5 Tips for Creating Engaging Channel Partner Newsletters
December 16, 2020

Do you have a partner newsletter? Consistently updating your channel partners via valuable email content is an efficient way to educate and engage your partner ecosystem. To create engaging messaging, follow tried-and-true content marketing principles. Newsletters should be well-written, compelling, and, most importantly, focused on relevant topics that speak directly to your audience’s needs.

 

Create a schedule

Decide when and how often you’ll distribute your partner channel newsletter. Base this schedule on a pace you can realistically keep up with based on the time and resources you have to commit. Consistency is key. Schedule around any events or promotions you’d want to highlight, and reflect on how often you’ll have new insights to provide. For example, if you aim for new content three times a week, you may find yourself running out of ideas quite quickly. 

 

Design, design, design

How your newsletter performs will be based not only on its content but its readability. Place yourself in the shoes of your channel partners and focus on the user experience. Your newsletter must be visually appealing, and most of all, easy to read.

Pro tip: Be sure to use a template. Templates save you time in the long term as you’ll be using it consistently. Remember that as you A/B test and alter your newsletter strategy, you may need to alter your template to be more visually appealing or conversion-oriented.

 

Pro tips for your channel partner newsletter layout and design:

  • Place your table of contents at the top or in a sidebar with anchor links to newsletter sections.
  • Use white space liberally, so the page is readable, not busy.
  • Include bold headlines, short snippets, and “read more” links.
  • Include pictures and graphics to break up the text.
  • Highlight any active promos and launches over those that are upcoming.

 

Stand out 

Your newsletter must not only stand out aesthetically but also in the content it contains. When thinking about the layout and content, ask yourself, “why should my partners care about this newsletter?” and “what makes this newsletter different from the several other eBlasts they receive?” Always check to make sure you’re providing value.

Ways to ensure your newsletter grabs channel partners’ attention:

  • Create unique subject lines: Don’t rely on sending the same generic subject line for each newsletter. Discover what resonates with your audience and research which subject lines increase open-rates.
  • Keep it short and sweet: Your newsletter should center around a few updates and promotions. You only have a few moments to capture their attention, and many people skim content online versus reading every word. Don’t overwhelm your audience with too much content and be sure to link out for longer content.
  • Venture beyond fluff to provide value: If your content helps a reader solve a problem, chances are that they’ll remember you forever. Research and craft your messaging with care with one question in the forefront of your mind: how will this topic benefit the reader? 

 

Make it personal

First, determine the quality of your contact list. Partner companies may be experiencing high turnover or massive growth, making it difficult to keep track of “who’s who” within a company. Make sure your org chart is up to date to create high quality, accurate lists of contacts to target within your partner companies. 

Use marketing tactics like list segmenting and customer persona targeting to increase readership of your newsletter. Craft messages according to the roles you’re targeting. Your messaging should be specific to sales reps, account managers, and executive leadership. Although these personas work for the same company, they have slightly different motivations, which means they’ll resonate with different messages. 

For example, information about SPIFFs may be a “nice-to-know” for upper management and executives, but it will be urgent for sales reps. Similarly, MDFs may not be as relevant to account managers. Find what resonates with each role and segment your newsletter audience accordingly.

 

Measure the results of your channel partner newsletter

The only way to honestly know which best practices work is to gather and analyze the metrics. Your marketing automation software should generate valuable reports letting you know how successful your newsletter is. Once you analyze these metrics, you can make well-informed decisions about what to change or new tactics to try. 

 

Track and measure the following data points for newsletter success:

  • Job role: Who opens your newsletters most?
  • Conversion: Which links perform the best?
  • Subject line testing: A/B test subject lines to see which messages are most effective. 
  • Time: Do certain days or times net better results?
  • List growth: More subscribers mean more clicks. 
  • Forward rate: Forwarding means people are reading, sharing, and interacting with your content, which means it’s effective and catches their attention.

 

Bottom Line 

Keeping partners in the loop with a newsletter is a critical aspect of any engagement strategy. Newsletters allow you to stay top of mind with partners while providing essential updates and product information. Evaluate your partner relationship to determine the newsletter delivery schedule and closely measure KPIs such as click-through rates. Well-designed, captivating content is the best way to increase newsletter engagement numbers. Remember, just like any piece of marketing content, personalization is critical. Be sure to properly segment your audience and craft personalized messaging to each role within partner companies.

Ali Spiric