Letters hold a special place when it comes to communication and can never be replaced with technology. However, writing newsletters comes fairly close as it gives a chance for an organisation to talk directly to its employees, customers, members, or subscribers. The big question of writing newsletters effectively that leaves its desired impact on the reader is something we will address in this article.
A newsletter is self explanatory in its term. It’s news or any type of information in the form of a letter or a short booklet. This can be in the printed form or an electronic form. However, with the rising trend of people becoming environmentally conscious, email newsletters are gaining popularity.
For those who are wondering what really is the purpose of a newsletter, its simply a more effective tool to connect with your audience, your clients and members. Although on the face of it, it could help you in driving traffic to your website and converting into leads. But, dig deeper and you will realise newsletters also create awareness around your brand and create loyalty among members.
WHAT ARE THE ELEMENTS OF WRITING NEWSLETTERS
There are several nuances in getting a newsletter right. They are as follows:
- Informative, Educational: An email is a sacred sanctum sanctorum for any individual. It’s the only place where you can directly talk to your concerned members. Use the opportunity to provide useful and informative content. Plastering a newsletter with ads is as annoying as the advertisements that you watch on TV. Have minimal promotional content with a chunk of the newsletter filled with valuable content.
- A solid subject line: “I know exactly what you are doing RIGHT NOW?!” Did that grab your attention? Do the same when writing newsletters. There are hordes of other emails cluttered in your reader’s inbox. It has to be about your end-user or reader. Why would anyone want to read something unless it has something to add to his life. Make as many headlines as possible to finally settle on something that stands out. A few tools that could help you create solid headlines include: CoSchedule, OptinMonster, MonsterInsights, Sharethrough.
- Frequency: Make sure to write newsletters periodically that your reader or end-user looks forward to. Having a template or a format to your newsletter will also help in maintaining regularity. A lot also depends on the type of organisation you belong to. It would make sense for a news media company to come out with daily newsletters, while a corporate giant would prefer to keep a monthly newsletter to keep its employees abreast of what’s going on in the organisation.
- Images: A picture is worth a thousand words may sound run-of-of-the-mill, but it works like magic. Make your newsletters colourful, add images, caricatures and use fonts that are reader-friendly. Writing newsletters that are content heavy will hardly be read as there are too many things for the brain to process. However, a newsletter with images will perk up interest levels.
- Call to action: Call-to-action is a great way to judge the usefulness of your newsletter. Call to actions can be as simple as fetching replies from the reader, or entries for a contest, to a more serious direct marketing CTAs.
Writing newsletters that stand out is half the job done. Ensuring that the mail gets clicked and read among a plethora of emails that your reader already gets is another job undone. There are a number of tools out there to help you track if the email is getting read such as Mail Chimp. Or you can use your gmail or apple mail to track links, by simply enable link tracking option.
WRITING NEWSLETTER FOR THE EMPLOYEE
If there is any newsletter that would hold importance for a company or an organisation then it has to be the employee newsletter. Nothing is more important than keeping your employees happy and an employee newsletter does exactly that. Instead of writing newsletters as a one way street and gloat about the company and its developments, it can be a great chance to communicate with your employee and make them feel valued and important. If you wondered what a solid employee newsletter includes, here are some of the creative ideas through which you add some fun elements while writing your newsletter and cut out the drab.
- Employee or New Joinees corner – Everybody likes to see their name and image in print. This is great way to boost confidence among new employees and feel the existing ones values. You can either do this short interviews or a few questions in the form of a scrapbook or simply a quote from them.
- Adding Trivia, Contests and other Fun activities – All work and no play definitely makes all of us dull. So, throw in some fun activities in your newsletters by adding puzzles, contests, and trivia relating to your company, its products or services. This can also measure the level of engagement of your employees.
- Adding credits to events: Newsletters do the important job of informing your employees of the recent developments. But make sure to credit the people involved with a particular development. This will make an employee feel part of a fraternity and not just a brick and mortar company especially to engage employees who work remotely. For example if your organisation launched a new product, then make sure to credit the people and the department responsible for the launch.
- Extra curricular activities: Every company big or small ventures into activities apart from its core business. This could be in the form of social service activities, cultural programs, or simply brand building exercises. Make sure to capture them in your newsletter and there is nothing better than talking about the efforts that employees take in areas other than work.
SAMPLES OF GREAT NEWSLETTERS
Based on some of the newsletter I receive in my inbox I have picked out some of my favourites:
- The Ken
This new-age journalism company has completely revamped the way news media communicate to their readers. Don’t expect typical boring headlines splashed across your email. Ken talks to you like you are sitting right in front of you over a cup of coffee and will discuss one story at a time. If you want to know how to keep your newsletter simple and conversational, subscribe to the Ken.
- Finshots Market (by Zerodha)
Another media company that tries to simply the complex world of finance. Great images add to the joy of reading this newsletter. If you want to understand how to simplify concepts for your readers, subscribe to this gem.
- Swiggy: If there is one email that I have repeatedly opened in my inbox despite half knowing that its a promotional newsletter, then it has to be Swiggy. This is partly because they come up with the most rocking best subject lines. A few examples – “This is what your neighbour is doing this weekend”, “Were you the one who sent us to get milk at 1AM?”. How can you stop yourself from opening these emails!?
- Pepperfry: Newsletters from this furniture company are soothing to the eyes. They are packed with beautiful images and easy print which makes it a joy to run through this newsletter. Another great thing about it are the personalised subject lines. Its almost like someone is waiting with a furniture line just for you.
- Resume Worded: This is among the best content newsletters I have read in a long time. Anything and everything to do with careers is always useful for everybody. But the strong writing style of Resume Worded adds to the experience of reading this newsletter. A great call to action is also an added bonus.
Humble as they may sound, don’t miss out on this powerful tool to connect with your audience. Let me know how effective your newsletters were in converting your readers into loyalists.