28th October 2014
5 Ways To Write Better Newsletters
Everyone struggles with email newsletters. There's something really daunting about firing a message out into the void of the inbox, and this often means that those putting together the newsletter are scared into producing timid messages, especially if (shock, horror) they're hoping to sell something.
We'd like to offer you a few tips for improving your newsletters across the board.
Here are 5 ways to write better newsletters:
- Read other newsletters: There's really only one way to get better at writing newsletters, and that is reading newsletters. The best thing to do is to start signing up to as many decent newsletters as possible – most brands, blogs and businesses have them. Unsubscribe from the bad ones as they come in – you'll soon be surrounded by the good stuff. Much like anything in life, a good understanding of what others are up to will give you plenty of ideas to steal borrow to improve your own newsletters while also giving you a sense of what is "permissible".
- Write in your own voice: While every single one of your list members may be a unique individual subscribed for their own reasons, they probably all signed up because of something to do with your business, and sometimes that's you. Regardless if you're the "front" of the business or not, you're about to talk directly to customer so you're going to become that "front". Writing in your own voice allows you to give a consistent and relatable tone for all your communications. Don't run away from your own language, hiding your meaning behind soft, safe "business solutions" words. If you do have a pre-defined tone for your emails, make sure it's not distancing you from your readers and has a sense of authenticity about it.
- Write from within your community or industry: While occasionally setting up a position as an outsider is a useful and interesting to a reader, you will usually want to talk from a position of authority within your industry or community. Curate others’ work as well as displaying your own knowledge. Dare to provide an opinion if you have one!
- Don't pretend your newsletter is your site: a newsletter is for sending a message – not for replicating every facet of your site. Often this is forgotten and a very strange hybrid lands in people's inboxes. The outcome is that your message (if you have one) gets lost in the act of adding a little bit of everything from your business.
- Send it for a reason: If you haven't got a reason to send a newsletter, why are you sending it at all? If you're sending a newsletter because it's the thing you do then you're probably not engaging with your audience in a way they'd want to be engaged with. Are you writing a flyer to be handed out in the street to no one in particular, or a personal letter dropped through a customer's letterbox? Work out what you want your customer to know after reading, and only send it if it's worth knowing!
In short: read more, remove confusion, have a message, have purpose and know what you're talking about!