With social media insanity and people manically posting on Insta or Snap or other instant platforms, is there a place for newsletters in your marketing strategy?
Most likely the answer is ‘yes.’ Newsletters offer many options for business owners, and whether you decide to use one will be a personal choice.
Let’s dive in….
What’s the purpose of your newsletter?
Let’s start with intention.
Much like blog posts or articles, newsletters can provide your clients with:
- deeper insight into your topic or business, or
- provide current or up coming news about your business, or
- provide a do-it-yourself forum full of useful tips for your clients
(A general rule of thumb is to have one message per newsletter, but more about this later).
Think about what kind of information you want your clients to receive, and how it will help them. That is the first intention of your newsletter.
The second intention of your newsletter is more subtle – it highlights you as an expert.
Who is your audience?
Are you thinking of emailing your newsletter to all your clients, or are their sub-groups for whom you would create information?
For example, if you’re a coach with multiple practices – maybe a life coach and a couples coach – would you send the same information to both client groups, or create unique streams for each?
If you’re a music teacher and photographer – would you do separate newsletters or a combined?
Tip: The best advice is to have a focus. You might start with one newsletter for a target audience, get it up and running. Then, choose another target audience and get started.
Honestly, it’s better to start slowly and become consistent rather than going wildly in the beginning and fading away.
What style will you use?
Firstly, your newsletter needs to ‘feel’ like you. It should fit into the exisiting tone and vibe of your marketing materials.
Secondly, there are oodles of styles for newsletters. And it’s easy to get carried away. But remember, while the newsletter will be in your voice it has to meet the interests and needs of your clients.
When choosing style also consider:
- are the visuals useful and attractive
- what kind of font is best for your clients to read
- what reading level (FK score) are you writing in
- what colours will print the easiest for your clients should they print at home (i.e. what would your newsletter look like in grey tones if your client doesn’t use colour?)
- and along the same line – will your newsletter photocopy well
- keeping lots of white space and avoid ‘squeezing’ too much information onto a page
- is your contact information easy to find
What is your newsletter content?
Now the real fun begins! Research!
Pick your topic. One message – one theme per newsletter. This is important. You’re not producing a 154-page magazine, or 63-page newspaper. This is a newsletter than should be able to be easily read within a few minutes.
Here’s 3 common content choices to help you get started:
- Curated content – this is information you gather from your sources to share with clients. For example, it could include book reviews, comments on training programs, interviews in the industry – but always with your comments and insight
- Answer common questions – each newsletter could go more deeply into a common question you’ve experienced from your clients. This is a humble and gentle way to share your wisdom with the wellbeing of your clients coming first
- And as mentioned before – self-help or do-it-yourself tips for clients. This kind of approach is very friendly and has the potential to clients to want to learn ‘more’
And, stick to one idea. If you’re writing about stress, stick to stress. If you’re writing about a specific musical technique – stick to that.
Resist the temptation to bring in another topic. Maybe it’s an idea for another newsletter or blog!
Edit your ideas to create a newsletter with a focus. This helps your client focus. And, builds your creditability.Cheryl Charron
As you start developing and collecting content, you’ll find you can use it in more than one place.
You might take quotes from your newsletter and use them on social media, you might link to blog posts or articles. Or, some of your information might become part of a media kit.
What is your availability? Know thyself
How much time do you have in your work schedule to dedicate to creating a newsletter? Be real.
How much time do you need? Probably more than you imagine.
How often will you produce your newsletter – decide if it’s bi-weekly, monthly, seasonal, special events only? And then commit – build this time into your calendar.
You need to allow time for research (which you might already be doing if you’re reading journals, LinkedIn, or attending conferences, or heading off to a library). So, take a hard look at your calendar and block time off for research and thinking.
When writing, always allow time for distractions and multiple drafts, editing, searching for visuals, and more editing, before publishing. This is especially true when you’re just beginning.
Tip: I’ll be honest with you, I can spend days gathering visuals from different providers. It’s fun but becomes a timewaster. So, I have a simple strategy. I set a timer and search for 15 minutes and I stop. Then, I organize the pix I’ve downloaded so I can find them quickly.
Remember to allow time for the unexpected – personal emergencies, glitches in the technical world, or curve balls life can throw at you.
Tip: To limit these risks, you might create a work habit allowing you to have newsletters ready-to-go a couple months in advance. These are then scheduled to be sent automatically.
The benefits of newsletters
Newsletters can establish you as an expert in your practice. They give you the opportunity to help you clients by sharing your knowledge and insight.
You can purchase pre-made generic newsletters which fine if they’re well written. But, it’s even better if you have a newsletter that is authentic and unique, just like you.
If you’re able to stick with creating newsletters, you’ll end up with a rich resource of content for multiple uses in your business for the months and years to come.
As mentioned, this content can feed blogs articles, editorials, training materials, media packages, videos.
Tip: Any content you develop should always have multiple uses.
One you develop the habit of working in your business and on marketing materials, you will get better at managing the time these materials require.
Of course, if you love the idea of a newsletter, but don’t like writing or researching, or you are completely out of time….consider working with a copywriter who does all of this routinely.
Helping people with marketing materials, creating, researching, writing, is the heart and soul of copywriters. They’re here to help you!