Mark Brownlow at Email Marketing Reports has published some useful tips on creating quality content for B2B email newsletters.

Mark has eight years’ experience in writing various newsletters and his article contains 31 tips in total: 10 on managing your content, plus another 21 to give you ideas for your newsletter’s content.

Content management:

Monitor your competitor’s newsletters
Keep an eye on other newsletters in your field of business for ideas you can adapt for your own.

Partner with other businesses
Co-operating with non-competing business can be a useful way of sharing the workload and providing complementary content for each other’s newsletters.

Monitor your open and click rates

By checking to see how many customers opened your email, and how many clicked on links, you can get a good idea of which content is working. Use this information to focus your content.

“If a particular subject line caused open rates to rocket, you know where to focus more content in the future.”

Recycle existing site content
To save yourself the effort, use relevant existing content from your site, this is a good way of directing customer to parts of your site.

Use reader feedback

Find out what works and what doesn’t. Allow readers to suggest areas they would like you to cover, helping you to keep your newsletters relevant to your audience.

Don’t send too many newsletters

If you are struggling to fill your newsletter, consider sending them less frequently, and make them shorter if necessary. As Mark say, better than losing your readers’ interest:

“Since recipients value their inbox space, they will do more than just ignore poor content (like you would, say, a badly written newspaper ad.) No, they’ll actually begin to resent the meaningless intrusion into their email privacy. Spam reports are the logical consequence.”

Content ideas:

Use surveys and statistics – People like reading lists, and industry statistics are useful, and aggregating them yourself will save your readers time.

Link to useful resources  – Share links to useful websites, articles and tools with your readers. Explain why these are worth using.

Quizzes – Everyone likes a quiz now and then, and a relevant quiz can help you provide future content by identifying gaps in your readers’ knowledge which you can fill.

Interviews – Choose a relevant subject and topic for your interview and it’s like getting someone else to write the article.

“Don’t underestimate the effort you need to put in. Considered thought needs to go into the choice of interview partner, the interview topic and the questions themselves. And if the interview is verbal, you’ll need time to transcribe and edit the recording.”

See all 31 tips here.

Further reading:

Email Marketing Secrets

E-consultancy’s Email Marketing Buyers Guide 2006