1. Build a connection through your LEAD ARTICLE:
This is a MUST. The article that you put on the front page is the most important of the lot.
This is your chance to connect with your audience so aim to share a bit of you and your life. YOU also want to make this a talking point so do ensure the personal story is wrapped up in a theme that’s relevant to your business otherwise you risk it becoming preachy and self-indulgent.
2. Create continuity with REGULAR FEATURES:
There will be some aspects of your newsletter that you’ll run every month and the subject you choose will depend on your business. When deciding what to go with think about the problems and challenges your readers are trying to solve, and provide tips, advice and guidance to help them tackle it.
How To features and Top Tips always go down well and you could tweak this type of article style into a themed feature such as:
o Dave’s DIY Disasters: A painter and decorator or a plumber could create a monthly feature on the disasters spotted in people’s homes complete with pictures and tips on how you can avoid them.
o Monthly Marketing Nugget: Either a social media or marketing consultant could share one big insight which readers can try and apply each month.
o Rachel’s Radiant Recipes: A dietician, personal trainer or catering expert could publish a monthly recipe along with a photograph of the end result.
You get the idea
3. Express your point of view through OPINION PIECES:
Opinion type pieces are really good at giving readers an insight into your personality and your viewpoint.
Perhaps you’ve been annoyed by something in the news. Maybe you heard an interview that’s got you on your soapbox! You could have witnessed bad customer service or something that really shocked you. Use these experiences as anecdotes and stories. Hey you could even be a little controversial to get people talking.
4. Show your business in action through PRODUCT / SERVICE DEMONSTRATIONS:
Your newsletter provides an unrivalled chance to talk about what your business can do without going into selling mode.
Think about your favourite celebrity talking about their latest project on the TV or radio. If it’s a book they may talk about the plot and the idea behind the novel. They may share some insights into the character and even a bit about the writing process. For sure they may end the interview by telling you where you can find out more BUT this will be informative NOT a hard sell.
And how does the listener benefit? They get to hear an informative, interesting, insightful conversation and see a different side of the celebrity.
You can apply this principle to your business too. A newsletter will allow you to present your products and services in new and novel ways. You could:
o Include customer success stories backed up with testimonials and statistics
o Product demonstrations
o Examples of your product in action in the field
o Response you’ve had to a new service offering
5. Demonstrate your knowledge through Q&As:
Questions and answers are a great way to showcase your expertise.
What’s more, if you can answer questions that your customers have submitted you can demonstrate how helpful you are (and helping is often the quickest route to selling).
6. Make heroes of your customers with a CUSTOMER OF THE MONTH:
Newsletters can be an effective way to build a community amongst your customers.
Therefore you may find it relevant to showcase a specific customer – especially if you can weave in how you’ve helped them. It’s a powerful, yet subtle way to show examples of how your business adds value...
PLUS your customer gets some exposure to your other customers too.
7. Focus on your team with an EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT:
Profiles of your team members are a great way to put a face to your business and to allow your customers to connect with the other people that work with you. You could create an interview type format and ask interesting questions that allow your staff to show their personality and reveal some talking points. Oh, and don’t forget the photos!
8. Add variety with GUEST POSTS:
A good way to take some of the pressure off the content creation (especially if your newsletter grows) is to ask for guest contributions.
This can work really well if the guest is from a complementary business that can add value to your readers. But be careful. Don’t allow these pieces to turn into a sales pitch or you’ll completely undermine the quality of your newsletter.
9. Build excitement with COMPETITIONS:
A regular competition can be a great way to test how engaged your readers are. There’s lots of scope here. For example you could have a caption competition or you could link it in some way to your business OR if you run a plumbing company could ask readers to send in pictures of their DIY disasters and childcare settings could ask parents to send in pictures of their children doing funny stuff. What’s more, you may be able to find a local business that’s willing to donate a prize.
10. Pack a visual punch with your images and PICTURES:
Scrap the stock images where possible and instead include your own. It’s much easier than you think given the quality of today’s smart phone cameras.
Your newsletter needs to be visual so go easy on the text and include lots of relevant images and bespoke graphics that complement and enhance the stuff you write about. Pictures of real people always work well.
And remember, captions are highly readable so make full use of those when honing your design.
11. Share your LATEST NEWS:
Use your newsletter to inform customers about what’s new in your business. You could mention a new product or service (but skip the sales pitch), any awards you’ve won, upcoming events.
12. Incentivise readers to get in touch – it’s your CALL TO ACTION:
Do encourage people to contact you. It’s a great way to assess readership and interaction BUT don’t break the newsletter code – don’t try to sell! Don’t even include special offers.
Instead offer free consultations, free eBooks or invite people to submit their questions. Think creatively about how you can get people to engage and interact with your newsletter.
13. Don’t forget your CONTACT DETAILS:
Make it super easy for people to get in touch with you. You’ll want to list your:
o Web address
o Phone number
o Social media handles
14. Finally – FILLERS:
Fillers add variety and can be used, as their name suggests, to fill space. Some ideas that work include:
a. Customer testimonials – they’re great for social proof
b. Relevant quotes – good thinking & talking points
c. A monthly tiny top tip
d. Cartoons – adds humour
e. Relevant trivia
So there you have it....
14 different content ideas to explore and weave into your monthly newsletter.
But which will you include?
Right below here is the links to our other Newsletter pieces if you want to read more.
Have a great weekend...