15 Fun Ideas for Your Chamber Newsletter

Your chamber newsletter is a powerful tool to connect with members, promote local businesses, and build a thriving community. But let's face it, sometimes the content can feel a little...well, dry. Not to mention, most of us have a love/hate relationship with our newsletters. We understand information is important but building it can be a drag each week (or whenever you send it). That’s why we’ve created this article to help you with some new additions to liven up interest. There’s still work behind it but hopefully you’ll begin to see your chamber newsletter in a new light.

Why Is a Newsletter One of Your Best Chamber Marketing Tools?

Newsletters are important to businesses for several reasons. They help:

  • Build Relationships & Brand Awareness. Newsletters help you stay connected to your members and build stronger relationships. Regular communication keeps you top-of-mind and fosters a sense of trust and loyalty.
  • Promote Benefits & Services. Newsletters are a great platform to showcase new services, events, and programs.
  • Drive Traffic to Your Website & Social Media. Use your newsletter to promote new blog posts, website updates, or social media content, driving traffic to your other digital channels.
  • Gather Valuable Member Insights. Newsletters can be used to conduct surveys or polls, allowing you to gather valuable member feedback and preferences to inform your marketing strategies. You can also see what appeals to them by what they click on.
  • Cost-Effective Marketing. Email marketing offers a highly targeted and cost-effective way to reach your members, especially those who never come to events.
  • Measure Results & Improve Campaigns. With newsletters you can track open rates, click-through rates, and other metrics, enabling you to measure the effectiveness of your content and make data-driven improvements.

  • Increase Sales & Conversions. Effective chamber newsletters can convert subscribers into paying members by nurturing leads, helping them get to know you and what you do, and creating a sense of urgency.

Overall, newsletters are a versatile tool that can be used to achieve a variety of marketing goals. By providing valuable content and engaging with your audience on a regular basis, you can build stronger relationships, promote your brand, and ultimately drive sales and conversions.

Keys to Newsletter Design

Before we get to the newsletter ideas, there are a few things you should decide.

What’s Your Goal?

Decide why you are compiling a newsletter every week (or month or quarter). What are you trying to accomplish with this large use of your time? Is it a sales tool to convert the community into members aka a marketing tool for the chamber? Or is it a way to call attention to your members? Maybe it’s a tourism piece to help your members shine for local visitors? Perhaps you view it as a news resource where you pull together all the most important community, state, and federal business news. Some chambers compile quarterly information on programs.

Knowing what you want it to do will help you shape its contents and make it clear to everyone on why they should read it.

Will You Monetize It?

If you plan on selling ads or features, you’ll want to ensure you do a little data analysis so you can make it clear to potential investors what kind of reach they’ll get with your newsletter.

How Will You Optimize for Mobile Design?

When creating a newsletter, remember bigger IS better. That doesn’t mean longer. It means as easy as it is to zoom in on a phone to make a link or a button larger, it annoys people to do so. When you’re creating links and buttons, keep user experience in mind. It’s likely people are viewing your chamber newsletter on their phones. Opt for larger designs with less crowding so they can interact with your content easily.

What's Your Schedule?

If you want your chamber newsletter to be a resource for your members and/or community, you must publish consistently. That means the same day, and preferably, the same time of day (down to the hour, if possible. But if not, morning, afternoon, or evening.) That way your audience will know when to expect it.

Now that you have these things under control...

15 Fun Ideas for Your Chamber Newsletter

Here are 15 creative ideas to make your newsletter one that everyone wants to open and, once opened, will keep your readers engaged. While some of these may come “under fire” for not being a direct part of the chamber mission, your newsletter is a publication and should educate, inspire, and entertain. Since most of us could use a little good news on occasion, fun pictures and info aren’t going to hurt anyone and might just be the reason they open it in the first place.

