Focus your first issue on how you have tackled and resolved any gaps between making and delivering promises to them.
Take the top three most commented questions you find in industry forums and blogs, on Quora, and on LinkedIn.
Either curate a response adding information and resources, or respond to them in an article by addressing root causes from a fresh angle.
Here's an example of how I curated a question that was top of mind with my readers using LinkedIn and the blog: should you outsource social media?
Pay attention to the details.
Zappos.com and Jason Calacanis do it, and now you can too:
- Take the time to craft a good subject line for your audience - examples from Calacanis' whose audience is 9,400 startups and VCs "The Future of Startups", "(The) Startup Depression"; from Zappos.com "Shoe Repair Guys are Worth Gold", "Repairing Scuff and Scrapes" - so they know exactly what they're getting
- When in doubt go for text -- it's easier on the system even though it looks less sexy. Images are great, as we are highly visual creatures, but I am seeing more and more examples of text only emails that work on the strength of their great content.
- You can still write a newsletter that has personality - especially in the current environment where people are worried and harried, it's important to come across with the right tone -- welcoming, warm, helpful, and connective.
Test headlines, opening articles, and layouts by splitting your lists and watching open rates.
Be helpful, teach, and communicate, especially by listening.
You will know the content is getting good when you start receiving emails back from customers asking further questions. Once the inquiries shift to learning more about your products, you can start thinking about how to extend or offer more product-centric content as a bonus for those who want it.
Pick a tool that is easy for you to use and gives you the metrics you need.
I use MailChimp because I find their customer service easy to deal with and their features are those I would want to have on the receiving end of a newsletter. For example, a one click unsubscribe button compared to those where you have to manually input your email (again).
There are many other providers, and most include social media sharing and "email this newsletter" buttons.
Here are some free newsletters for B2B industry news already curated by SmartBrief you can use as samples. They are offered in partnership with more than 100 leading trade associations, professional societies, non-profits, and corporations.
Bonus points: design your customer support emails for behavior change and tell customers about your free newsletter there as well.