So you've decided to write a newsletter? Good for you. Newsletters are one of the most effective communication tools whether you run a business, manage a non-profit organization or organize a community group. Business owners find newsletter help boost sales and improve employee morale. Community groups and non-profits find them increase member involvement and enhancement fundraising.
Writing a newsletter can be tough at first, but with these seven tips for effective newsletter writing, you'll be on your way to creating a quality newsletter in no time.
- Define a schedule and scope. To determine the schedule, ask yourself how often you'll publish your newsletter. Monthly? Bi-weekly? Quarterly? To define the scope, establish who the audience is and decide what subjects your newsletter will cover. Laying out the goals and timetable for your newsletter before getting started will help you come up with relevant story ideas and build your newsletter's reputation.
- Think ahead. Every newsletter should have an editorial calendar. Sticking to this schedule ensures your newsletter always goes out on time. Include important newsletter milestones in your calendar such as your editorial meeting (where you brainstorm story ideas and assign the stories to writers), your articles due date, your revisions date, the date for layout completion and your newsletter release date.
- Consider your audience. Think about your readers, then make a list of the topics that would be interested in reading about. Employees of a bank would enjoy articles about the bank's new high-interest savings account and ways to further their education while working full-time. A bird-watching club would want to know about a new park being built or ways to make their backyard more bird-friendly. Parent-teacher association members would find a profile of the school's new principal or an article on how to pack healthy lunches interesting.
- Do not start from scratch. Most businesses and organizations have an abundance of pre-created content that just needs a little editing to work in a newsletter. Letters from satisfied customers, memos from organization leaders, press releases and meeting minutes can all be the basis for informative newsletter articles.
- Write in third person. Many newsletter editors are tempted to write personal stories or make first-person comments. Avoid this temptation! An article written in third-person, journalistic style will give your newsletter more credibility and be easier for readers to digest.
- Remember, less is more. If you fill every inch of your newsletter with print, readers will have a tough time tackling your publication. Leave plenty of room for graphics, photos, bulleted lists, and white space. Do not forget that many readers only read headlines and captions, so include important information in these elements.
- Consider bringing in professional help. Many businesses and organizations find their members or employees either do not have the right skill set or lack the time to produce a quality newsletter. A professional copywriter can help with every step of the newsletter process, from start to finish. Most copywriters can also partner with freelance designers, allowing you to outsource the design and printing of your newsletter as well.