Whether you are using print-and-mail or e-mail to distribute your company’s newsletter, there are three main styles: Business to consumer or B2C, business to business or B2B and membership. Each one has different characteristics, and the one you use will depend on your target audience.
The B2C newsletter style is for businesses that sell mainly to consumers. The content is transactional, meaning it features products and services and information about them. Readers of these newsletters expect straightforward information about products and services to help them make the buying decision. To allow for display of a number of products or services, construct the newsletter so it is a series of summaries with continuation to an inside page (printed newsletter) or link to a full article (e-letter).
The B2B newsletter style is for businesses that sell mainly to other businesses and organizations. For B2B, the sales cycle is usually longer than B2C and depends on gaining the trust and confidence of the buyer. Therefore a primary goal of the B2B style is to build a relationship. Retention is also an important aspect of B2B marketing as it provides the opportunity for cross-selling.
Content for B2B newsletters is crafted to meet the specific needs of the target audience and is based around information that will help the decision makers. Good B2B content includes features on products and services, expert advice, case studies, industry news and white papers.
Frequency is another important aspect of the B2B newsletter – sent too frequently, a newsletter can be annoying; not sent often enough, and it loses its effectiveness. The most popular cycle for newsletters is monthly.
The membership newsletter is for businesses and organizations that are communicating with members or offering expert advice. Content centers on things of interest to the membership, including recent and upcoming events. These newsletters often include many photographs of members engaging in events and activities sponsored by the organization.
Newsletters are time consuming to prepare but are a very effective marketing tool. The trick is to get those receiving your newsletter to to not just read it, but to look forward to it and even use it for a reference.