Newsletters, although one of the most popular information mediums are often the most misused.
If you’re not publishing a newsletter yourself, you definitely know someone who is, but they’re probably going about it in the wrong way.
Unfortunately, many newsletters are just stuffed with facts and information. These run the risk of getting tossed in the trash or used for scrap paper. They don’t get read. Too often people fail to realize the true purpose of a newsletter.
People don’t want a sales pitch. They don’t want to be conned. They don’t want to be scammed or bombarded with advertisements or promotions.
They simply want new information. They want to learn. This is the key to newsletters finding your target audience and catering to their every whim.
A good newsletter is commonly defined as one with a loyal audience and staying power. If you focus on building long-term relationships with your readers, you are more likely to have a publication that will last. Here are some tips for doing that:
The most important thing in creating a newsletter is determining your target audience. You need to find out a couple of things first:
- Locate a group of potential readers; do you want to reach customers? Affiliates? Those listed on a mailing list?
- Determine how much they will pay for your publication.
- Figure out what it is your audience wants.
- Know your competition.
- Study your competitors and design around them.
- Offer things your readers want but your competitors have ignored.
- Use colors and graphics to grab the attention of your readers.
- Graphics provide crucial visual breaks from solid blocks of text and makes the page much easier to read.
- Try and use colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel; they tend to be the best combinations.
- Visuals set the tone of your publication and prioritize and reinforce important ideas.
- Proofread, proofread, proofread!
- Although it may seem trivial, proofreading your newsletter is extremely important.
- A newsletter filled with spelling mistakes, grammatical errors and typos conveys a sloppy message; remember that your newsletter is a direct reflection of you and your company.
- Your best bet is to have someone else read it; don’t use the person who tells you it’s great. Use the person who finds the errors; use the person who makes suggestions.
Below is a checklist of items to include in your newsletters. Once you determine exactly what kind of publication your newsletter is, it will be easier to decide which of these you will need to make it a success.
- Eye-catching name/title; be descriptive and make it catchy.
- Reader cues
- Headlines and subheadings.
- Table of Contents.
- Jumplines (explanatory text saying article is continuation to or from another page.
- White space.
Most people have a tendency to cram as much information into as little space as possible but that usually turns off readers. White space divides the information up into digestible pieces and makes reading the newsletter less of a chore.
Publish your newsletter in a timely and regular manner.
if you don’t live up to your commitment to your readers you will lose credibility.
Concentrate on a uniform and consistent look for your newsletter. Don’t use too many different fonts and sizes; establish a familiarity with the look of your publication.
Newsletters aren’t only beneficial for companies who want to communicate with their customers. They can also be a valuable way for employers to communicate with their employees within the company.
During a time of corporate downsizing, merging, or acquisition a newsletter can help quell feelings of stress, confusion, and uncertainty.
Clarify the goals and ambitions of the company as a whole; employees can’t work together to help achieve a goal if they don’t know what it is.
Newsletters can be a great way to introduce new hires to the company.
Concentrate on keeping the company newsletters fun and silly; if serious news needs to be spread it can be done in an inter-office memo.