their attention? You’re missing out on a massive opportunity to connect with your most engaged audience. With Q4 in full swing and the holidays approaching, your newsletter must be tip-top. So, we’re sharing five content creation types that will help you boost engagement, build credibility, and drive conversions.
Importance of Newsletter Content Creation
Think of your newsletter as an exclusive gathering of enthusiastic prospects with varying degrees of interest in your product or service. By subscribing, they’ve taken the first step towards conversion, but the content you share in your newsletter will determine whether they become loyal customers. Crafting a newsletter may not be the most exhilarating part of marketing. It’s the backbone of email marketing, expected to produce nearly $11 billion in revenue by the end of this year. So, if your newsletters end up in the trash, it’s time to re-evaluate your strategy — and the best place to start is audience engagement.
Understanding Audience Engagement
All it takes is a quick skim through your inbox to realize how many newsletters you’ve subscribed to (whether intentionally or not). While there may be (at most) a handful of the newsletters you closely follow, the vast majority are likely left unread or deleted immediately. The difference between the newsletters you open and those that gather dust in your trash folder. It lies in their ability to engage their audience effectively.
With so much competition in consumer inboxes, generic, one-size-fits-all newsletters don’t stand a chance at cutting through the clutter. As tempting as it may be to push promotional content, building a loyal following, boosting reader engagement, and increasing conversions require a more reader-centric approach.
The Role of Credibility
Let’s not forget that while audience engagement is crucial, establishing your brand as a credible industry authority is just as important. Think of credibility as the bridge that carries undecided prospects into the realm of loyal customers. Much like traversing a physical bridge, crossing this threshold requires trust. By consistently providing educational and insightful content, you’ll foster the credibility and trust required for your audience to make the crossing.
Five Essential Content Types
To master the art of content creation and elevate your newsletter to ‘must-read’ status, blend these five essential content types into your strategy.
Unlike promotional-heavy emails that land in your inbox from retail companies, educational content aims to provide value to the reader, whether or not they make a purchase. This can be informative blog posts, how-to guides, and tutorials. Educational content provides knowledge, skills, or insights your audience finds valuable and relevant regardless of format. Sharing snippets of this educational content in your newsletter (along with links to your website) demonstrates your industry expertise while driving organic traffic to your site.
Curated content involves selecting and organizing existing content into a collection of valuable resources or insights for your audience. This can be a roundup of recent assets, including:
- Industry articles
- Blog posts
- News stories
- “best of” lists (including relevant book or podcast recommendations)
- Curated summary of recent conferences or events
The aim is to provide unparalleled value by filtering out low-quality information and presenting your audience with the best content possible. In doing so, you’ll keep your audience engaged and position your brand as an industry authority. You’ll also spend less time and money than you would on original content.
In contrast to most newsletters, which readers consume passively, interactive content encourages subscribers to participate actively. This dynamic form of communication transforms your newsletter from a one-way dialogue into an engaging conversation, resulting in two times more engagement than static or text-only content.
Integrating interactive content into your newsletter can be as simple as creating a poll to gauge interest in future content ideas, conducting a survey to gather reader insights, or including a fun quiz. Encouraging audience feedback fosters a sense of value and provides insights for refining future content and achieving better results.
Promotional content is inherently sales-driven, so whether it’s aimed at encouraging event attendance, service sign-ups, freebie downloads, or purchases, the aim is to prompt immediate action. Common types of promotional content include product launches, exclusive deals or discount codes for newsletter subscribers, or seasonal promotions. The key word here is exclusive. You want to make your subscribers feel valued, appreciated, and special. Use promotional content sparingly. Overwhelming your subscribers will only drive them away. However, when strategically implemented, promotional content can be a powerful revenue driver and a valuable way to reward your audience.