Content that Resonates

  • ​Member Spotlight. Feature a different member business each month, highlighting their unique story and offerings.
  • ​​​Local Business Q&A. Interview local business owners about industry trends, best practices, or even their favorite things about running a business in your community.
  • ​​Community Corner. Showcase upcoming events, volunteer opportunities, or initiatives led by local non-profits. Some chambers feature an adoptable pet each week in coordination with their local animal shelter.
  • ​​"Ask the Expert." Partner with a member professional (lawyer, accountant, etc.) to answer common business questions from members. A tax expert around tax time is a no-brainer but you could also interview a caterer ahead of the holidays. Consider your calendar and the needs of your members when putting together an expert panel or involve your members and ask them what they’d most like to know.
  • ​​Member Milestones. Celebrate member achievements like anniversaries, grand openings, or award wins. Add ribbon cutting info and pics. People love new business news.

  • Business Hacks & Tips. Share quick and actionable tips for marketing, finance, customer service, or other relevant business topics. If you have a blog, link to your latest article.
  • ​​Member Survey Results. Gather feedback from members on chamber initiatives and use the results to improve your services. Present the findings in the newsletter.
  • ​​Member Deals & Discounts. Offer exclusive promotions for members, encouraging them to support each other's businesses.
  • ​​Member Photo Contests. Spark engagement with a fun contest – "Best Storefront Decoration" or "Most Creative Workspace."

Engagement Boosters

  • Infographics & Short Videos. Break down complex information into easily digestible visuals.
  • Interactive Polls & Quizzes. Encourage participation and gather insights with fun, relevant polls.
  • Member Testimonials. Showcase the positive impact of chamber membership through member success stories.
  • Entertainment. Leave some space for a feel-good moment. This could be a dad joke, an “overheard” in your town, a cartoon, trivia, or anything that would appeal to your audience. It’s one little section that could make a reader’s day.
  • ​​​Personal Message. This is a message written by someone in your office about something that went on that week. It could be something the chamber is working on, a personal reflection, or a current event/pop culture reference. It’s another way to help people feel connected to you. If you’re not a writer, create a video message and provide the link in your newsletter.

Additionally, you may decide to do very specific newsletters such as events-only or legislative updates. “Niching” your newsletters can boost open rates because it lets people know exactly what’s in your email and they don’t have to skim through things that aren’t of interest.

Do's & Don'ts of Effective Newsletters

DO: Personalize emails with member names and segment your audience based on interests.
DON'T: Overload with text – keep it concise with clear headings and bullet points.

DO: Optimize for mobile – most emails are read on smartphones.
DON'T: Use spammy tactics – avoid all caps, excessive exclamation points, and misleading subject lines.

DO: A/B test different subject lines and formats to see what resonates best with your audience.
DON'T: Send emails too frequently – aim for a consistent, but not overwhelming, schedule.

DO: Use an effective call to action that matches the goals you have for the newsletter.
DON'T: Crowd everything in. Give thought to an appealing design.

Turning Readers into Members

If you plan on including non-members in your email list, or you’re using your chamber newsletter as a sales tool, add the following:

  • Include a clear "Join Now" button in every newsletter. (Don’t forget share buttons as well.)
  • Highlight the benefits of membership throughout your content in a non-salesy way.
  • Offer a special incentive or bonus for signing up within a specific timeframe. (This doesn’t have to be a discount. It could be a bonus free download or webinar video that has value.)
  • Feature success stories of businesses who have thrived through chamber membership.

Newsletter Examples

Check out these chamber examples:

The Milford Chamber of Commerce features a business of the week, chamber events, chamber updates/what they’re working on, as well as community events.

The Greater Augusta Regional Chamber keeps it brief and visually appealing with chamber and community events.

South Padre Island Chamber uses a magazine flip style for their monthly newsletter.

Who doesn’t love a good theme? The eclipse is heavily featured in the Belton Area Chamber of Commerce’s newsletter from this past week.

By incorporating these ideas and best practices, you can create a chamber newsletter that is informative, engaging, and helps you meet your newsletter goals. Your chamber newsletter is a valuable resource for your members, and it can serve as a powerful tool for attracting new businesses to your chamber and your community. Get creative, have fun, and let your chamber's unique voice shine!


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