Some people decide newsletters aren’t useful, while others think a monthly, or even weekly, newsletters are essential. Before you jump on the newsletter bandwagon, think about what you want the newsletter to do for you.
There are many goals you can set for a newsletter:
- To share your expertise
- To entertain the reader
- To demonstrate your knowledge
- To update the reader about your company
- To help your reader learn about something
- To introduce your team to the reader
- To promote your products or services.
There are certainly more reasons, but these tend to be the main ones – and, if you’ve read the list carefully, you’ll realise that numbers 1, 3 and 5 are virtually the same thing – just with a slightly different angle!
So when you receive someone else’s newsletter, what do you want to read? What would make you read the next newsletter from that company or person? What would get it deleted without opening?
I don’t know about you, but I find anything that has a boring subject line is destined for the deleted folder. Unless I know the person concerned or have actively requested to be on someone’s newsletter list a boring subject line equals a boring newsletter in my head!
This may sound self-absorbed, but I’m not really interested in the happenings within a company (unless there’s a very good reason and/or it has some impact on me and my business). However, I do want to learn things and am interested in anything that may help my business. That means that I don’t want to know what your company news is – unless it’s that you’ve developed a new service that will directly help my business (and the news is presented as ‘about me’, not ‘about you’). It also means I’m not interested in who your team are, until I actually start dealing with your business – unless you’ve recruited someone with specialist expertise that will actively help my business.
The trouble with these scenarios is that a newsletter goes to a wide range of contacts – and only a very few will tick those boxes.
I’m happy to be entertained, but not if there’s no substance to the message. Actually, I want to be entertained, not to read dry-as-dust text that could be found in a text book.
I don’t mind getting your latest offers or promotions – as long as there’s some value in the newsletters alongside this. In other words give something free before something for sale.
What action do you want people to take after they’ve read your newsletter? Is it a relationship building tool, a marketing publication or a sales tool? Do you want people to develop a respect for your business or delete it?
Getting the goal sorted out will dictate the kind of newsletter you develop – but remember you need to give, before you receive.