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Partners, the E-Mail Newsletter Is Back: Revive Yours with These Tips

With social media hogging the marketing spotlight over the past couple of years, one would think that e-mail was a relic of the past. Apparently not. The Harvard Business Review reports that e-mail is making a "triumphant resurgence." HubSpot's recent Digital Publishing Benchmarks Report found that 34.3 percent of B2B marketers are still using e-mail to drive revenue.

The good news is that the mechanics of sending out and tracking e-mail newsletters have gotten much easier over the years. But there is still that little detail of creating content month in and month out. And not just any content, but meaningful content that your prospects and customers will be interested in reading.

To help you overcome that perpetual challenge, we've assembled some resources you can tap.

First Stop: Microsoft Ready-to-Go
Microsoft's Ready-to-Go (RtG) marketing site has become a goldmine of content and education for partners. Go beyond the e-mail templates to find the building blocks for newsletter content. A few ideas to quickly create a compelling article:

  • Summarize a campaign whitepaper, linking to the document through a landing page on your Web site.

  • Use the notes in the sales presentations, which are written in a conversational tone, to create an informative article that addresses a common business problem. There are often interesting statistics in sales presentations that make a good call-out.

  • Tap into the growing number of videos on RtG to deliver content for all customer preferences.

  • Use the telesales guides as a source for good benefit and persona-driven text that you can expand into an article.  

ISV- and Vendor-Supplied Content
Trading partners are an often-overlooked source of content. Ask the ISVs and other vendors that you work with to help you create content. They may have a stock of pre-written articles or be willing to commit to an article each quarter. 

Local and Regional Business Partners
If you serve a regional market, your local Chamber of Commerce or technology council will appreciate promotion of their events. Invite a non-competing business that serves the same market to contribute a regular article. By consolidating local business information, you add value to your newsletter and provide a good reason for people to sign up.     

Industry Influencer for Vertical Markets
If you are targeting a vertical market, consider teaming up with an industry influencer. An article from the industry expert, especially one who is active on social media, can build your standing and readership.

Customer Frequently Asked Questions
If you don't already have one, work with your consulting and support team to develop a list of your customers' frequently asked questions and responses. Include one or two in every issue of the newsletter.

Recycle Blog Posts  
If your organization has (or had) a blog, there are probably older articles that could be spruced up to be just as relevant today as when they were written. Content is the gift that keeps on giving -- a little polish and that blog post will shine again.

Content Curation
Through content curation, you monitor information and bring the best to the attention of your prospects. When you find an article worth sharing, provide a summary of the article, add commentary and link to the full text. By helping to filter and uncover valuable content, you save time for your prospects and build your status as an industry expert.

A newsletter can be a powerful marketing tool, but it's very challenging for most partners to create read-worthy content every month. Tapping into the resources of vendors, partners and your own consulting team can ease the burden. Providing valuable information to your prospects and customers every month establishes your business as an expert and keeps your name fresh in their minds.

How are you engaging customers and prospects through your newsletter? Add a comment below or send me an e-mail and let's share the knowledge.

Posted by Barb Levisay on December 15, 2015