Want to create an effective newsletter that gets results for your business, books, or non-profit? Use the following eight elements. These elements apply regardless of whether you’re creating an email or print version. For best results, send email newsletters at least every 30 days (weekly is best), and send a print newsletter to leaders every 90 days.
Don’t make this mistake: Most newsletters are too promotional or tend to blather about the sender too much. That’s selfish and a turn-off to readers. Instead, use your expertise to create a newsletter that helps the reader improve their daily life. Try to focus 75% of your newsletter content on helping the audience, and 25% promoting yourself.
8 Elements of Effective Newsletters
1. Brief feature article
This first element is the most important. A feature article only needs to be around 400 – 750 words. However, pack the article with helpful information for the reader. Use bulleted lists to make reading easier. Don’t talk about yourself. Be brief, pithy, and focus on helping the reader solve a specific problem. If you hit writer’s block, search through past blog posts, books, or speeches for good articles ideas. You want readers to enjoy your article so that they’ll look forward to your next newsletter.
2. Extra element of value
After your article, give your readers another brief section of helpful information. For example, you could offer interesting statistics, Q&A section, helpful resource listings for leader, or an insightful opinion on current events.
3. Value statements
Sometime, people who read your newsletter may not be familiar with you. So, display a brief list of bulleted phrases that explains the benefits you provide to your audience. These key statements should explain what sets you apart from others and why your expertise is so helpful. Focus on phrases that communicate the “life-change” you make happen for your audience.
4. Upcoming events calendar
Create a small box or listing of where you’ll be speaking over the next 3 months. Include the date, location, and contact information for each event. This shows readers how active you are in the marketplace and reinforces the fact that other people request you. Also, include any national or regional media appearances (radio and TV).
5. Testimonial from a well-known leader
Use two or three sentences from a well-known leader declaring how great you are, and how you’ve helped his or her audience. Use someone with a notable name or title, because your readers care more about “who” says it, rather than “what” is said. Shy away from endorsements that sound vague. Instead, use a testimonial that communicates a specific benefits you provide.
6. Featured product
Show a small picture and provide brief description of a featured product, such as a book, webinar, video course, keynote speech, etc. Secret tip: Create urgency in the reader’s mind by offering a coupon or discounted price if they order within 48 hours. Give people a reason to buy now. Be sure to include a website link to purchase your products, and test it for accuracy before sending out your newsletter.
7. Full contact information
Give your readers a list of all the possible ways to reach you, including phone, email, website, address, etc. For a print newsletter, list this information near the header and under your return address.
8. Professional-looking layout
Important Tip: Many people read email newsletters on their tiny smartphone screens. So, only use an email template that displays ONE column. Don’t use two or three columns.
In addition, compliment your good content with good graphics. If you’re comfortable with publishing and graphics software, try doing it yourself. Or, hire a graphic artist to make a template for you. Then, you can quickly drop new content into each future issue. For print templates that you can buy online, visit: www.StockLayouts.com For a good email newsletter system with a 60-day free trial, check out: www.ConstantContact.com
If you have extra space to fill: Throw in a pithy quote, an interesting statistic, or a brief update on your personal life. After you’ve given the reader helpful content, then you can talk about your children, recipes, or show vacation photos.
Those are the 8 elements of effective newsletters. Complete these steps at least every 30 days to your email database or every 90 days for a print newsletter to leaders. Then, watch as your platform grows!
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Newsletter image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net