Let’s face it; email newsletters aren’t the sexiest of all marketing techniques.

But I love them.

Why? Because there’s nothing better for building real connections and trust, than with an email newsletter.

Turning up the heat on already-warm prospects

When prospects and customers subscribe to your newsletter and stay subscribed, it’s because they’re interested. They’re not cold prospects, they’re warm.

And a carefully-crafted and consistent newsletter is an excellent way to keep them warm, and turn up the heat just a little so they move from prospects to paying customers.

With an engaging email newsletter, you can build a relationship gradually over time.

The longer you stay in touch, the more you’re able to keep your business top-of-mind with your subscribers. Once they’re ready to make a purchase, yours will be the first business they think of.

Build appreciation by going deep

You can go deep with your newsletter by sharing information about your business with your readers.

This makes them feel special, which you can reinforce by mentioning that the information in your newsletter is exclusively for subscribers like them.

There are three categories of information you can share, and I mentioned them in the headline: information that entertains, engages, and delights.

Let’s look at these three categories to see how they translate to real content in your regular email newsletter.

Information that entertains

You might be thinking, “But I’m not an entertainer!” Don’t be intimidated by this category.

Share information that complements what your business offers. Things like:

  • Behind-the-scenes images or videos
  • Photos or videos of your employees: their hobbies, interests, and ideas
  • Sneak peeks of an upcoming event or sale
  • Previews of future projects or offerings
  • Funny videos you find on the web about topics that relate to your business
  • Links to great information you’ve come across

You don’t have to create the entertaining information you share.

For example, if you own a consignment shop, you could share a link to a video that demonstrates different ways to wear a scarf.

Fortunately, the web is rich with content that’s highly shareable. Take some time to curate what you find, and share the most interesting and entertaining links with your readers.

Information that engages

We tend to think about email newsletters as something we blast out to the people on our subscriber list. But they are really great for initiating a two-way exchange of information, too.

It can be as simple as asking people to click reply, answer a question, or send a comment. To deepen the engagement, consider trying these techniques:

  • Send out a poll or survey, and offer a prize for filling it out (this could be a downloadable PDF, or access to an exclusive video, or audio recording)
  • Run a contest where they can enter by replying to an email, enter on the company website, or on a social media page
  • Invite them to an event that you offer exclusively to your newsletter subscribers (it could be a live event at your location, or an online event like a webinar or teleclass)
  • Share information about an informal meet up you sponsor in a public location
  • Give them inside looks at upcoming projects, musings on your current thinking, or some details about your personal life

Information that delights

Your prospects and customers will be delighted to receive special perks just for being a subscriber. Remember to let them know that it’s their subscriber status that qualifies them for the delightful benefits they are getting:

  • Share a coupon that gives them an exclusive discount
  • Invite them to a flash sale (either at your location, or online)
  • Host a preview just for them: an inside look at an upcoming line of products or services
  • Offer an early bird discount for a limited time
  • Create tutorials just for them
  • Share an ebook guide or checklist that is only available to them

Make your subscribers feel special with delightful, exclusive subscribers-only perks like these. They’ll want to stay subscribed to your newsletter to keep having access.

Build raving fans with your email newsletter

All this exclusive information and these special perks serve to strengthen the bonds you’re developing with your audience.

I know they work. I regularly receive fan letters for my newsletter! (You can get it here.)

And when you consistently entertain, engage, and delight, you can expect fan letters, too.

How do you make your newsletter engaging? Tell us in the comments below!

About the author: Pamela Wilson founded Big Brand System to help small business owners use strategic marketing and great design to build big brands.