Tips for building customer loyalty via your newsletter

A newsletter can be an effective marketing tool. But how do you make sure your newsletter stands out in your customers' inboxes? This article explains how you can make a newsletter that creates loyal customers. And the privacy rules you need to follow.

A newsletter is an email that you send to your customers. The email tells your customers about a variety of subjects, such as discount sales or a new product you are offering. A newsletter is a form of email marketing.  

More sales via newsletters

A newsletter can help you reach several goals, such as building customer relations or selling products and services. Gijs Maks, marketeer at the sustainable coffee company Moyee, explains what their newsletter offers: “For us, the newsletter creates customer loyalty. Updates via the newsletter increase the chance of a next purchase. One good example is the newsletter where we explained our coffee holiday special. That sale product was sold out within two days, and almost all the sales came from the newsletter.” 

The five tips below can help you write a newsletter that customers are eager to read.

1. Make your newsletter personal

Make a newsletter that inspires, connects with, or entertains your reader. “We involve our customers in what we are doing as much as possible”, explains Maks. “Our mission is to make the coffee chain more sustainable. In our newsletter, we regularly write about our progress in achieving that mission. That is how we try to connect customers to our brand. We tell what has happened in the coffee production process, and we add a photo of one of our coffee farmers. That makes it more fun for our customers to read than a press release with statistics about coffee production. We get personal, positive replies, which shows that the newsletter has an effect on our readers.” 

Do you want to know what has an effect on your readers, so that you can try it in your newsletter? Then do a customer survey, for example via an email questionnaire. Or look at the click rate of your newsletters to see which subjects people read the most.

2. Involve your target audience

Try to create interaction with your readers via your newsletter. Find out what your customers are thinking about and what they need. Then you can stand out from the crowd by including that in your newsletters. For example, ask what time they like to drink coffee. Or ask them to send a photo of themselves using your product. Share the photos in your next newsletter, or use them for a sales campaign.

3. Think of an interesting subject line 

Attract your readers' attention with a surprising, inviting, or interesting title in the subject line. The subject line for your newsletter is the first thing your reader sees, so it is very important. A title like: “Newsletter 28 February’ is too general and does not say anything about the contents. It will not tempt your customers to open the newsletter. Use an active style for the title, and mention a benefit to the reader or a trend you will talk about in the newsletter. Use clear language, ask a question, or talk about a current event.

Test using titles like: ‘Curling your own hair in three steps’ (newsletter for a hairdresser), or ‘Father’s Day: two free smoothies for breakfast’ (newsletter for a cafe). That tells readers what they will get right away.

4. Use storytelling

Use storytelling in your newsletter to tell the story of your company or your product. Storytelling is a way of writing that uses your readers’ emotions, so they can see themselves in your story. That will make them more likely to feel a connection with your company. 

Coffee supplier Moyee uses storytelling to communicate its sustainable business mission. In their newsletter, they tell how they roast the coffee and package it in the country of origin. The emphasis is on fair and sustainable production for both farmers and the environment. That story is repeated in all of Moyee’s marketing communications. It creates a connection with customers who believe that sustainability is important.  

5. Follow the rules 

When you send a newsletter, you must comply with the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) privacy law. The most important rules are:

  • You cannot just send a newsletter to anyone; you must have their permission. This is called an ‘opt-in’, and it means that the person you are sending the mail to must have signed up for the newsletter via a sign-up form. 
  • Your newsletter recipient must be able to cancel their permission at any time. This is called an ‘opt-out’, and must always be easy to find.
  • When you send an email to your customers, it must always be clear that you are the person sending it. You are only allowed to send an email on behalf of yourself or your business.