Since you’re reading this, you already know your customer newsletter needs help. So today I’m going to give you a whole bunch of customer newsletter ideas that can get your customers to open your emails and actually read them.
But first, consider the WHY
Before I get into the list of customer newsletter ideas, I want you to consider these important questions:
Why exactly are you sending a customer newsletter? What goal(s) are you trying to achieve?
If you’re not sure, take the time to revisit your content strategy and figure out the answer.
In many cases, a customer newsletter serves as part of an end-to-end program to improve customer satisfaction and provide a great customer experience, with goals like these:
- Retaining their business
- Getting customers to purchase additional products and services
- Encouraging them to recommend you to others
To use a term that everyone in marketing is talking about these days, you’re trying to delight your customers. To achieve that goal, your customer newsletter must provide content your customers really care about.
It’s important to understand that not every one of the newsletter content ideas described here will be appropriate for every business and every customer. At the end of this article, we’ll explain how to choose the ones that will work best for you.
22 customer newsletter ideas: content your customers WANT to read
Here are some suggestions for customer newsletter content that can actually provide value for your customers.
1. Problem-solving advice
What problems or tasks do your customers have in common? Can you provide advice for getting things done or overcoming challenges? Since you work with so many customers, you may be in a great position to learn about ideas or best practices that are helping one customer and share those in your customer newsletter.
2. Help new customers get acquainted
One of our clients, a large HVAC service company in New York City, does this really well. Every time they win a maintenance contract with a new customer, they send a personalized new customer newsletter that provides helpful start-up information, such as whom to contact for billing questions, how to request a service call, and how customers can see a video of work performed during service visits.
Not only does this make a great first impression, but it helps prevent communication issues that can hinder the customer experience and overall satisfaction.
3. Product tips
Provide tips and tricks about using your products that can help your customers be more efficient and productive. Is there a shortcut to a common task? A helpful feature that solves a problem, yet not many people know about it? These are the kinds of tips customers love.
How do you get those golden nuggets to share? Talk to your sales team, customer service team, and R&D team.
4. Share your expertise (with a caveat)
Do you have a brain full of knowledge about a subject that interests your customers? Go ahead and share little-known facts, stories, and advice.
Here’s the caveat: make sure the information you share is truly helpful to your customers and not merely self-serving.
5. Make your customer the star
Do you have customers that are doing extraordinary things? In your customer newsletter, you can share their stories and accomplishments such as:
- Winning an industry award or a big new contract
- Making an impact with charitable work
- Achieving some great success (possibly using your product or service)
Here’s that caveat again, though, and it’s the mantra you must keep in your head as you review all these customer newsletter ideas: “Why will they care?”
Maybe it’s a heartwarming humanitarian story, a problem everyone is wrestling with, or just what’s new in their neighborhood. Remember to find common ground.
6. Industry news and commentary
What’s going on in your industry that impacts on your customers? Here are just a few ways you can create customer newsletter content that people want to read:
- Explain a complex event or change in terms that customers can easily understand
- Point out potential consequences for the customer
- Recommend appropriate action
- Predict what might be coming next
7. Find out how much they like you
As long as it’s quick, many customers are happy to let you know how you’re doing (and they’re glad to know you actually care about their experience). You can also offer a small incentive (like a discount or a gift card) to make it worth their time.
If you’re just kicking off a customer experience program, you’ll want to begin by gathering feedback through a Net Promoter survey. These 2-question surveys can be completed in seconds and tell you about overall customer satisfaction and how likely they are to recommend you to others.
You can also ask customers to review a recent purchase or customer service experience.
Remember to make it brief, and personalize as much as possible! Anything that takes longer than a minute or two is probably asking too much.
Many businesses use contests as a way to connect with new prospects. Why not give your existing customers a chance to win a great prize?
You might consider combining this idea with asking for feedback: “share your experience and be entered into a drawing to win an Apple Watch!” Or, “refer a friend and get a chance to win!”
One word of caution, though: don’t make the prize too big or you run the risk of having customers give less-than-honest feedback for a chance to win the prize.
9. Ask for specific product feedback
Chances are, your customers have wish lists for your product or service. Many of them would love to tell you what they want and need. Why not use your customer newsletter as an opportunity to ask for their feedback?
Just make sure you’re willing and able to take their feedback seriously and follow through with helpful changes.
Which brings us to the next customer newsletter idea:
10. Roadmaps and new product announcements
Customers (especially the ones who provided feedback and have specific wish lists) want to know about your product and service improvement plans.
Use your customer newsletter to share product roadmaps and let them know when their requested enhancements and new products will be available.
11. Business changes that impact customers
Sharing improvement plans can be just as important for a service business. Did customers let you know they need faster response times? Let them know about your plans and timeline to shave an hour off your current response time.
Here’s what you should avoid: sharing company news that your customers don’t care about:
- “So-and-so was promoted to assistant sales manager!” Your customers don’t care unless they have regular contact with that person.
- Did you move to a new office? They might need the new address to send payments or if they visit your physical location. Otherwise, it’s not news they need to know.
12. Celebrate important occasions
I’m not talking about holiday greetings, which are often so general and impersonal that they become meaningless.
How about doing the opposite: like acknowledging the anniversary of when each customer first purchased or began using your services? Now that’s a targeted message that demonstrates your focus on making each and every customer feel important.
13. Promos and discounts
Everybody wants to save money, right? If you’re offering a great deal, people will be interested. That is, unless you bombard them with promo offers on a daily basis (retailers, are you listening??) in which case even your most loyal customers will get desensitized.
