We know that you, as Vendors, are challenged with engaging and enabling your Partners and communicating the latest programs, news and resources. Between product updates, new releases, changes to your program, benefits and event information, there’s a ton to share.. But if your current strategy is to send one-off emails for every announcement, it just doesn’t work. Bombarding your Partners is not the way to do it. They are receiving vendor emails all day, every day and they simply don’t have time to cut through the noise. It’s time to reel it in.
What’s the secret to effectively communicating a lot of information directly to your Partners without overwhelming them? Newsletters.
Why a Newsletter?
Oftentimes, when people think of a newsletter they think of something from the 90’s that contains way too much copy, is all over the place on topics, and gets deleted faster than you can say...well...delete. Not any more. As a Vendor, newsletters should be an integral part of your company’s to-Partner marketing strategy. Newsletters build brand recognition and can provide enormous value to your Partners. When done properly, a newsletter can be an effective and efficient communication tool to build reader engagement, better enable your channel, and boost sales.
The struggle with this is you must communicate 10 pages of information without losing your audience.
Newsletter versus Email
What’s the difference between a newsletter and an email? Aggregation. A newsletter is a better vehicle to relay a lot of information to your channel all at once in a clear, concise, consistent way. Since your Partners have intentionally signed up for your newsletter, they will already know why they are receiving it. A prime benefit of newsletters is typically they’re not as time sensitive as an email campaign. The sense of urgency isn’t there, so content retains its value, even if the newsletter isn’t opened for a few days.
Consistency is Key
If you’re going to put a lot of information in your newsletters it’s best to have a format your readers can get used to. Humans are creatures of habit, so creating a consistent layout that’s used every single time with recognizable characteristics such as image alignment, colored headers for specific readers, and content sections in the same place is helpful. When opened, readers will know exactly what to expect and where to find specific information. It also makes it easier for you to set up each month. Bonus!
As a Vendor you always want to be top of mind with your Partners. You must create intentional, valuable and relevant content for your Partners. Remember nobody appreciates a one-sided conversation. Newsletters should include a mix of educational and promotional content. Your Partners will always open the email with one question in mind: What’s in it for them? The curation process should always answer that question or you won’t make an impact. Your content must engage the reader or they will likely bounce.
Share bite-sized, snackable content with links to more information, articles or portal. Too much content is overwhelming.
Create concise copy blocks with clear Calls-To-Action. Tell the reader exactly what you want them to do. Don’t make them guess.
Different sections appeal to different readers so organize your content in a way that makes sense to them. For example, insert the sales information in the sales section, marketing resources in the marketing section and so on.
First Impressions Matter
Your subject is more important than you know. It’s your first chance to grab your reader’s attention. Do you want them to click open or swipe delete? So, what makes a subject line desirable enough to click open:
Be different, creative, engaging and concise.
Long subject lines get cut off on mobile. You have less than 50 characters to make a strong impression – use them wisely.
Use action oriented words and create a sense of urgency
Sharing is Caring
Emails and newsletters that include just one social sharing option generate 30% higher click-through rates than emails without any social sharing links. If your content is suitable for the general public or prospective Partners, you should boost your content’s engagement by including sharing links in your newsletters. Click through rates can increase upwards of 55% or higher with 3 or more social sharing options. Also, take every article in your newsletter and write a social post about it to expand your reach and include social icons in your newsletters. Be sure your field channel teams and channel executives are posting your content on their personal social handles like LinkedIn.
Here are some final tips on how to create a reader-friendly, action oriented newsletter:
Less is more: be concise and direct with short snippets of information leading to a compelling call-to-action
If something belongs behind a login, give a teaser in your newsletter and link to your portal
Create a regular cadence for your emails: once a month, biweekly. Whatever timeline you choose, remember that a consistent cadence can help increase open rates and engagement