Companies have gotten very creative about how they use newsletters to connect with customers//clients, and in the case of The New York Times, readers, and potential subscribers.
I’m impressed by the variety of newsletters the Times offers. This is a sampling.
- “Morning Briefing” analyzes the day’s news and ideas.
- “Today’s Headlines” organizes the top headlines of the day into categories.
- “The Daily Newsletter” analyzes the development of one of the week’s biggest stories.
- “The Cooking Newsletter” has been especially popular during for stay-at-home cooks during the pandemic.
To see the full array of newsletters the Times produces. See https://www.nytimes.com/newsletters. I don’t know if reading any of these newsletters encouraged more people to subscribe to the NYT, but their varied menu demonstrates the potential for reaching people through this format.
The Medium Approach
Medium.com, an online publishing site, distributes newsletters to both its writers and readers. Magazines within the Medium platform send emails that contain brief summaries of their top articles for the week. In every case, the intention is to get readers to visit the site or the individual magazines, in other words, to increase traffic and engagement. Many of the featured articles live behind Medium’s paywall, which encourages readers to become paid members.
How Has Your Company Utilized Newsletters This Year?
Many people at home in 2020, and they make up an audience eager for engagement.
- Most important, did you demonstrate an attitude of caring about your customers? There has never been a more important time to do this.
Review your company newsletters. Do they sound authentically sincere? I have heard/read far too many company/corporate messages that didn’t convince me one bit that the writer cared. Unflinchingly, read what you or someone else wrote. Cut and edit. If you believe that you or the company could have done better, make a resolution that you will do so.
More than ever, customers are spending their money carefully. If you want their business, earn it.
This format, like blogs and carefully written emails, provides an opportunity to keep connections strong among the various divisions of your business and among the employees in general. Since people aren’t in physical proximity daily, deliberately nurture the sense of being part of a team.
If your company does have an in-house newsletter, take a careful look at the issues. (In each case the “you” below might be you specifically or whoever takes responsibility for newsletter content.)
- Did you share news that was important to all the employees: innovations and changes in procedures?
- Did you emphasize activities that reinforce the company mission statement and vision?
- Did you write about employee news?
- In what other ways did you build the cohesiveness of your company organization?
The end of the year is the best time to check how well your newsletter(s) have been received. You discover this by checking unsubscribe rates.
This requires fine-tuned analysis. Did a certain kind of newsletter article generate a higher-than-usual unsubscribe rate? Studying the statistics gives you a fair idea of what your readership wants. This information can guide your future decisions but bear in mind that in these fast-changing times, readers’ interests and concerns will also shift.
For Both Kinds of Newsletters
Has your company been socially active during the pandemic? What material contributions have you made to help people in need?
Let people, both employees, and customers, know what you’ve doing and what you plan to continue to do. People want to know that you’re making a difference.
Pat Iyer is a C Suite Network Contributor, one of the original 100. Executives hired Pat to help them share their expertise in non-fiction books. Pat writes newsletters for her businesses and recommends the practice.
Pat’s site describes her editing and ghostwriting services. Connect with Pat through her website at patiyer.com.
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