8 Principles Is it your goal to write newsletters that touch your readers and help foster a sense of community?  No matter what business or industry you belong to these universal guidelines can enable you to produce content- and –context that make your newsletter an effective communications tool.


1)     Inform your readers that they can expect to receive your newsletter on a customary basis and that they can engage in open dialogue with you.  Your readers anticipate their copy of your newsletter as they would with any other publication they subscribe to.  A consistent delivery shows your reader you care and are informative with any up- to- date information.

2)     Since your e-newsletter does not require you to incur printing and shipping costs you should send it on a monthly or weekly basis.  You should keep your newsletter relatively straightforward and basic if you are sending it on a weekly timetable.  All your subscribers need is your informative content and nothing else.

Let your newsletter play with the reader’s imagination

3)      It is imperative to keep your newsletter short and to the point.  Most online articles get deleted because they are too long and vague.  A good strategy is to post your link after the first few lines of your newsletter.  This strategy enables your reader to visit your website and raises the likelihood that they will learn from your newsletter and put a face (yours!) on what they just read.

4)      It is important to remember that your newsletters are not like traditional full-length books and you should dress them up graphics, boxes and sidebars.  These allow your readers to explore your newsletter and read their favorite parts.  Your layout should be simple to navigate since there are a lot of readers that like to skim around or read the last page of a publication first.

Establish open dialogue with your readers

5)      Remember that your newsletter should convey a sense of community, so encourage your readers to engage you in open dialogue.  You can do this by inviting them to complete a short survey, a contest, a special offer, or to subscribe to your newsletter if they haven’t already.  You should have a sense of your reader’s interests.  If you don’t you should invite them to complete a short survey to find out their interests and what issues they think are important.

6)      Get a sense of who your target audience is and write specifically to them.  Different audiences require different tones than others, so it is best to choose a tone that best fits your target audience.  The right tone enables your readers to appreciate your content and think that you care about them.

Produce quality material

7)      Your work doesn’t have to necessarily be Hemingway, but make sure it is concise and easy to read.  Your newsletter should contain short sentences, one and two syllable words, and few or no subordinate clauses so your audience finds your content easy to read.  It is a good idea to use the spelling and grammar tool on your word processor to asses your reading level.

8)      It’s important to proof read your work thoroughly!  I cannot stress that enough!  No matter what you’re writing or what your industry is, well tuned content conveys to your reader that you are responsible and care about your work.

Jim Palmer is known internationally as ‘The Newsletter Guru’ – the go-to resource for smart, effective strategies that maximize the profitability of customer relationships. Jim is also the author of The Magic of Newsletter Marketing – The Secret to More Profits and Customers for Life. Get a free newsletter template at www.TheNewsletterGuru.com.

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