Create a newsletter that cuts through the clutter

Every day, people are flooded with newsletters. When you are on the receiving end, it’s hard to imagine that any of your dealers and/or customers could differentiate yours from anyone else. Newsletters still work, but there are just some common sense ideas that you need to follow.  

  1. Make sure your content adds value. One of the biggest mistakes companies make when developing content for newsletters is writing for yourself — not your audience. You want to create a relationship with your audience built on mutual benefits, which means avoiding pushy sales tactics. Instead, focus on developing content that answers questions, provides productivity tips or delivers valuable insight.  
  2. Be unique. After reading thousands of newsletters, it’s easy to see that everyone assumes there is one winning formula… a magical word count, frequency and number of stories. Instead of following the pack, do what works for you. If you have one interesting story to share on a monthly basis, run that schedule. Only want to include bullet points? Try it. There is nothing that says you won’t be successful. One more thing, if something you try doesn’t work, change it.  
  3. Don’t over publish but don’t under publish either. I know I just said to be unique and do what you want to do, but thinking through frequency is important. When you set yourself up to deliver content too often, you are usually setting yourself up to have mediocre results. Your open rates will start off high, but over time busy people will begin to trash your emails without opening them. Why? You’re sending emails too often and more than likely you don’t have the content or the staff to maintain the quality readers demand. You also don’t want to publish so infrequently that your readers forget they signed up for your emails.  
  4. Write for your sweet spot. The bulk of your readers can likely be grouped together for one or two common traits. Spend your time writing for them, not the small percentage of people that are not in that sweet spot. Don’t be afraid of alienating some of your readers. The alternative is developing content that doesn’t get any of your readers’ attention.  
  5. Your subject line matters. Don’t be too cute or too long with your subject line — that’s a formula for your email go into the trash before it’s ever opened.  
  6. Craft engaging headlines and lead sentences. No one will read your newsletters from start to finish. You have to build headlines that pull the reader in. From there, they will skim the first sentence — make sure it’s a good one.  
  7. Pay attention to the construction of your articles. You want readers to feel like your content is easy to read. Avoid long paragraphs and sentences. Use a lot of subheads and bullet points.    

Your dealers and/or customers want content, and newsletters are an effective way of delivering it to them. Don’t assume that just because so many organizations are doing them wrong that you can’t make one work for your organization.