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Marketing: How to Make Your Newsletter Unique This Holiday Season

Five ways to keep your readers' attention this holiday season.

The holidays are upon us and marketing professionals are busy brainstorming content for their next newsletter.  Before you get going, it’s important to remember that consumers get a barrage of emails around the holidays, so what you do has to be unique and engaging.  

At a recent Constant Contact seminar, the speaker shared that approximately 80 percent of newsletter content should be used to engage, entertain and educate while the remaining 20 percent should be used to promote. So as you start drafting your newsletter, look to provide your readers with content they’ll find useful this time of the year. How can your company break through the masses of holiday emails? Here are five ways to engage your readers and stand out from the rest of the crowd:

  1. Incorporate Recipes: While planning the email marketing strategy for a country club’s November newsletter, I carefully considered what topics would appeal to me. Given that Thanksgiving is next week and holiday parties are just around the corner, learning about new recipes is something I believe most people would enjoy. Perusing my favorite website, Pinterest, resulted in the selection of four popular Thanksgiving side dishes for inclusion in the newsletter. Not only did I obtain the highest open rate to date by including a recipe teaser in the subject line, but I also received the highest number of clicks within the newsletter from the recipe photos. This just confirms that people truly appreciate receiving useful content and I’d highly recommend incorporating this strategy into your holiday email marketing efforts. 
  2. Provide Ideas for Entertainment: Whether you provide creative tips for garnishing a table or suggest various options for music, the newsletter is a great channel to offer advice that will make that event extra special. My colleague, Elizabeth Ireland, recommends that companies can feature a holiday-themed song list allowing readers to create playlists and download songs from iTunes for their parties. 
  3. Use Bullet Points: Another colleague, Anna Keeve, recommends that companies use bullet points where appropriate to make their messages concise and easy to read. Information relayed in paragraph format is easy to skim over, but providing bits and pieces in a way that’s easy for readers to digest will work in your favor. 
  4. Share DIY Crafts: If you couldn’t already tell, I’m a big fan of Pinterest because the site provides a platform for individuals to organize and share ideas. In particular, I enjoy the great do-it-yourself crafts. With the holidays on the horizon, companies can share project ideas with others and help them deck their halls. Is there an easy way to make a holiday wreath out of wine corks, burlap or another item? By all means, share it!
  5. Use Technology: Don’t be afraid to embrace new technology such as QR Codes. Consider adding a QR code to your newsletter and have it link to a coupon. Readers will wonder where it leads and will use their smartphones to retrieve the special offer. 

In considering the content to include in your holiday email marketing campaign, be sure to devise creative subject lines that don’t come across salesy. Give your readers a reason to open your newsletter. Also, don’t forget to incorporate the share functions for email and social media because people love sharing recipes and other fun tidbits. 

Jen McGahan November 19, 2011 at 02:27 PM
Alyson, Wow, someone else who's passionate about email and Pinterest...how fun! I'll look for you on Pinterest!

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