I felt like I hadn’t extolled the virtues of newsletters on you for a while, so here goes!
I think a lot of people struggle with content to fill up their newsletters. I get that! It can seem daunting. The word ‘newsletter’ suggests there is going to be news to pack it out with. And perhaps you feel that there is no ‘news’, but I promise you there is.
My first piece of advice is to have a template (or two). This consistency helps a lot – you know which bits need to be filled and also your clients/readers will like it too, because they will get used to the style of your content and where to look for the bit of information they are specifically looking for.
The structure of a newsletter should be the following:
1. tell them what you are going to say
2. say it
3. tell them what you said.
Let me take you through that step-by-step.
‘Tell them what you are going to say’
I love a newsletter that has a personal introduction telling me what this issue wants to share. It is a bit like an editor’s introduction at the start of a magazine. Keep it short, snappy and engaging – it’s all about hooking those readers. Then I love a newsletter even more if it has a short contents list (ideally all hyperlinked so I can jump to the bits I want to read about!)
So, this is where your content comes in. I think you need consistency to an extent…in particular, a feature or two…or three! These can include:
a new product (or perhaps even ‘pick of the week’ or something similar)
a new event
a new workshop
some top advice
‘a spotlight’ on either an employee or technique
·introduction to latest blog post
I bet there are more…let me know the features you like!
You can include important ‘one-off’ information too and a few images or photos to break up the text (ensure these are relevant, your own and/or free from copyright if you are using stock images – don’t steal!).
‘Tell them what you said’
I always suggest a ‘Dates for your diary’ section if you have key dates, events, workshops, etc to advertise. Even if you have said the dates within the main body of the text, and highlighted them in bold (!), there is no harm in listing these again.
I also think a nice closing summary and sign off can work well – especially for your ‘scan readers’ who just scroll through quickly. Something might just catch their eye at the end!
As a final suggestion, remember to email yourself a preview version – it’s good for a final proofread. Importantly, take a look at it on your laptop, tablet and mobile phone! I once designed a newsletter with lots of lovely little photos – on my laptop these were six photos in a nice row across the page, on my phone is was a good three to four scrolls to get through them! It just didn’t look as effective!
Happy newsletter writing!