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The Secret Of Your Newsletter Success?
Posted 07 October 2003 - 12:11 PM
I got a good laugh out of that. But I’m guilty of being a jargonist. I notice a lot of other business professionals are, too. We lack clarity when we allow industry and technical jargon into our business communications – not just our newsletters, but our web copy, press releases, and white papers. Perhaps we presume everyone in our audience understands the terminology. Perhaps, like my son, we hope our ‘extended vocabulary’ makes us sound like more of an expert.
I appreciate folks with the gift of plain speaking. Jill Whalen is one. Michael Katz is another. Jill referred Michael’s work to all of us (E-Newsletters That Work). I recently produced an online audio program with him about publishing effective newsletters. It’s full of great advice, and for me, I hear two key lessons. First, stop the jargon. If what you have to say is not interesting, clear, compelling, and of use to your readers, then you’re wasting your time. Second, the most effective e-newsletters are those that don’t read like an article from a local business journal. They sound as if the company leader is advising a friend.
To those of you writing e-newsletters, do you find these points to be the key to your newsletter’s success?
Posted 12 October 2003 - 07:44 PM
I've found that to be successful, a good newsletter needs the following elements:
1) Be dedicated to topics of interest to your readers. If I'm a knitting aficionado, then I want to learn more about great yarns, great new patterns, etc. that I can try out, and helpful tips. If I'm a car enthusiast, then my wants are quite different.
2) It has to be written in the language that readers use, that show you understand their interest, hobby, or profession. This takes time and research-and often spending time with people in this industry.
3) Engaging headlines, subheads and strong lead paragraphs...the element of any good writing...is just as important in newsletters online as offline. There are all too many highly boring newsletters out there, those that sound "slapped together" and others that just don't offer interesting information. Avoid those problems, and your newsletter will stand out from the rest.
Oh, and please, please don't over-advertise in one. It turns me off, and I suspect most people feel the same way.
Just a few thoughts on this topic,
Posted 12 October 2003 - 10:43 PM
That's the real secret to a successful newsletter!
BTW, you can see how much I liked Michael's book on putting out newsletters in my review of it.
It was scary how much of what he wrote felt like I could have written it myself!
I'm sure Michael's Sound Advice series is just as good.
Posted 12 October 2003 - 11:23 PM
Posted 13 October 2003 - 07:53 AM
Oh well. I like to think that if it were for my own business I'd be less forgetful, but I probably should shed my illusions while there's still time and set up my personal reminder software.
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