As we've mentioned before, here at Prim'd Marketing we believe it takes a village to produce awesome content week after week. Which is why we love bringing in our fabulous brand-friends to write on topics relevant to our readers. This week's post comes one of our Prim'd Partners, Jessica Sherer, Co-founder of Syntactical Editing and Writing Services (for more of her rad credentials, check out her byline the bottom of this post).
According to an article from Inc., sending out a regular newsletter can be “a cost-effective way to build relationships with customers and prospects.” If your content is informative and useful, you can develop a reputation as a thought leader in your industry, not just among your customers but also for the people who receive your newsletter virally.
But how do you make your copy pop off the page and really grab the reader? How do you ensure your customers not only open the email or envelope but actually engage with the material inside? Here are five simple ways to take your newsletter copy from amateur to expert.
1. Stick to what’s valuable.
After all, it is a newsletter, so make sure whatever you choose to write about is newsworthy and relevant for your readers. Sharing what you know as an expert in your field helps your customers become better informed about various topics related to your business, which they’re more likely to appreciate than a sales pitch. Answer questions your clients frequently ask. Look to the news to find new developments in your industry. A newsletter is a great chance to tell readers how a new tax law can affect them and how your CPA firm can help them sort out the confusion.
You may also want to consider including contests, promotions, or discounts in your newsletter. If readers come to expect that they can win prizes or save money, they probably won’t pass up your newsletter when it hits their inbox or mailbox.
2. Keep it short.
Your newsletter doesn’t have to be extensive to be impressive. On the contrary, readers will be grateful for concise articles that stick to the point and are easy to read. They will take it as a sign that you value their time. In fact, you may want your newsletter to consist of just one main article with a few other elements, like a contact information section, a coupon you’re offering that week, or an ad for an upcoming event you’re hosting or attending. Show your customers that reading your newsletter is not a big investment of their time but that it’s always worth the effort.
3. Use lists.
People love lists. They are easy to scan, they provide the most basic and essential information, and they structure and organize the content for the reader. If you run a housecleaning service, create a list of tips for removing stains from various household surfaces. If you’re an electrician, provide a step-by-step list for how to select the right kind of light bulb for different types of fixtures. When you want input from your online customers, a simple survey in list format is easier for them to complete than an extensive feedback procedure, such as writing a review, for instance.
4. Write catchy subject lines and headlines.
You only have a few seconds to capture your customers’ attention when they first open that email or envelope. So you’ll need your subject lines and article headlines to be intriguing. Put the most important words right at the beginning and include active, engaging language. For instance, transform “The History of Our Bakery” to “From Baking Bread to Saving Lives: How We Got Involved in the Fight Against Hunger.” In an e-newsletter, avoid using the same subject line month after month. Just don’t try to trick your readers with a compelling title that doesn’t actually relate to the content you provide.
No matter how great your newsletter, nothing can kill its credibility or impact quite like a typo or a clumsy sentence. If you trip people up, they will not only perceive the newsletter as unprofessional, but they might also just give up on it altogether. Have a professional proofreader or editor double check links, verify statistics, fix grammatical errors, and clarify misleading language. It’s worth the extra time and money if it means better reader engagement and customer retention.
Jessica Sherer is co-founder of and a writer/editor at Syntactical Editing and Writing Services as well as an adjunct writing professor. Her daily battles include corralling and disposing of cat fur around the house and resisting the urge to watch endless hours of BBC specials. Contact Jessica at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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