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how to write a newsletter

Tips for Writing a Great Newsletter

August 3, 2020

The power of a great newsletter is undeniable.  Those who love and follow you are more likely to buy from you than those who don’t.

Despite having written newsletters for around 15 years for brands all around the world, I’ve actually only recently started writing my own.  Because I’ve always had a waiting list for writing work I’ve never had the need for a newsletter but now I’m offering more courses it offered a great reason to start.

On an average week I probably delete around 3-4 newsletters from my inbox because I just find I’m not particularly engaged with the content.  Having written hundreds of newsletters and read hundreds more, I’ve put together my top six tips for writing a great newsletter.

  1. Don’t Just Sell to Me

Yes, a newsletter is a sales tool but I don’t want to just be sold to.  I feel like way too many newsletters follow the same format – blah blah, look at the lovely weather (now let’s talk about what’s on offer).  Don’t get me wrong – selling what you offer is a really big part of your newsletter strategy but I feel that a great newsletter goes a little deeper than that.  Make your sale secondary.

2. Give Some Gold

So that means something else has to come first – give something to your newsletter subscribers – add value, give some gold – share something that will help them.  My newsletters contain a bit especially for “The Fold “ – my exclusive content for my newsletter subscribers.  As a reward for reading my newsletter these tips are just two or three bullet points a week about the topic in question to help readers improve their content.  It costs me nothing yet it adds value to them.  Yes, I sell my courses in my newsletter (not only that but I tell subscribers what’s on offer first) but I also give them something of value to improve their voice.

3. Keep it Concise

It’s easy to start rambling in a newsletter so try to keep it quick to scan, easy to read and to the point – people want quick snackable content on the go rather than reams of information.

4. Consider Text Only

Disclaimer: my newsletter isn’t text only as I love having imagery but I most likely will move that way.  Logos and images can mean that your email automatically goes into the spam box and also it’s often not as easy to read on a mobile device.  Newsletters without images or with just one image in the (predominantly) word format are easier to read and often engage the reader more as it looks more native and less promotional.

5. Keep it Consistent

Send your newsletter on the same day at the same time so your readers get used to it arriving and actually anticipate receiving it.  It’s important not to send loads of newsletters then not send for months – regularity builds relationship.

6. Start Strong

Lastly, make sure your title is strong.  You need to get people to open it by using a compelling (yet relevant) header.  Relevance is important because if you write something incredible that isn’t related you will receive unsubscribes.  The best way to get a strong title is to have a compelling subject in the first place that your reader will be interested in.  I cannot stand it when I see a title like “the most important lesson I’ve learned in business” which subsequently opens up to be a blatant sales spiel designed to look like a story.  Readers want real relationships, not just to be sold to.

Connection, relationship, concise, value-adding and consistent, these are the foundations of fantastic newsletters.  I always recommend planning out your content in advance so you aren’t scraping around looking for something to say.  And remember to keep them strategic – always remember the end goal. Talk about a topic that you may have a paid solution for available in the future and reinforce why they followed you and signed up in the first place.

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