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Direct Marketing opinion

How to write a thrilling newsletter

The newsletter always had the odds stacked against it. If it's not hard news and it's not a letter what exactly is it? I don't know. But here's five tips to make yours a must-read.
1. Start smart

If readers make it past the word 'newsletter' in your headline you're in with a chance. The first sentence now becomes super important - like the ridiculously good-looking yet caring receptionist in a dental surgery.

Make it count. Exclamation marks, used sparingly, work well so slot a couple in early: Here it is! Your jam-packed, bumper issue quarterly newsletter. Note the words 'jam-packed' and 'bumper issue'. Intro gold.


© Yvonne Weis - za.Fotolia.com
2. Be topical but stay relevant

April Fool's Day is a good topic for a newsletter. Rising tension in the Soviet Union is not. So say it's winter and you sell perishable fruit like the Perishables Products Export Control Board (PPECB). Go with a seasonal approach and add health tips: It's PPECBrrrrrr cold, isn't it? Here's a tip to keep the flu away: Eat fruit before we export them!

3. Do interviews, but do them well

Everyone will be wondering about Jim in IT. No one will be wondering how long he's been with the company. Find the six degrees that separate Jim from the CEO and ask him if he'd like to be CEO one day. Get the CEO's take on it, maybe get them to swap jobs for a day.

Already you're way beyond 'Jim's hobbies' and onto a very powerful team building article.

4. Proofread

Quelling fears of rampant dyslexia ravaging the company from the top down is as easy as printing out a hard copy and reading it back to front. This way you can see every word seperately and notice it's spelled 'seperately' and not 'separately'.

5. Get a professional

I'm not saying this because I charge money to write newsletters (maybe I am a little). I'm saying it because two sentences saying the same thing (next to each other!) are just plain wrong.

Yes, it costs a bit of money to get a professional, but why sound like a six-year-old in the special class when you should sound like a leader in your industry? Your newsletter is a hard-working PR tool. Give it the TLC it deserves.
    
 

About Hansie Smit

I'm a copywriter with a soft spot for long copy and corporate communication. I'm head writer at The Copy Drive Thru, a specialist copy house servicing clients in the advertising industry in desperate need of words. The Copy Drive Thru Twitter: @thecpydrivethru
Special Child
Get a professional indeed. You lost me at “why sound like six-year-old in the special class”.
Posted on 12 May 2014 14:56
Neville Barber
I disagree with the tip on exclamation marks. They tell me you're shouting. I'm not hard of hearing.
"Here it is! Your jam-packed bumper issue ..."suggests you're screaming that you found it in the basement trash can when everyone else was looking in the staff reading room.
Posted on 12 May 2014 15:56
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