4 Tips for Writing a Construction Company Newsletter

4 Tips for Writing a Construction Company Newsletter

Corporate newsletters are a great way for general contractors to connect with their audience on a consistent basis

March 22, 2023

8 min read



Michael Sullivan

Senior Growth Marketer

So you work at a general contractor and you’re thinking about having your marketing team take a crack at a company newsletter. 

Killer idea! You’re about to have an evergreen delivery method of brand awareness—your own touch-point factory, if you will—that isn’t too expensive or time-consuming to create. Newsletters are one of the best ways to build brand trust and capture your prospects’ attention, in part because so few of your competitors are actually taking the initiative to write one (let alone a good one).

At Buildr, we’ve had a newsletter for 5 years now called The SLAB (if you haven’t already done so, you can subscribe here) that's been written almost entirely by myself. Whether it’s “good” or not is besides the point; it’s been effective for us in that people who love it really love it. We’ve met many folks at conferences or on calls whose first point of contact with us was our newsletter.

The most flattering thing I’ve heard from someone at a GC has been: “We’re starting a company newsletter and definitely going to rip off your format.” By all means, rip it off!

What makes a good company newsletter?

The definition of “a good newsletter” is quite open-ended though usually proves more successful and engaging the more freewheeling its presentation. The more you loosen that tie, the more your audience is bound to engage with your content every time it hits their inbox. 

This is because 99% of company newsletters are stuffy and nearly identical to each other. And it’s not a “construction industry” issue, it’s a corporate issue. This sameness occurs when marketing isn’t daring enough to paint outside the lines, not taking into account that they need to compete with so many other forms of stimuli—not just emails—that also vie for your audience’s attention.

Here are some things to keep in mind before you press “send.”

Appoint someone that can write well

We’ve read too many awkwardly-worded newsletters to know this one isn’t as much of a no-brainer as it seems. Make sure your newsletter writer has some chops. 

Did your writer coast through junior year AP English without much fanfare? Are their texts wittier that most people in your contacts? Can you hear their Slack messages as if they were saying them aloud? Clunky or bland writing can sink a newsletter before it’s even left the dock. “Write how you talk,” is an entire writing education in as few words as possible. The Elements of Style by Strunk and White has more words, but still not even that many; only 43 pages.

Get to know your audience

Knowing your audience, while easier said than done, is the key to delivering them something that they enjoy consuming week to week.

There are many ways of “knowing” that have various degrees of effort, the highest being asking for direct feedback, then producing accordingly. 

The sweet spot of effort to know your audience is trial and error; write what you think people might like, then see how they react to it. The reason why we’d recommend this over the  feedback-then-write route is for a few reasons:

  • Sometimes people don’t know or can’t express what they actually want to read until after they’ve read it. Trying to describe, rather than show, what you’re thinking is difficult no matter what.

  • Your sample size audience may have outlier opinions that don’t gel with the rest of your target audience.

  • Too many pre-analyzing can cause paralysis. Just get that newsletter out there and start learning.

You should be constantly monitoring open and click rates, analyzing ways you can improve, then iterating based on your newly informed decisions. Wash, rinse and repeat.


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Ease up on the sales a bit

Buildr is a CRM built specifically for general contractors, but our newsletter is so much broader than focusing on us and what we sell. We understand that the group of people in the top of the sales funnel does not want to be sold to—let alone know they have a pain point that needs to be solved—which is why the principal goals of our newsletter are to educate, inspire and entertain. 

Company news and updates, project highlights, upcoming events—these sorts of things absolutely can and should be touched on. There’s some degree of “selling” that can be socially agreed upon—it’s a company newsletter we’re talking about after all—not unlike wrapping your dog’s medicine in a piece of turkey. Just go a little easy so that you don’t spook your target audience before they’re ready to do business with you.

Execute on the typical email marketing minutia

This tip isn’t newsletter-specific but really for any email you’re planning on bulk-sending. Make sure you:

  • Craft engaging subject lines that are eye-catching without being clickbaity.

  • Optimize for mobile—if you’re making sure your newsletter looks good on desktop, you’re only doing half the reconnaissance.

  • Test all your links and use UTM parameters so you can track traffic to their correct sources (many email platforms create UTM’s automatically these days).

  • One final spellcheck/grammar pass. Reading the whole thing aloud sounds silly but it’s quite effective in rooting out that one sentence that doesn’t make a lick of sense.

  • Provide other ways to connect. Channels on channels. Link all your socials so that even if they one day unsubscribe, you’ve still got your hooks in.

  • Call to action—what step do you want your audience to take in every email?

I won’t say “good luck” on your newsletter because luck doesn’t have much to do with it. There’s too much week-to-week experimenting, analyzing and iteration to say you took a random swing and knocked it out of the park. Just know that your newsletter tomorrow will be quite a bit different from your newsletter a year from now. But also know that the same newsletter a year from now will be infinitely more engaging to your audience and valuable for your company because you started tomorrow. 

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