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The Anatomy of a Killer SaaS Partner Newsletter (Plus Examples)

Great to see you (or have you back) at the Crossbeam Art Museum, where we showcase the finest masterpieces in SaaS partner ecosystems. 

Our newest exhibit features one of the major hallmarks of a mature partner program: the partner newsletter. 

Communicating with tens (or even hundreds) of partners can make even the savviest of partnership professionals feel overwhelmed. That’s why companies use partner newsletters to scale their communications and send monthly or quarterly updates — like company news, product enhancements, events, and resources — to their channel, technology, and strategic partners.

So, whether you’re starting from scratch or just looking for inspiration to revamp your existing newsletter, you’ve come to the right place. But before you admire the dazzling newsletters in our gallery, find a docent and prepare for some fascinating commentary on the elements of a partner newsletter.

The Elements of a Partner Newsletter 

After reviewing a handful of newsletters, we noticed some common characteristics. Let's review them together.

(If you have a partner newsletter you’d like to submit for this post, email me at jasmine@crossbeam.com)

 

Company Updates

Company updates can include leadership or funding announcements, product launches, media coverage, thought leadership content, and more.

Ensuring your partners are in the loop about your company fosters a sense of community and builds excitement around your brand — helping to keep you top of mind the next time one of your readers has a relevant co-marketing or co-selling opportunity. 

It might also lead to conversations with partners who want to nurture their relationship with you. For example, a partner offers to introduce you to their partners in the EMEA region — all because they read a press release about the global expansion of your channel program in your newsletter. 

Here are some examples of company sections:

Klarna company news

In its newsletter, Klarna announces its $650 million funding round and its official decacorn status (woah!), and shares that customers can now use Google Pay — two buzzworthy announcements for its partners to celebrate and potentially share with their networks.

ActiveCampaign

But not all company updates need to be massive announcements. ActiveCampaign captures its partners' attention with thoughtful content, including a blog post about its approach to data security and a plug for its CEO’s upcoming session at Spark Festival.

 

Product Updates

If partners are going to represent your brand in the market and tell your story the right way, then they need to stay on top of what’s happening with your products and services — and its your job to ensure they have access to the right information.

The last thing you want is for a partner to tell a prospect, “That particular feature is on the roadmap for Q1 of next year,” when in reality, your team prioritized that feature and are planning to release it much later. 

That’s why companies include a product section to share (or even reiterate) product enhancements, new features, new integrations, and/or product roadmap updates so partners can tailor their pitches and communicate the value of your solution.

Some examples:

SurveySparrow

SurveySparrow shares its Stripe integration now supports the Singaporean Dollar, which is beneficial for its partners targeting customers in the APAC region. It also announces the expansion of its API suite,  giving partners new ways to integrate with SurveySparrow.

ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign’s product section links to release notes for its agency, affiliate, and app partners who may have missed updates about product features and enhancements on social media.

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PartnerPortal.io uses its entire newsletter to highlight new product features, including a handful of animated product screenshots (which we think adds a little extra oomph from a visual perspective!). 


Event Updates

Companies often use events to build rapport and trust with partners beyond emails and quarterly business reviews. Think of your newsletter as a marketing magnet to attract interest and drive attendance to your events.

Whether you’re hosting a large-scale partner conference or a more intimate Ask Me Anything (AMA) session with an industry thought leader, events are valuable for engaging partners and deepening relationships with your counterparts. 

And who knows, it may pay future dividends for when a relevant partnership opportunity arises — and you just so happen to be on your partner's radar because they attended an event featured in your newsletter. 

Some examples:

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Use your newsletter to spread the word about your next virtual roundtable, networking event, or in Hero Digital’s case, the best of both worlds — a virtual wine tasting and peer roundtable! 

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In addition to promoting events, recap takeaways or share recordings in your newsletter for folks who couldn't make your event. See how Amplitude's Partner Insider newsletter highlights four major launch announcements for partners who missed the Amplify 2020 conference.

 

Resources and Partner Enablement

Your partners' success is your success. The faster you onboard and train your partners on your products and services, the quicker they can hone their messaging and pitch in the market — which, ultimately, influences their ability to surface ecosystem qualified leads and drive revenue. 

Don't get bogged down emailing onboarding and training materials to each individual partner. Your partner newsletter can be a scalable distribution channel for partner enablement resources like product webinars, customer case studies, technical training workshops, virtual sessions, guides, blogs, and more. 

Some examples:

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Adobe dedicates a large portion of its Adobe Solution Partner Program newsletter to education and training, featuring a series of technical and sales workshops and webinars for its partners.

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Twilio's Build Partner Program newsletter features a bevy of enablement resources like white papers, on-demand product webinars, and product announcements to educate partners on its products and services, and help them build their own services around Twilio.

Twilio also makes it easy for partners to sign up for Twilio’s Build Office Hours so they can get help with operational challenges and ask questions.

Screen Shot 2020-11-13 at 8.41.36 AM

HubSpot has a 'Helpful Resources' section in its App Partner Roundup that includes articles on go-to-market best practices and a recap of the product announcements unveiled at INBOUND 2020.

The Gallery

Now, for the fun part! Stroll through our carefully curated collection of partner newsletters at your leisure and soak in all the partner newsletter goodness.

Twilio

Twilio newsletter

(Click image for full newsletter)

 

Klarna

Klarna newsletter

(Click image for full newsletter)

 

HubSPOT

HubSpot newsletter

(Click image for full newsletter)

 

ADOBE

Adobe newsletter

(Click image for full newsletter)

 

SurveySparrow

SurveySparrow newsletter

(Click image for full newsletter)

 

ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign newsletter

(Click image for full newsletter)

 

heRO DIGITAL

screencapture-mail-google-mail-u-0-2020-11-13-10_27_45-edit (4)

(Click image for full newsletter)

 

PARTNERPORTAL.IO 

PartnerPortal.io Newsletter

(Click image for full newsletter)

 

Amplitude

Amplitude newsletter

(Click image for full newsletter)

 

Terminus

Terminus newsletter

(Click image for full newsletter)

Are newsletters only the start of your EcosystemOps? Get the full playbook 👇