Thinking about starting a newsletter for your fitness or wellness business? Great! Whether you are offering services in-person, online, or a bit of both, a newsletter is an effective way to communicate with existing and potential clients.
However, you might be thinking to yourself, “Isn’t my website supposed to serve that purpose?” True, your website does serve the purpose of marketing and communication but you also need a vehicle to get your readers there! Your website will always be your home base and your newsletter is just one way to get clicks and eyes on your offerings. But, your newsletter is much more than a vehicle. It’s a way to showcase your expertise and build trust with your audience.
Before we share some best practices for your newsletter, let’s talk attention spans. We all know that email overload and burnout are real, so it’s important that your newsletter stands out, is easy to read, and offers value to the recipient.
According to this 2018 email marketing report from Litmus, the average time a recipient spent reading an email was 13.4 seconds – an increase from 11.1 seconds when the same research was done in 2016. So, the good news is that it seems that our attention spans are actually increasing but 13 seconds still isn’t a lot of time! With this in mind, there are three elements that will maximize the time you have the reader’s attention:
1. Easy to scan
Your newsletter is not the place to write long essays or commentaries. Keep your information quick and to the point. Your reader should be able to scan and quickly see what you’re offering and what’s new in your professional practice or industry. Note that including too many images or focusing too much on making your emails aesthetically pleasing can actually make your newsletter hard to scan.
It would appear that increased readership across mobile devices might play a role in overall read times so it’s important to ensure that your newsletter can be read just as easily on a mobile device as it would on a desktop or laptop computer. Many email marketing services make this easy and will automatically optimize your emails for mobile responsiveness but check with your email service provider if you are unsure.
3. Balanced with visual content
Going hand in hand with being scannable, balancing your newsletter’s visual content with text makes it easier for the reader to get a sense of your content and what’s contained within your newsletter. You don’t have to go overboard on adding visual content but rather use it to compliment the content you’re sharing.
Content and Layout
No matter your content, these three guidelines can set you apart from the hundreds of emails sitting in the reader’s inbox. Next, let’s explore some ideas of what kind of content to include in your newsletter and how to most effectively lay it out in order to increase reader attention and engagement.
Use an introduction: Offering a greeting or some kind of introduction is a good way to ground your newsletter content or quickly give the reader an idea of what you’re sharing. Teachers might use this space to share a short, personal anecdote to connect with the audience. If you choose to include an introduction to each issue of your newsletter, remember to keep it short and to the point. One should be able to scan the introduction and get a sense of what’s included in the issue just by skimming the intro.
Include educational content: It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking your newsletter is solely a platform for promotion. And, of course, you can use it to share current promotions and sell your offerings – but it actually shouldn’t be the primary purpose of your newsletter. Above sales, use your newsletter as a tool to provide something of value to the reader. Your newsletter is a great opportunity to show your expertise in your field which will in turn, build trust with the reader. If you are providing valuable information that in some way helps the recipient, you’re increasing the likelihood that they will continue to open your newsletters and as you build this relationship, you are also building potential clients and students.
Call To Action: Remember, your newsletter is providing something of value to the reader which is why you lead with introduction and educational content. There’s no need to include every single detail about your offerings here but just enough to pique interest. Remember, your website will contain all of that information and your newsletter is a way to get eyes on your website so use this section to highlight any new courses, classes, updates, or reminders.
Links to your website and social media: Add helpful links to the bottom of your newsletter. This section can be static and part of your email template. Including these links invite your readers to connect with you in other ways and keep building a relationship. When you connect with your readers outside of your newsletter or website, you’re offering interested followers and readers an opportunity to see your content more frequently and keeping you top of mind when they are ready to book a class or service.
Looking for some more tips on how to go about creating your first newsletter? Check out this guide to help you think through your newsletter goals and strategy. OfferingTree also provides its users an easy-to-use email builder which includes the ability to segment your audience, set up nurturing campaigns, and analytics so you can make more data-driven decisions for your growing business. Visit offeringtree.com and see how we can help you stay connected with your audience and grow your business!