When they are done properly and utilized to their full potential, newsletters can be a very worthwhile addition to any business owner’s toolkit.
A newsletter can serve a number of different functions. It is ultimately mostly a marketing tool, but the nature of the newsletter means that it often doesn’t feel like a marketing tool.
We refer to these kind of marketing methods as being ‘organic’, meaning that they appear more to be things that would occur of their own accord, rather than conjured up by a marketing team.
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If you can write your newsletter in the right way, in a way that makes it seem like an organic communication rather than a piece of marketing, it will strengthen your bond with your customers and will help to set your business apart from the competition.
The following are some of the most important tips and considerations for any business owner and aspiring writer to keep in mind as they compose their newsletter.
#1. Write Content Worth Reading
This is one of those pieces of advice that is perhaps too obvious for its own good. That you should try and write your newsletter as well as possible is an obvious given.
A poorly written newsletter is hardly going to reflect well on your business, or make a reader feel a connection to what’s in front of them. But what does it actually mean to write content that is worth reading?
It means that you understand your audience. It doesn’t matter what line of work you are in, or which industry you are a part of, you will have a core demographic that represents your most reliable, and most fruitful, group of customers.
Many newsletters also act as a revenue stream for the business. Selling advertising space within a newsletter that has wide circulation can be worth a lot to a business seeking marketing opportunities.
However, just as no one watches television for the adverts, no one is going through your newsletter to look at the adverts. Any adverts you have in there should be as unobtrusive as possible.
It’s ok to have full-page adverts, but you need to think carefully about the layout you go with, as you don’t want the adverts to reduce readability.
#2. Grab Their Attention
This is one of the first lessons that most of us learned about writing while at school, but it is a lesson that is worth repeating – your headline should grab the reader’s attention and draw them into the articles.
Remember, in today’s world, your newsletter is likely just one of many. Most businesses distribute their newsletters digitally via email.
In this arena, users are ruthless with regards to the quality they expect. Any poorly written newsletter arriving as an email will simply be ignored and discarded.
If you are finding yourself struggling with creating the desired first impression with a reader, you should seek out some newsletter examples, or even news websites. Make a note of the kind of headlines that grab your attention and think about why they work so well.
#3. Establish Trust
It is very important that your customers trust you. If you aren’t trusted, the words you convey in your newsletter won’t have the same impact. Worse than that, if the people reading your newsletter don’t feel that they can trust what you’ve written, your efforts at informing them of new products and services may end up having the opposite effect and harming your image.
Establishing and maintaining trust means that you must be consistent and honest throughout all your communications with your customers. Trust is a very valuable resource, one that is difficult to build but very easy to lose in an instant.
The worst offender when it comes to diminishing a customer’s trust is what is known as the ‘bait and switch’. This involves luring the reader in with a headline that promises or implies one thing, but then serving them an accompanying article that has little if anything to do with the headline.
This is a terrible tactic to use. Even if you can trick a user into clicking a link or visiting a page, you will cause serious damage to your credibility.
Keep it short and simple (KISS) is fantastic and useful advice in any creative industry. People have a tendency to confuse the complex and the complicated with the deep and the meaningful. However, in some cases, an artist overcomplicates their work to give it a veneer of quality.
Many new writers think that the more complex and polysyllabic the words they use, the better the writing is.
As George Orwell once said, “never use a long word where a short one will do.”
Writing a terrific newsletter isn’t difficult, but it is very easy to get wrong. You should make sure that you have a clear idea of the message you wish to convey and exactly who you wish to convey it to before you start writing.