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Editorial blog

Read all about it! How to make your newsletter work for you!

29 Oct 2018

Sara Davies, MBE, founder at Crafter’s Companion, tells you how to get your message across.

If you’re a business owner in today’s world, whatever the size or nature of your operation, communication towards your customer base really is key to ensuring continued success and growth. This month I’m going to focus specifically on the power of a well-crafted newsletter in getting your brand out there and reaping the rewards.

GDPR

Newsletters are a great way to keep your business front of mind with your customers, allowing you to directly and effectively communicate with your core audience. However, with new GDPR practices taking effect as of May this year, it is imperative that you have appropriately gained the consent of your marketing database contacts before sending out any newsletter material. Within this consent process, and on your ‘Subscribe’ landing page, ensure that people know exactly what they’re signing up to ie: what they can expect from your newsletter (focusing on the benefits of subscribing) and the frequency of your communication. Also, ensure that you have a clear ‘Unsubscribe’ button, so you know most of your audience is actively choosing to remain subscribed and therefore are engaged in your business.

Get creative

The first aim of a newsletter is that it be opened. Sounds obvious but how many times have you been sent a newsletter and immediately deleted it? To protect against this, you need to get creative with your email subjects. They need to be concise and to the point, but they also need to be interesting enough to pique the readers’ interest. Focus on ‘the products every craft blogger is loving’, ‘upcoming sale dates’ or ‘exclusive subscriber discounts’ – I guarantee those fingers will be double-clicking to open!

Know your audience

So, now we know that people are opening your newsletter, how do you ensure a healthy click through rate to your website? Even the most engaged audience can be turned off by either too many or too few newsletters. Too many and people might find their precious time is being taken up unnecessarily, too little and people may forget why they found you interesting. The answer: know your audience’s preferences. Conduct a poll and see how often they would like to hear from you and go with the majority. Or, if you have the capacity and functionality, create more than one newsletter per month accordingly.

Style

Next comes style. A newsletter can look random and messy if you try to squeeze in too much information, so keep your newsletter to one specific topic for a more cohesive message. In line with your brand, use eye-catching and aesthetically pleasing project photographs, product imagery and fonts including link-backs to your website where customers can purchase these products. However, to avoid a cluttered look, balance with white space and keep copy short and concise – any further reading about a topic can be linked back to your website or blog.

Content

When it comes to content, readers may be encouraged to open their email initially with the promise of an ‘exclusive subscriber offer’ but ensure you include some educational or inspirational content within the newsletter. This helps to keep it balanced and feel more like a chatty email rather than a hard-sell, which can have a negative impact on customer engagement. It can also help to position you as an authoritative brand, setting you apart from your competitors.

Tactics

Finally, never be afraid to test the water with your newsletter and change your tactic if it’s not working for your customer base. The key is finding the right way to connect with your customers, so they remain engaged with your business and your brand. Once you get the right formula, your newsletter will become a fantastic vehicle to boosting your sales as well as raising, and retaining, an enviable brand profile.

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