Company newsletters have garnered a lot of attention in recent years, owing to their increased importance (and effectiveness) as a marketing tool. They are a useful resource for reaching out to not only your extant customer base, but also as a way of reaching out to potential customers. While newsletters are a great way to remind people of the products and services your company offers, there is a good amount of artistry involved in creating one that will truly engage and resonate with the public.
What many don’t realize is that a newsletter shouldn’t just be a spiced-up “shop update”. An effective newsletter should provide some new angle, slant, information, or hook to keep people looking forward to seeing it arrive in their inbox.
This is no easy task. Finding the right newsletter formula for your brand takes time, inspiration, and a lot of imagination. For inspiration, it’s always a good idea to look at examples from companies at the top of their newsletter game. We’re compiled a list of some of the most successful newsletters coming out in 2020 to show you some of the ways you can up your newsletter game, too.
Robinhood Snacks is a 3-minute read, giving the simple version of relevant financial news, daily. This company takes what can be a complicated set of information to absorb and distills it into a digestable format. It’s an enjoyable read, and the pun- inspired style it’s written in keeps readers engaged with the content. You can preview one of their recent newsletter releases here.
One important lesson we can take away from the success of Robinhood Snacks is that it can be read in 3 minutes. This means that it is written and formatted in the most streamlined fashion possible. There are no walls of text or overly-complicated graphics, meaning their readers can get the information they’re providing quickly and efficiently. This can make all the difference in the world with a newsletter.
As their tagline reads, TLDR is “Byte sized news for busy techies”. Their intent is plain and simple, and also plain and simply stated by their elegant design. This newsletter has gotten a lot of attention this year, for not just the useful tech news it provides but also for all the useful new tools and links it promotes. Another takeaway from them is this – be useful. Whether it’s sharing innovative technologies in your field or providing tips for coping with stress and anxiety in the fast-paced tech world, it’s important to provide value for your readership. Otherwise, they won’t keep reading.
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In keeping on-brand, this NPR-produced newsletter offers casual yet insightful analysis and commentary about the latest book, series, movie, or musical release. The design is simple and plainly written, keeping a casual, fun tone. This kind of simplicity, in both its content and its design, keep readers coming back week after week.
No list of killer newsletters would be complete without mentioning Apple. They, too, have realized the power of the newsletter and, in 2019, launched a daily Apple Newsletter, which compiles all the news from the day into digest form.
The majority of company newsletters feature a header with their brand name and/or logo for recognizability. In fact, branding is frequently considered one of the most important parts of a newsletter.
However, with the full force of Apple’s marketing team behind it, the Apple Newsletter takes a slightly different approach. Rather than putting their brand name and logo forward, which are admittedly some of the most recognizable in the world, their newsletter features the style of Apple products. It includes the same fonts and layout used for most of their products. This allows their readers to recognize the comfortable and elegant design style of Apple products, without the branding seeming heavy-handed.
Most people in marketing need to stay on top of what goes on in the freelance world. The Professional Freelancer’s newsletter, The Freelance Feels, helps them do just that. The design is simple, as is the language they use to discuss various current events affecting the freelance world. It provides practical advice for freelancers around the world. Acknowledging that most freelancers have limited time, this newsletter is delivered weekly on Fridays. Like many other successful newsletters, keeping design elements streamlined and using simple, declarative language really makes this one pop.
This company’s Start in the South newsletter is tailored to startup founders from outside the tech world. Like their business itself, whose mission is to provide tech partnership to non-tech businesses, they keep their audience in mind for 100% of the newsletter. They know that their clientele doesn’t have time for long reads or complicated scenarios. So, the Start in the South newsletter is a digest full of really useful information and practical suggestions. They know how to talk to their community of readers, while leveraging a unique voice to keep that community engaged.
While many turn to The Moz for digital marketing and SEO content information, their newsletter The Moz Top 10 is a semi-monthly digest of the 10 most useful articles of the month. They recognize their readership probably doesn’t have the time to hunt these articles down for themselves, so they’ve provided a valuable service in making it so simple and easy. Like many other successful email newsletters, this digest format means they aren’t overwhelming their readers with information.
While creating your company’s newsletter, it’s also important to showcase or highlight your brand’s expertise and experience in your field, whatever field that may be. It’s a great opportunity to provide them with valuable insights and expert information through your newsletter. Another consideration, as so many of the examples above highlighted, is to make sure your readers know you see them and are responding to their needs with the content you provide. This means tailoring your content in a specific way, directly to your market, and providing useful content.
Every company strives to create a newsletter that is most representative (and the best representation) of its brand. All of these top newsletters have found what their own ‘best practices’ are for their brands, but one overarching theme runs through them all: simplicity.