August 18, 2021
A public newsletter, when written well, will create engaged audiences which can lead to paid subscribers or to investors. With an engaged audience, of whom a percentage are paid subscribers or investors, your public newsletter will maintain retention rates, if not increase them. Newsletters industry benchmarks can earn an open rate anywhere between 20-30% on average with some newsletters such as 1440 Media reaching 50+%. Greater open rates paired with well-timed re-targeting and re-engagement campaigns will lead to higher audience retention.
When it comes to creating a newsletter that is engaging (or any type of public content), it must simply provide value to the reader. The value that your newsletter provides will vary depending on the industry and topics that you work in however there are three key areas which you should aspire to achieve each release - entertainment, education, and opportunity. Achieving two of these will lead to higher engagement though ideally your newsletter provides all three to your audience.
Delivering a newsletter to your audience which is entertaining, educating, and provides opportunity, requires a deep understanding of your products/services and your target audience - your existing users/consumers, your future users/customers, and the broader industry community. Your audience - users, consumers, and followers - are your loyal fans and must be the priority. As a public company you have an obligation to inform the public of any significant news and changes, and traditionally this was straight forward with only a few channels. Nowadays, companies build cult-like followings by building a unique brand that resonates with people all over the world. Such companies are able to engage with millions of people globally through omni-channel presence including public newsletters.
The content within the newsletter, once you've determined your product/service and your target audience, becomes the third piece of the puzzle and ties everything together. Content via email newsletters can be consumed for time periods up to 80% longer than from other channels meaning that the reader needs to be engaged for longer than a social media post and while this can be hard to achieve, the rewards are more than worth it as you're much more likely to convert a subscribing consumer than a social media user scrolling past your ad. Your audience will look forward to your publishing and as a result will organically grow.
The style of your newsletter now becomes somewhat irrelevant so long as the layout is simple and the reader can navigate from top to bottom with ease. For example, if your newsletter looked amazing but had content without value and good copy, you would likely unsubscribe soon after. Conversely, if the newsletter wasn't the prettiest, however was easy to navigate AND had killer content with loads of value, you would be compelled to read it all and soon be looking forward to the next issue.
So, the key point here is, you must think about what your audience wants to know. As a public company, here are some examples of topics which could be included within a newsletter in order to address all audiences:
● Company News: Highlight things such as new hires, leadership changes, acquisitions/mergers, new investments, awards won, job openings etc. Other such news can include recent discoveries, new projects, and if you're an early stage company, open financings. This is information which is engaging and drives reader-ship. The audience will feel that they are part of the company and this can lead to interest from investors, or even new talent for the business.
● Events: Highlight any events which the company has sponsored or taken part in. Tell a story here. How was the company involved, did it benefit the community? Have you made any charitable donations recently? Perhaps an employee did something memorable, such as ran in the London marathon for charity. Local community highlights really resonate with people, and will highlight the company values to people externally.
● Projects: What projects is the business currently working on or recently completed? It is essential to be proud of the work which is completed and external audiences often want to see and appreciate the work that you do. Showcasing projects, and creating case studies of projects recently completed will take readers along for the journey too. When displaying your projects, it is important to use visual aids more than written aids. This means plenty of professional video content (emphasis on professional) and photo content.
● Stories: Storytelling is an art, and something which benefits business a lot when implemented correctly. Covering stories of your employees outside the workplace, whether that be their personal stories or events on behalf of the company can draw readers in. Perhaps employees went to a fun destination for the day on behalf of the company, or an employee won an award for bravery. The possibilities are endless. But this encapsulates the business as an emotive object, rather than an inanimate business - it evokes emotion from your readers and creates a colorful picture of the business when viewed externally.
Writing an external company newsletter allows you to share the company’s work, community involvement and accomplishments with the world. At times it may not seem like the hard work could benefit the business, but often the best ways of marketing to potential investors or customers is to not really market at all. Individuals can tell when they’re being sold to, and it often puts them off. So, a well planned and curated newsletter, with a majority share of engaging content rather than being sales based, is an authentic way to connect with the audience to build followers, consumers, investors, and more.