Writing a Great Newsletter

newsletterFor someone uncomfortable with writing, newsletters can be challenging. Here are some tips to make it a little easier for you.

Plan out what you want to cover and how often. Usually, once a month is maximum. If you want to reach out to your customers more often, consider a blog or Facebook post instead. Once a quarter is minimum. This fits in nicely with the seasons. If you are new to the idea of newsletters, quarterly is a great way to start. It makes more sense to start out quarterly, then if you decide you have more to say, you can change to monthly or bi-monthly. Doing that in reverse order doesn’t work as well.

Write out an outline of what articles you want to include in each issue so you are not staring blankly at your computer when it’s time to compose the piece. Work at least 6 months out. Be flexible with your content, though, so if something noteworthy happens in your industry or company, you can prioritize and decide what makes the final cut. Having too much info for each issue is better than too little.

Keep them to one sheet of paper. If it is more than that, be sure the most important information is on the first page or two. After that, it might not get read. If it is a self-mailer (fold, stamp and send) put a call-out on the address portion to bring attention to a special event or offer. A call-out can be a star burst with “20% off, see page 2” or a box with “Open House July 6, 3-9 PM”. Keep this call-out extremely short and to the point.

Make sure the bulk of your newsletter is newsworthy. Items to include would be recent awards your company or employees have won, brief bios on your employees, new product launch, tips on how to use your product or service, etc. I also like to include a joke or two, especially if it pokes fun at your industry. Only 10-15% should be “buy my great stuff”.

Your number one goal is to make your newsletter something your customers will look forward to receiving each month. Write the kind of newsletter YOU would like to get.