In my last write up, I focused on fundamentals of writing a newsletter and presented my perspective on how to go about. This article carries some tips to create a successful newsletter.
Here are some tips.
Make it Sustainable
A successful newsletter must be sustainable. It must be produced on a regular basis, which means you have to have the content to keep it going over a period of time.
Assign responsibilities to people for various tasks and keep a time frame in mind.
Remember the Audience
Successful newsletters are created keeping the audience in mind, ALWAYS. There is an opportunity for you to explain difficult products and services to your customers / prospects. The kinds of conversations that feature, therefore, have to be spot on!
Remember the KISS ME principle – keep it short simple and meaningful!
Choose a format once and stick to it for some time. Changes in layout, information sequence should be gradual one step at a time, not something which is difficult to follow. Make it easy for the reader to understand.
At the same time, you may also surprise your readers with something offbeat (more creative), but inform them in advance, build some hype so that they receive it well.
Do your Homework
A newsletter essentially carries one or two lead stories, few small news sections, and some messages from the leaders. You can choose to add more depending upon the kind of business you are into and the outcome you are targeting.
Engage your Writers
Acknowledge your article contributors. Offer them a by-line and an author’s note section. This increases their ownership in the newsletter and hence their efforts to make it successful.
Use of Images
Use images that support the content well. Also, keep out the images that dilute the impact of the content. Remember, good content can stand and deliver independently. This is especially true for e-newsletters.
Critical to the success / failure of a newsletter. Requires hard work, method and diligence! The enthusiasm may wane after some time (in fact it will), especially when people start to question the success / results of the newsletter, and that will reflect immediately in the quality.
Stick a note on your desk / workstation that keeps you reminding of this phase and when you are there catch yourself from going into the downward spiral.
Now here is the assignment, for someone who edits, let the instructions be clear.
– Write in the active voice.
– Check for grammatical / typo errors
– Keep the copy compact.
– Keep the reader in mind.
You need to sell information, not many would be interested in knowing data and facts. Add life to information by drafting it as a story.
Your newsletter is a reflection of you / your organisation. Circulate the final copy internally within your team before it goes out. If mistakes are a regular feature of your newsletter, mind you, people take it as your way of being. Do I need to say more here?
Want to know how successful is your newsletter finally? Check the feedback.
When people write back and are eager to share, it means they like it and they are concerned. This may be a regular trend initially but in many occasions the feedback frequency goes down.
Let some feedback feature on the next issue and something tangible (regarding the newsletter and your business both) result from it.
These are not exhaustive steps in making your newsletter successful and there is no sequence to the steps. But these steps will work for you over time. One last tip, keep evolving gradually!