B2B Newsletter Best Practices [2022]

B2B Newsletter Best Practices

Newsletter serve multiple purposes. Some serve as a reminder, some look to sell, some just want to spread relevant, valuable information. Irrespective of your goal, there are some B2B newsletter best practices that you need to keep in mind to keep you subscribers engaged.

What is a B2B newsletter?

A B2B newsletter is a regular, periodical content marketing exercise undertaken by businesses to develop a mutually beneficial relationship with its subscribers. It has to be personal ,useful, informative, persuasive and catchy – all at the same time!

Newsletters can keep existing customers/subscribers informed about the developments related to the business’ services, like offers, upgrades, trends, new launches etc. Newsletters are an integral part of many business’ content marketing efforts. According to this Content Marketing Institute study, about 81% of B2B marketers use newsletters as a part of their content strategy.

Think of newsletters as a way for a businesses to keep in touch with this subscribers/customers in a personal way. But before we look at the best practices, here are somethings you must totally avoid.

B2B Newsletters: 10 Key Factors to Keep in Mind

Think from the perspective of the user – the person who has subscribed to your newsletter – at all times. Every time you send a newsletter, think how it impacts your relationship with them. Ideally, every newsletter should work to bridge any gap that you might have with your subscriber. Having said that here are some things you MUST avoid:

Do not add them to the newsletter list without explicit consent

This is a bit obvious but a lot of marketers still make the mistake of sending newsletters to people who haven’t expressed explicit consent to receive it. Under the CAN-SPAM Act, one can send unsolicited commercial emails but must provide a visible means to opt-out of receiving any future emails.

Under the EU law, one has to get consent while using data collection forms, like a newsletter sign up form.

The general thumb rule is to make it explicit that they’re going to receive newsletters when they fill out any form and provide a way for them to easily unsubscribe from within the email.

So DO NOT import the subscriber list or send newsletter email to people on a list that have not consented to receiving them.

Do not send newsletter subscribers irrelevant content

Subscribers agree to receiving your newsletter by providing their personal information in exchange for for valuable and relevant information. Don’t break the trust by plugging in irrelevant posts. It does two things:

  • Increases the likelihood of users opting out of the newsletter service
  • Increases the chances of them not opening your email/marking it spam and causing email deliverability issue (noticed how many newsletters get dumped in Junk/Spam folder automatically?)

So from a strategic standpoint, it makes no sense to such content.

Not promoting it enough on social channels

One of the best ways to promote a newsletter on social media is by tagging people whose work is featured on the newsletter. If people are credited for their work, chances of them retweeting/sharing it it a lot higher – and that way you can tap into their audience as well.

Take this tweet as an example:

This strategy effectively doubles or triples your newsletter’s reach with almost negligible extra effort.

Another way to leverage social media is to actively promote your newsletter on your personal profile/relevant groups. People who follow you and similar interests are more likely to subscribe and read your content.

Being inconsistent in frequency of sending emails

When it comes to newsletters, discipline is the key. The end goal of a newsletter is to build a community of people with a common interest and engaging them in a way you position your brand as a thought leader.

And, one way of doing that is by being disciplined and regular. You will need to train your subscribers to click on the notification they receive every week at the same time. Over time, it becomes a habit and becomes a part of their routine.

At B2B SEO tips, we send a newsletter every week Tuesday at 3 pm EST and has always been a part of the messaging whenever we want to promote the newsletter.

Copy-pasting content that don’t flow into each other or tell a story

“β€œThe most powerful person in the world is the storyteller,” said Steve Jobs. And, it’s for a specific reason.

It’s one thing to compile all the information but it’s a completely different skill to put all of them together into one cohesive unit. Think of your newsletter as a story that you want to tell at the end of the week and the different elements in it as chapters of that story.

Makes sense?

All of the ‘chapters’ need to flow into each other well to tell one effective story. At the end of reading the newsletter, the user must feel, empowered, educated, entertained or provoked. Your newsletter has to invoke at least one or two of these feelings.

Sending the newsletter at inappropriate times

It is common sense that a subscriber is more likely to open a newsletter when they have the time, resources to engage with your email. That means sending it during workhours but not during peak work times.

What is the best time to send a newsletter?

There is no specific time of the day that is better than others. Generally, all email newsletters sent during business hours have decent engagement. A study by GetResponse, an email marketing software, showed the the open rate of email hovered in the range of 20-27% during business hours, peaking around 6 pm.

However, it is to be noted that there are multiple variables such as country, industry that you’re in etc.

The best option would be to test this with your subscribers. See what time works for them, they engage the most and stick with it.

Not having a plan for weeks ahead

You will need to have your newsletter content plan ready at least 2-3 weeks before it goes live. If you’re covering the latest news, trends in your industry, then you can look at being more flexible with it.

Ideally, your newsletter should have a central theme for week – like a cover story of a magazine. One main topic of interest that will be sure to grab the attention of your subscribers.

Build your other content around this central theme – it might be an interview, findings of a study, an announcement, anything that will add value to your subscribers. Once you identify the central topic, start building a pipeline of such content – one for every week.

This is critical if you’re starting out with newsletter and want to build a focused, engaged community. Subscribers might be more forgiving once you’ve established a sense of trust but initially, you need to earn their trust by churning out value every week.

Not making it easy for people to subscribe to the newsletter

The three biggest obstacles in getting more newsletter subscribers are:

  1. People are fed up of getting junk newsletters that don’t add any value to their personal/professional life
  2. They hate giving their personal information to others
  3. They will fill out forms only if they really have to

How do you overcome all three?

By being genuine and coming across with the intention of adding value. It’s easier said than done. Here’s one way of doing it:

Be where they are, show them the value first and then ask for their time. When asking people to subscribe to your newsletter, you’re asking for their time and some space in their inbox.

And, for them to allow both, you need to prove it’s worth it. So, in your subscription form, keep the messaging short, clear and transparent.

The other important aspect is about when you ask them.

Ideally, you want them to have know you, read your content before asking for their subscription. A non-intrusive pop-out, or an inline CTA at the end of a blog are good places to start.

Earning newsletter is a humbling exercise where you need to earn their trust before they agree to the subscription.

Too many commercial elements that ask your subscribers to pay/buy

While newsletter is a great way to communicate with your users about your service, products, having too many elements that push for a commercial transaction is not a great idea. Again, the thumb rule is to add enough value before asking for their money.

Also, your subscribers would appreciate your transparency if any content in your newsletter was sponsored or paid for. Often, brands put a small ‘Sponsored’ tag above any such content. It’s OK to be transparent and them know if you’re going to be making commissions out of any sale.

Your subscribers are more likely to ‘convert’ if you’re honest about your intentions.

Not having segmented newsletter audience list

Having the right audience segments set up from the start will help you scale better. One way to visualize this is to think of how you’re going to send personalized newsletters to your subscribers based on their interests?

Think of it like this: one big list for all your subscribers + smaller lists based on their interest.

That way, you can tailor your newsletter content to a certain group and focus on getting maximum engagement for your content.

Final Thoughts

As mentioned, newsletter can be rewarding but is a long-term effort.

Having the discipline to prioritize quality over quantity, churn out weekly content, and genuinely looking to add value are three traits that will determine your newsletter’s success.

If you liked the article and found it useful, you will definitely appreciate our weekly B2B SEO newsletter. We send it once a week, every Tuesday at 3 pm EST. Hoping to meet you every week through our newsletter πŸ™‚

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