User-Generated Content Creation
As the name suggests, User-Generated Content (UGC) is brand content created and shared by your customers, subscribers, or followers. UGC can take various forms, such as testimonials, reviews, social media shout-outs, images, videos, or blog posts. Since UGC comes directly from your real customers, it establishes brand credibility better than any form of content. Gen Z echoes this sentiment, with 35% believing that UGC will hold more credibility than content crafted by professional marketers in the next 3-5 years. But beyond authenticity and credibility, UGC harnesses the enthusiasm of your loyal customer base, turning them into brand advocates and creating that coveted sense of community that so many brands crave.
Best Practices for Newsletter Content Creation
Incorporating the five essential content types into your newsletter will boost engagement, but strategic implementation is key for optimal results. Following these best practices will ensure your newsletter content is balanced, visually appealing, consistent, and, most importantly, successful.
Balancing Content Types
One of the fundamental principles of effective newsletter content creation is striking the right balance between different content types. Newsletters that lean too heavily on promotional content are often sent unopened to our trash bins. To ensure your newsletter doesn’t suffer the same fate, follow the 80/20 rule. Focus 80% of your newsletter on educational or informative content and 20% on promotional material. Still worried about winding up in the digital dumpster? Try incorporating interactive elements (like quizzes and polls) and UGC to boost engagement and nurture brand credibility.
Visual Elements and Formatting
While written content often takes the spotlight, we process images 60,000 times faster than text. Readers have an average attention span of around eight seconds. Use high-quality images, videos, and designs to grab their attention before they move on. Video content is particularly impactful, boosting click-through rates by 65% and reducing unsubscribes by 26%. Remember to ensure your newsletter is mobile-friendly, as most emails are open on mobile devices.
Content Creation Consistency and Timing
Maintaining a consistent presence is vital to nurturing a strong bond with your subscribers. Regular and reliable newsletters help foster trust and keep your brand at the forefront of your audience’s mind. Subscribers are also more likely to engage with content from a sender they recognize and expect to hear from. Email scheduling tools can help you streamline the process, experiment with different sending times, track time zones, and measure key metrics.
Like any other campaign, you must meticulously monitor your email strategy to gauge effectiveness. The following email metrics offer invaluable insights into how your content resonates with your audience. This information will enable you to refine your strategy and elevate your results.
- Open rate: This metric is a primary indicator of your content’s initial appeal as it measures how many recipients opened your newsletter. The average open rate across industries is just below 39%, so if you’re falling below that, it’s a good indicator that your subject lines need some work.
- Click-Through Rate (CTR): CTR shows the percentage of recipients who clicked on links within your newsletter. Keep in mind that the average CTR across industries is only 2.62%. While the rate may not be high, it’s a valuable metric to help you determine which links draw your audience in.
- Conversion rate: The conversion rate is the percentage of subscribers performing a desired action after opening your newsletter. This could involve purchasing, signing up for an event, or downloading a freebie. While conversion rates vary significantly by industry, the average conversion rate during 2022 was 17%. If your conversion rate is lower than the industry standard, your content isn’t resonating with your audience.
- A/B testing: A/B testing allows brands to compare two newsletter variations to determine which works better. It’s a great way to try different subject lines, visuals, and CTAs. Brands applying the insights gained from A/B testing improve their open, click, and conversion rates, ultimately transforming their email marketing campaign.
Transforming Your Newsletter Content Creation Strategy for Optimal Conversions
Crafting a successful email marketing strategy doesn’t come in a one-size-fits-all package. Still, brands that consistently balance the five essential content creation types and rigorously measure their efforts can establish unwavering authority and drive conversions. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box for your next newsletter; be sure to track your results!
About the Author:
Kali Armstrong is a passionate freelance writer dedicated to helping others share their unique stories. With expertise in content writing and copywriting, she skillfully crafts engaging materials for businesses seeking to refine their brand voice and expand their reach. Kali’s commitment to creating value-driven content strategically designed to attract premium clientele has made her a go-to resource for many clients across diverse industries. Check out her writer profile here: Kali Armstrong.