A witty title, a fantastic cover photo, and that’s it — you’re captivated. That’s the beauty of a magazine — interesting articles and great photographs keep you engaged until you’ve read the whole thing. The hidden secret? Magazines are an efficient and appealing way for companies to share information, be portrayed as leaders, and capture their audience’s attention. Magazines are not the only way companies communicate their message to the masses. Journals, videos, and digital and print newsletters are just a few ways to share information uniquely and excitingly.
Let’s Talk Newsletters
We’ve been producing newsletters since the early days of our agency for the likes of Williams-Sonoma, North Face, Oakland International Airport, Biro & Sons, and a host of others. Our audiences have included store associates, travelers, silver lovers, and those who needed to know the latest in the tax laws. Oh, and insurance companies and agents. That was, um, interesting.
What’s consistent across all companies and audiences is what makes excellent magazines great — smart content, attractive photos and visuals, and a steady cadence. That’s true if you’re planning a print, digital, or video newsletter.
A common issue we’ve found with companies is they don’t know what it takes to build an editorial calendar, assign and edit articles, find or develop original photography, and hit production deadlines.
The ROI Question
We’re not the only ones who believe newsletters are money makers, mind changers, and influencers.
The folks at the Content Marketing Institute report that 31 percent of all B2B marketers say that email newsletters are the best way to nurture leads.
Hubspot — one of our favorite marketing and communications platforms and experts in their field — say that emails generate $42 for every $1 spent. That’s a whopping 4200% return on investment. Plus, newsletters are a phenomenal way to drive traffic back to your website to entice potential customers to learn more about your company or services.
Beyond reaching out to customers or interested parties, internal communications newsletters are vital when speaking with associates and employees. How important? A third of employees said a lack of open, honest communication negatively impacts employee morale.
While newsletters tend to be print or digital, many companies rely on video newsletters. Moving to video is a strong move since it’s been proven that viewers retain 95 percent of a message when they watch on video. The numbers are in! Newsletters are effective and efficient ways to inform, engage, and entertain your audience.
Our principal David Farinella spent 25 years as a magazine journalist and editor — music, sports, and various lifestyle topics were his focus. He built magazines from the ground up, planned editorial calendars, produced content, and helped with art and production.
All those past experiences came into play when the Store Operations team at Williams Sonoma asked for help to produce an internal print newsletter. We worked together to name, concept, design, plan, and create a monthly newsletter sent to every Williams Sonoma store.
Come to think of it, we did that three times for the company to keep it fresh for associates and helped them for 13 years. We found topics relevant to store associates, discussed new management initiatives, and kept to the high-end lifestyle branding of Williams-Sonoma. It was intelligent, willy, and educated, if we say so ourselves.
Our newsletter work with Oakland International Airport grew out of a strategy to connect directly with travelers and inspire them to fly out of the Oakland airport. We worked hand in hand with OAK’s primary agency Circa Now, developing a name, look, tone, and schedule for an email newsletter. We kicked off OAK & About in January 2020 and produced 24 issues with articles informing the public on how the airport was handling the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting places to travel when it was safe again, and introducing readers to the personalities working at the airport.
Not all of our newsletter work is for major companies. One of our most popular is the quarterly email newsletter we produce for San Francisco silversmiths Biro & Sons. We introduce silver loves to work done in the shop, amazing collections around the globe, suggestions around maintaining personal pieces, and ideas on how to decorate with silver.
We spend lots of time thinking about the audiences for each of these communications, ways we can get entertaining and informative pieces created, and engaging design.
It doesn’t matter if our clients are in the hospitality, education, financial, retail, tech, or healthcare (yes, healthcare) industries, or if you need to connect with an internal or external audience, newsletters are essential.
We believe that now more than ever, people want to feel connected to a business or their workplace to align themselves with the mission and vision. Share the essential updates, and ensure that every piece has personality, even in business and healthcare-related newsletters.
Things to Think About
You’ll want to consider these five things:
- Be thoughtful about your overall editorial calendar strategy. How will newsletters fit in? How often will you communicate in this format?
- Think about where your audience is reading this information. Is the piece emailed or printed? Are they using a mobile device?
- Make sure you are writing specifically to your audience. Even if you think your audience is diverse, there is one commonality: they all want to hear from you. You want them to connect with you through each piece of communication.
- The design must be enticing. No one wants to read a word document you sent out. Try to include visuals and make the newsletter easy to absorb.
- Send your newsletter at the optimal time to make it easy to find. Do you work at a large organization with a Monday through Friday schedule? Don’t send your newsletter on the weekend.
Do you need help with newsletter communications? We’re here to help.