14. Ask their opinion
Don’t we all like to share our beliefs and opinions? Find a shared topic of interest and poll your customers to find out where they stand. Even better: share the results so others know how others responded and how many share their viewpoint.
For most businesses, though, you’ll probably want to shy away from polarized topics like politics or religion (unless that’s what you do, of course).
15. Test their knowledge
This is a good one if many of your customers are well versed in a particular subject. Give them a quiz so they can test their knowledge and find out how they stack up against their peers (your other customers).
16. Introduce your team
Do your employees communicate with customers regularly, in the process of providing a service, answering questions, or solving problems? Especially when customers have a regular voice and name that’s familiar, chances are they’d be interested in knowing more about your employees. Why not introduce them with photos and fun facts?
And wouldn’t it be fun to ask customers to share their own photos, so your customer service staff can see who they’re talking to?
17. Get a mascot
You’d be surprised how many businesses have somebody’s dog in the office on a regular basis, or a stuffed animal/action figure/silly object that lives in the office and plays a part in company culture.
Why not extend that fun, shared experience to your customers via your customer newsletter? Obviously this won’t be appropriate for every type of business, but for some it can be a great way to connect.
18. Invite customers to an event
Many businesses plan or participate in events that are primarily targeted at new prospects, such as:
- Speaking engagements
- Trade shows
- Industry educational meetings
- Store or restaurant openings
- New product demonstrations
These events can also be great chances to connect with customers and get their feedback. Why not include customers (via an invitation in your customer newsletter) along with prospects?
19. Relate to popular events
For some businesses, it can be hard to find the common ground that all of your customers can relate to. In that case, try finding a way to relate what you do to pop culture, seasonal events, sports or music.
Want to see an example? Here’s how we did that for our HVAC client:
20. Create your own memes
Here’s why memes are so wildly popular: they’re entertaining, quick to consume, and easy to share. No need to read a long article or watch a five-minute video; you get instant fun at a glance.
How about creating your own memes about your product or service, or crazy things going on in your industry? If you’ve got a mascot (see idea #17), you’re halfway there! If your memes are truly funny and relatable, your customers will be opening your customer newsletter emails every time.
21. Curate content
What have you been reading or watching lately that your customers would find helpful? As you come across interesting or thought-provoking content, keep a list. Then when it comes time to come up with customer newsletter ideas, you can share that content.
You can add your own spin on the ideas, or simply summarize and share the links.
If your customers follow you on social media, you can also share curated content that way (and be sure to let the author know you shared their content). You can extend your reach if they share your posts with their network or link back to your website.
22. Help them delight their own customers!
If you are selling to other businesses, why not share what you’ve learned about how to improve customer experience? Take our word for it, every single B2B business is struggling with the same issue.
Customer newsletter formats: 7 different ways to share information
Now that you’ve got all these great content ideas for your customer newsletter, you need to consider the right format for sharing it.
Here are just a few ways you can make an impact with the right format:
- Write plain text content directly in the email (this can be a smart way to get attention because it feels so different, and much more personal, than all the elaborately designed emails we get).
- Include excerpts from popular blogs or other longer articles (from your website or LinkedIn), with links out to the full piece.
- Copy content from popular social posts or reviews into an email (with links to the sources).
- Embed a video or share a links to a video.
- Send an email invitation that links to a landing page for event registration.
- Include a survey, quiz, or poll in the email itself, or link out to complete them in another platform.
- Use infographics or other visual formats to help customers understand complex content.
How to choose the RIGHT customer newsletter ideas for you
So, now for the obvious question: how can you tell which customer newsletter ideas (and which content formats) will bring the results you’re after?
There are three strategies for choosing the right content and formats (and we recommend doing all of them):
1. Know your customers and what they care about
Do you know enough about your customers to be sure what they really care about and want to see in a customer newsletter? The truth is, very few businesses really do.
There are probably silos within your organization that have some level of customer knowledge. So your first step should be to gather that information in one place. You can do that by talking to everyone in your organization who deals directly with customers, and mine different sources of customer data your company collects.
Next, conduct buyer persona research, just like you would to learn about what your prospects care about. Remember, customers were once prospects and might still be prospects for new products. So, when you include not only new customers but long-term customers in your persona research, you can learn what they care about. That’s great intelligence for planning your customer newsletter and your entire customer experience program.
Want to learn how to do buyer persona research the right way? Get our helpful guide.
Still not sure what formats will get your customers’ attention and which content will resonate with them? A/B testing is the best way to find out what works.
Send separate emails (or include multiple types of content in the same email) to your target audience, and track which content gets the most opens, clicks, and time on page. You can also send the same content with different subject lines to see which deliver better results.
3. Ask them!
If you’re kicking off a new customer newsletter (and especially if you’re re-launching a new-and-improved version of an old one) why not ask your customers directly what they want to see?
You can ask them to choose subjects they’re interested in, what content formats they prefer to consume, and how often they want to hear from you.
You can also use the information to create segmented lists of customers and create custom content for each group.
Congrats if you made it all the way through to the end of this article… I know it was a lot to read!
I completely understand if you’re feeling overwhelmed…. all this seems like so much more trouble than just cranking out a few paragraphs once a month. But I promise you, customer newsletter ideas like this are the best path to creating a customer newsletter people will read, and contributing to a great customer experience that has a big payoff for your business.