Any tips for newsletter design & best practice?


(Bea Lucas) #1

Hi everyone,
First time poster on Feverbee.
I’m revamping our weekly newsletter. The current layout is a short 3 line intro, and then a 3x3 grid with images and 3 simple lines of text describing the topic/discussion (6 topics with a subheading, and 3 discussion questions from the community). It ends with one last CTA - basically a “Get more” - and contact details.

Although the images are hyperlinked, they rarely get clicked on, and we end up spending a good 10-15mins looking for them.

Audience is very straight talking, industrial types. Simplicity is key.

Additional tid bit: we often struggle to summarise the gist of the content in just 3 lines (20characters per line) while making it appealing for them to click on.

I was wondering if anyone could recommend good examples of newsletters, or could point out key do’s & don’ts to look out for.

Happy to provide more info if that would help.
Thanks in advance

(justinveenema) #3

Hey @bea!

Welcome to the Community. :slight_smile:

Before we dig into ways you can improve, I think it would help to see where you’re currently at. Do you have a link to your Community? Or can you tell us a bit more about what your Community is used for?

It would also help to see an example of your current newsletter, as well as any details you can share about average clicks/conversions. What is the overall goal you’re trying to achieve with the newsletter? Traffic? Engagement?

@jess_burnham and I use Discourse for the Unbounce Community, much like @FeverBee does, so all of our newsletters are generated automatically. This takes a lot of the pressure off of us, and does improve traffic/engagement, but we can’t custom tailor them or view any stats on their success.

We did implement a test which involved another newsletter a few years back, and I’d be happy to share examples + open/click rates if it’ll help.

Let me know! :slight_smile:

(Sarah Hawk) #4

Hey @bea – there are a couple of good topics on this around. Try:

(Shreyas) #5

We’ve been experimenting with our newsletters since January(basically when I joined the org). We use MailChimp. One of the things that we do is cross post our newsletters on Medium and share it as a native post on Slack. You can read our newsletters here. I always thought that being verbose is bad, but surprisingly, our audience seems to like it. Something that we’ve done for a really long time is adding a tl;dr version on top followed by a more detailed version of the update for that week.
I’ve always liked to add a personal touch to our newsletters and the response is really interesting. Especially when we meet people IRL, they talk as though they’ve known you for ages.

I’ve really liked the newsletters or The Hustle and Benedict Evans. I found them here. I also love the newsletter.

(Richard Millington) #6

Hi @bea

Welcome to the community. Really happy to have you here.

Newsletters are a funny beast I find. I’m subscribed to many but don’t read many. I suspect the reason for that is they tend to send out stories whether anything especially interesting has happened or not.

I’d suggest not automating it and spending a few weeks testing a different format. Try copying Quora one week or another newsletter you like and see what happens. Test just having the biggest single item of content people need to know, then test sharing several news stories the next week etc…over time you will figure out what works for your group.

i’d love to get a sense of why you’re using the current format. Not saying it’s wrong, but would be useful to know the background there.

(Bea Lucas) #7

Thanks so much for all your speedy responses.

Firstly, our community is a closed, private community for the manufacturing sector. You won’t be able to access the content, so I’ve uploaded an edited image of a newsletter from a few weeks back, so you can get the general gist of the look.

The current format was just something tried out by my colleague. We switch out the design every so often to keep it fresh and appealing. It’s a type of evolution of all the different layouts we have tried in the past.

The aim of the newsletter is mainly engagement. Our average clickthrough rate is about 30%

We use Hubspot, not Mailchimp.
For a year, we did tailor the newsletter to specific groups of people but found it was a lot more effort for little difference in conversion.

Thanks @HAWK for the two past posts, glad to see you’re still an active member of the community!

@dun3buggi3 interesting that you found being verbose has actually been well received by your community.

@richard_millington I totally agree with you that newsletters are a funny beast. However, when I talk to the community in person, they say they really enjoy and like the newsletter. We do a lot of personalized outreach the rest of the time.
I do like the idea of testing different formats one week to another for our weekly digest. I might try that out for a few weeks, to get a sense of the community’s response to each.

Thanks for all the food for thought and examples. It’s been really useful. I’ll post an update once we have decided on our next approach for the newsletter.