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Your newsletter and its fabulous features

Many of my clients complain about the difficulty of thinking of content, whether it is for a blog post, webpage or a newsletter. It is difficult. Your time is limited and you just want to fill those blank pages as soon as possible…and tick that job off the list!

A newsletter, in particular, does involve writing quite a bit of content. You plan on sending it out monthly or quarterly – but what can you include each time? Below, I have listed some ideas which I hope might offer some inspiration. These can help you to create a ‘template’ which you can then easily reuse, adding new information for each feature.
Don’t feel that you need to include every single feature, every single time. But do consider what you want to include regularly (to familiarise your clients with your newsletter) and what you can add in on occasion to ‘spice up’ a certain edition.
Also, contemplate each feature in light of your business and, importantly, what your clients would find most useful. Be customer focused.
Consider the order of the information you present in your newsletter too. Who is going to find what most useful? Where should it be placed to catch their attention?

Fabulous features

  • Introduction – it’s nice to be friendly and welcoming so offer a short introduction; a bit like a mini ‘Editor’s notes’ at the beginning of a magazine. You can draw out some highlights and link to them.

  • Contents/highlights list – there is no harm in having a short contents list at the top of your newsletter to help the ‘skim readers’ get a sense of its coverage. It doesn’t have to include absolutely everything. You could give it the heading of ‘This month’s highlights’ or something like that. Link to the articles mentioned to help make navigation as easy as possible.

  • News – Well, it is a newsletter after all, so offer some news. What has happened recently in your business? What have you been up to? Been to any events or fairs? Got any pictures to accompany the text too? This will be interesting for your readers and help them feel more in touch with your business and its development.

  • ‘New’ products or services – a newsletter is a great place to feature new products or services you are offering. If you don’t have anything new to share, then no matter…label this feature ‘Product of the month’, ‘Spotlight on…’, ‘Let me introduce you to…’ or something catchy like that! Then write up a short description of one of your products/services – with plenty of key information and links to your website if they want to learn more or purchase.

  • Introductions – This could be to people (i.e. ‘members’ of your business, including yourself as well as employees, even suppliers or regular customers) or to services, your location or even your neighbours! What might clients like to know about you and where you work? Who you work with? How do you work? Why you work how you work? Most people are nosey and they like to learn a bit about ‘behind the scenes’.

  • Competition or offers – a newsletter is the perfect place to launch a competition or an offer. If you are advertising it on your website, make sure you link to that too. Perhaps offer a ‘quote XYZ to get a discount’ type offer, which is exclusive to newsletter subscribers. It reminds readers that they don’t want to miss out and they’ll continue to open your newsletters in case next time there is another discount code…even if perhaps there isn’t for a few months.

  • Events – If you are attending an event or running a workshop, even up to 6 months in the future, then don’t forget to promote it and let people know about it in your newsletter. People are busy so the earlier they know about an event the better. Don’t forget to put dates, places and times in bold!·Latest blog entry – if you write a blog, introduce/summarise the latest post and link to it. It is a great way to drive newsletter readers to your website, as well as hopefully encouraging an extra reader or two of your blog.

  • Latest blog entry – if you write a blog, introduce/summarise the latest post and link to it. It is a great way to drive newsletter readers to your website, as well as hopefully encouraging an extra reader or two of your blog.

  • Dates for your diary – if you attend events or run workshops or anything like that include a ‘dates for your diary feature’. Even if you have written lovely articles about workshops or events coming up before, it is worth summarising this information, particularly towards the end of the newsletter. This works well to catch the eye of someone who just quickly scrolls up and down through the newsletter, but without reading it closely.

  • Sign off – like the dates for your diary section, a nice sign off will help to catch the eye of someone who just scrolls down to the bottom. Perhaps mention again some highlights, thank people for reading and encourage them to get in touch or visit your website. Have some kind of ‘call to action’, if possible.

  • Social media links – Whether it is Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest…or simply your website, make sure you provide links!

  • Contact information – consider where this is best placed, but a newsletter is a good way to remind your customers of all of your essential information – consider including maps, telephone numbers, email addresses and opening times, if applicable. Ensure customers can find or contact you easily.

You really want a return on the effort you put into your newsletter, so create a template or framework with regular features which works for you…and send your ‘opened email’ percentages sky high!
Also, don’t forget once your newsletter is sent out, to promote it on your website and all of your social media channels to encourage new subscribers!
If you want any help with your newsletter, let me know. I can turn hurriedly written hand scrawled notes and swiftly typed word documents into fully fledged e-newsletters!
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