A newsletter can be an effective way for companies to get important news to employees, customers, and vendors in a timely fashion. Nearly any type of organization, from churches to schools to government agencies, could benefit from a regular newsletter. However, the newsletter must be well organized and written in order to keep people interested in receiving it. It also needs to be highly targeted to the intended audience.
Like blogging, many people start out with good intentions to produce an engaging newsletter but stop once when they run out of time, inspiration, or don’t receive the feedback they anticipated. By following the tips outlined at Pro Copy Blogger below, you stand a better chance of avoiding the same fate.
Things to Consider Before You Write the Newsletter
The hardest work comes before you write the title or even the first line. You must know the interests, problems, and motives of your potential readers and find a way to appeal to them. It’s also helpful to speak to them in a manner they understand best. For example, it would be appropriate in a highly corporate environment to use professional language and acronyms that people use at work every day. A fun and energetic tone would be ideal for newsletters going out to young adults interested in the latest fashion trends. It all comes back to knowing your readers.
It’s also important to consider your own goals prior to writing a newsletter or outsourcing the task to a professional writer. What do you hope to accomplish by publishing it? For many companies, it’s to generate interest in a new product or service, gain more website traffic, or increase sales. Another thing to consider is what actions you want your target audience to take after reading the newsletter. Is it to get them to buy a product or join an email list? Defining your call to action in advance can help you choose the right words and phrases so people do something with the information you just provided them.
Choosing a Topic for Your Newsletter
Another common reason that businesses publish a newsletter is to establish the organization as an authority and boost its credibility. As you consider topics to write about, think how it will reflect on the company. Being the first to review a new product in a technical field will give the impression of a business that stays on top of technology trends. On the other hand, publishing unproven statistics or mangling a quote of an important person will come across as amateurish. That is something you want to avoid at all costs.
Here are some other factors to consider when you’re deciding which information to include in the newsletter:
- Timeliness: Did the event happen recently? If so, people may be reading about it in your newsletter for the first time. If you’re announcing a future event, make it a brief “save the date” type of mention. You don’t want to go into a lot of detail about an event until it’s about a month away. People are bound to forget if you give them too much detail too soon.
- Impact of the Event or Announcement: It’s especially important to delve into how the situation you’re reporting on affects the lives of those reading about it. This is true at both a personal and professional level.
- Human Interest Appeal: People enjoy reading stories about how others have overcome challenges because it inspires them to do the same. If you can somehow tie that to a product or service the company offers, all the better.
- Uniqueness: Is what you want to write about novel or quirky in some way? Your readers may tune into the story just because it’s so different.
If you will be interviewing someone for an article in your newsletter, be sure to ask thoughtful and open-ended questions to gather the most information possible. “Tell me what makes you company unique” is one possible example.
Be Sure Your Headline and Opening Paragraph Are Strong
This goes for any type of writing, not just newsletters. Copywriting experts recommend that you keep it short, include at least one verb, and write in the active voice. By the end of the first paragraph, you should answer the questions who, what, why, when, and where for your readers. Since the goal is to persuade the reader to read the rest of the article, feel free to include the most relevant and interesting information first. You can use the rest of the article to fill in the details.
Last But Not Least
After you have spent time and effort writing a newsletter, don’t forget to measure how effective it was in accordance with your company metrics. Assuming one of your goals was increased website traffic, you could analyze the number of visitors since the release of the newsletter, whether people shared your content socially, and the amount of time new visitors spent on your website.
Whether you’re looking to write your first newsletter, outsource the content, or you are a freelance writer with experience in newsletter writing, don’t hesitate to connect with Content Runner staff if you need additional guidance.