Issue 12 February, 2014
This issue of Wordnerdery has some tips for creating and sharing email newsletters. The do's and don'ts are based on some of the e-newsletters that land in my own in-box, and some of the examples pulled in from a Twitter search for #newsletters.
Do's and don'ts for
Sometimes, companies are so focused on their own goals that they forget about showing the customer/employee what's in it for them. That seems as logical an explanation as any for some of the "don't" examples inspired by my newsletter research:
DON'T put "[Month, year] Newsletter" as your subject line, not even with an exclamation mark to add excitement, as in the "February Newsletter!" message I saw.
DO pick something interesting from the issue to highlight in the subject line as being "in the [Month, year] newsletter."
DON'T start off with someone making a statement or expressing an opinion ("I" did this or think that) without first identifying who it is.
DO put a byline or a headline identifying any people commenting, as in "The view from NAME."
DON'T make the newsletter all about you and your activities and thoughts.
DO think about readers and what they will want to know related to your activities and thoughts. What's in it for them?
DON'T have a mass of text with no images or subheads or other visual relief.
DO use bullets, bolding and sections to pull out and highlight key points. Find a photo, chart or graphic to draw attention to your message.
DON'T apologize for your newsletter being late, if you missed a deadline. Chances are, nobody knows which day you aim to produce it, so there's no need to draw attention to your lapse.
DO aim to keep to a rough schedule, which can include a range of days. In particular, be sure your newsletter comes out in the month on the masthead (the February issue in February, not March).
DON'T make it difficult for subscribers to share your newsletter.
DO include social sharing buttons or a link to a website to make it easy for subscribers to share your excellent content.
DON'T tweet or post on Facebook "Our newsletter is out!" and expect people to share your excitement.
DO tweet about your newsletter -- in fact, many email newsletter programs have a built-in function to send a tweet with distribution -- but highlight some of the great content to encourage readers to check it out.
What are some other e-newsletter do's and don'ts? Please hit "reply" to share your thoughts. And let me know if you'd like help getting your own newsletter out.
Images: Thumbs up, thumbs down by "Teerapun" and FreeDigitalPhotos.net. Sue by Chris Salvo, salvophoto.com.