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    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.

    How to write a thrilling newsletter
    © 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

    JS Smit (@freehance) is a freelance copywriter. He lives for deadlines and enjoys Marie biscuits. Contact him at az.oc.ecnaheerf@ofni or visit his website: www.freehance.co.za.
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