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Are your newsletters welcomed with open arms, or are they beginning to annoy? Although they should offer information and advice rather than the hard sell, your newsletters also have to look professional and be successful. A text email isn’t really going to hit the spot; if you're going to take newsletter marketing seriously you’ll need a well thought out template and a fail safe process to create great material each and every month.
That’s quite a big ask, especially the last point about the constant flow of great information. To help you out, here is a simple 5-step process that will help you create knockout newsletters every month.
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The 5-Step Newsletter Process
- Choose three topics for the main body of your newsletter.
- Choose three topics for your side bar.
- Conduct interviews from experts or research specific topics that are of interest to your audience.
- Write and carefully edit your articles.
Of course, the actual number of stories and topics you come up with will depend on your newsletter’s layout and desired length. But this 5-step process is a good general guide.
Let’s look at each step in more detail.
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1. Main Stories
After a general introduction, the main stories will make up the bulk of your newsletter. They don’t have to be long; in fact it’s better if they’re not. If you find you have a lot to say, it may be a better idea to use the topic as the subject of a blog post and then add a teaser to your newsletter with a link to the full article. They could cover the latest news from your industry, current affairs or how to guides.
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2. Side Bar
Many newsletter templates offer a side bar for you to use. Because of space constraints, this area is ideal for top tips, news of forthcoming events, announcements and offers.
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Q&A sections in magazines are always really interesting, so why not add something similar to your newsletter? Get in touch with an expert in your field and interview them.
Also researching articles on subjects that are important to your readers will also give your newsletter a boost. Try asking your readers what they want to read about. At least that way you can be sure you’re giving them what they want.
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Creating well-written, interesting articles is essential if you want to keep your subscribers. So here are a few pointers to help you:
- Always write in the second person (‘you’) to increase engagement.
- Add hyperlinks that link out to either fuller articles or further information to enhance your readers’ experience.
- Keep your writing simple (both vocabulary and syntax).
- Always add a call to action to create a two-way street experience.
It’s also important you make it easy for the reader to get in touch with you. Make sure your email address, telephone number and postal address are clearly shown. And of course, make sure you have an opt-out link at the base of your newsletter.
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Last but not least is the proofing. It is essential this is done well if you are to prevent the embarrassment of a newsletter being sent out with numerous spelling and grammatical errors. Either leave it for at least 24 hours before proofing and sending, or get someone else to check it for you.
Well-written and informative newsletters will help you cultivate and grow strong relationships with your customers. Your reputation is at stake, so make sure they are interesting. Give your customers what they want and make sure the content is clear of errors.
About the Author: Sally Ormond is an independent copywriter and owner of Briar Copywriting Ltd. For more tips on copywriting, marketing and social media, read her words of wisdom on Briar Copywriting's Blog.