A digital newsletter is a great way for businesses to communicate with their audience, build customer trust, and drive sales, all at the same time. Yet, a lot of online newsletters struggle to do just that, ending up deleted before they’re read. How to prevent your newsletter from becoming a waste of time and effort and create one that would propel your business forward instead? We’ll try to answer this question in the article below.
What Is an Online Newsletter?
An online (or digital, or virtual) newsletter is an electronic publication that most commonly serves as a way for a business or organization to inform its customers, members, or employees of its recent activities. Newsletters usually contain news, product updates, tips, or any other information that the business deems relevant to its audience.
Usually, a virtual newsletter comes in the form of an email or a PDF attached to an email. However, even though undoubtedly common, these formats have their drawbacks: an email newsletter can’t be too lengthy and a PDF newsletter has to be downloaded before it could be read. There is a better, more forward-looking solution that solves both these problems and more—a flipbook newsletter. It’s an online HTML5 publication with a page flip effect that can be as long as you need it to be and has a variety of ways to be shared that doesn’t include downloading.
Before we start on how to make a newsletter online, let’s delve into why you should consider creating it for your business first.
Why Do You Need a Newsletter?
The value of a virtual newsletter can be easily (and short-sightedly) overlooked. It’s not social media marketing which is more popular nowadays or a Facebook ad which is a much more direct sales tool. Yet, an efficient online newsletter is capable of bringing no less or even more sales and customer engagement.
There are at least several solid reasons why creating a digital newsletter for your business or non-profit organization should be one of your top marketing priorities.
More traffic for your website
The most obvious reason is that via an online newsletter you can lead your readers from their inbox to your website in a manner of one click—which means more traffic. And if there is an interesting offer to boot, you may be able to make a person place an order, even if they had no intention of revisiting your product or service just a few minutes ago.
You get to promote your latest developments
Putting out a quick note on Twitter about your latest news is great, but you won’t be able to add much to it. The online newsletter format, on the other hand, presents the opportunity to give your topic a more thorough and engaging treatment.
Your audience remains interested when engaged
A business relationship, like almost every other one, can’t be a one-way street. If in your business model, the initiative always comes from your customer—them finding you, them getting interested in you, them purchasing your product, or otherwise investing in you,—you’re doing it wrong. You have to make sure that clients feel your interest in them as well—and not just in them giving you money. Talk to them. Give them your attention. Make them feel like they’re involved, like their participation matters. An online newsletter sent regularly is a great way to do all of the above.
Apart from that, it’s also a nice reminder of your existence to your audience. People see your brand name in their inbox or in their feed, and it stays with them. They look through your news or weekly digests and even if they don’t read them, they know you obviously continue to do stuff and make things, actively evolving. That’s the image you want to cultivate.
You build both your brand voice and customer trust
Through a digital newsletter, you can establish or strengthen your brand voice. Why does it matter? Because you can decide how people perceive your brand, what it represents to them. You can talk to your audience about the things they’re interested in, in the language and tone they recognize. It nurtures familiarity and, in time, earns you their trust.
How to Make a Newsletter Online
Now that we’ve established several solid whys, we can move on to hows—how do you create a newsletter online that does all of these things and actually helps your business?
We have five tips that we consider to be the most effective for digital newsletters creation.
Pick the Right Format
We’ve already mentioned that we don’t consider PDF or email newsletters the best option. If your newsletter is longer than, say, a couple of pages, emails won’t cut it while PDF newsletters are bulky and require downloading. Both formats are also questionable when it comes to aesthetics and interactivity, and if a reader got an issue with a typo or some kind of misinformation, both of these types of newsletters have to be re-sent.
Our preferred alternative is a flipbook newsletter. An online flipbook is an HTML5 interactive publication that can be shared via links, previews, QR codes, and even website embedding. Online newsletters made via the FlippingBook newsletter creator are easy to update as well—a reader will see the new version under the same link, so you won’t need to re-send anything. And with an interactive table of contents, thumbnails, and text search, the navigation will be a breeze even inside complex, multi-chaptered newsletters.
Decide on the Strategy
What are you going to write about? The first instinct is to say “Everything!”, and, sure, why not? But we advise you to build a transparent content plan that will be clear to you and your readers. For example, you can create shorter newsletters on product updates and offers whenever they happen, longer ones on product tips once a month, and more substantial, multi-chaptered newsletters on everything else (news, interviews, conferences, reader feedback, etc.) once a quarter. That way, you will be able to plan your content delivery ahead and avoid overwhelming your reader.
As you’ve established the schedule, follow it. Your consistency not only means customer engagement for you, but it also reflects your dependability to them. Your readers may not notice if they receive your quarterly newsletter a day or two late, but they’ll notice if it comes half a year later. They may not read every product update newsletter they get, but they’ll still count on being notified about the updates as soon as they come out. They count on you, full stop. Don’t ruin this trust.
Analyze Content Performance
Be strict with your newsletter schedule but stay flexible with its content. As the FlippingBook newsletter maker provides thorough analytics for every flipbook you create, you can easily evaluate your content performance. What newsletters have been viewed the most? What pages? What issue has been shared the largest number of times? Take everything into account to make your digital newsletter better.
Put Effort into Looks as Well
Looks matter! At the very least, in online marketing they do. So give your wonderful, sparkling copy the visual support it deserves. You don’t have to be a designer to do so with the FlippingBook interactive newsletter software. The tool can make even a plain PDF newsletter much more eye-catching with stylish backgrounds, color palette, and branding options. You’d want to engage your audience as well and keep them entertained, so don’t stick to text format only—create an interactive newsletter by adding videos, links, GIFs, pictures, etc. Don’t be afraid to get creative!
This is how an interactive flipbook looks when embedded into a website: