Newsletters That Rock

A newsletter–published at set times every week, month, or quarter–is a great way to remind your customers, clients, donors, or volunteers that you are grateful for their patronage and have valuable expertise to share. If you want your newsletter to rock:

  • Offer original stories, not generic stories offered by your industry association or some other group. Your newsletter should highlight what your organization is doing and what you know, not information that anyone can find in exact duplicate by searching the internet.
  • But share your research. Part of being an expert in your field is passing on information that your clients, customers, donors, or volunteers don’t have time to research themselves. So if an interesting fact comes to light, write a story around it. If an interesting story grabs your attention, give your readers a link to the story.
  • Pay attention to graphics. Include photos of your staff or volunteers; photos of projects you’ve completed; before-and-after pictures; infographics; or just really cool designs. Your newsletter is part of your brand and should reflect the styles, colors, and fonts you use in your website and other publications. If design isn’t your strong point, hire a graphic designer to create a template.
  • Work on the headlines. Simple headlines are fine (“New Z-100 Barbecue Arrives August 1”) but select verbs that give them punch (“New Z-100 Barbecue Sizzles with Summer Fun”). Proofread headlines carefully; if you make an embarrassing mistake, it will occur in the bold, italicized, 20 point headline. Trust me.
  • Link to detailed information. Instead of sending out a long newsletter, provide a link to your most recent blog post, white paper, campaign, or offer. People want a quick read, not an exposition.

Worried about content? Turn to TWP Marketing & Technical Communications ; I’ll make sure that your newsletter attracts and keeps the attention of your customers issue after issue.


Top Five Newsletter Mistakes

A e-newsletter or print newsletter is a great way to remind customers of your brand and your expertise. But make sure you avoid these six mistakes:

1. Distributing your newsletter at random times. Decide whether you have the resources (including the time) to distribute a newsletter twice a year, quarterly, monthly or more frequently–then stick to the schedule so that customers know to expect you. You want customers to ask themselves, “Shouldn’t I be getting a newsletter around now?” And you want them to be glad when it shows up.

2. Packing your newsletter with recycled copy. Newspapers have the Associated Press, which sends stories out across the country. Some industries have the equivalent in associations that provide generic stories for anyone in that industry to recycle in a newsletter. But with the internet providing meaty content on almost any subject, those generic AP style stories have no strength at all.

3. Using photos that have nothing to do with your company. I’ve seen newsletters from local businesses that show dozens of suits striding through skyscrapers–though their customers prefer dungarees and live 50 miles from the nearest ten story building. If you cannot use photos of your own business, projects, products and customers, then at least make sure the photos you do use have some connection to your real marketplace.

4. Proofreading the text but not the headlines. If you ever make an embarrassing mistake, it will occur in the bold, 20 point, underlined, italicized headline. Trust me on this. Another place where errors inevitably occur is in the standard copy; for example, if every issue has a publication date, you will forget to change the date on a new issue at least once.

5. Randomly changing your newsletter’s appearance. Your newsletter is part of your brand and should reflect the styles, colors and fonts you use in your website and other publications. Make sure your logo always appears in the same spot and in the same style. Consistency is a big factor in making a newsletter memorable.

TWP Marketing & Technical Communications writes and edits newsletters as well as blogs, website copy, articles, press releases and brochures for companies in many industries. I’ll make sure that your newsletter attracts and keeps the attention of your customers–no mistake!


Before You Start Writing

Before you start writing any marketing copy, whether a blog, newsletter, website, success story, proposal or article, you should know the answers to these four questions:

1. What does your customer want? Your marketing copy must provide a solution for the customer’s problem. You have to know the problem, be able to solve it, want to solve it and know how to communicate all that to the customer.

2. Where do your customers hang out? Do they search the web or newspapers? Are they more likely to read an article in a magazine or a story on your blog?

3. How much time are you prepared to spend? A regular newsletter or blog takes time; so does tweeting and maintaining a Facebook presence. Do you have the resources?

4. What is your deadline? A website or proposal that is four years in the finishing is four years overdue. Your marketing copy can’t start working for you until it reaches your customers.

If you are having trouble defining and reaching your audience or finding the resources and time to complete writing projects, contact me. At TWP Marketing & Technical Communications, our words mean business.

A Customer Walks Into Your Company….

A customer walks into your company and is greeted by two sales people.

Sales person A says, “We offer quality custom parts, specialized design, and professional project management services that provide dependable product solutions to meet customer needs. From simple products to complex cross-functional projects involving a variety of materials, functions and teams, we deliver quality products, on-time, backed by world class customer service and support.”

Sales person B says, “How may I help you?”

Which sales person do you think the customer will relate to?

Yet, website after website, brochure after brochure, success story after success story, and newsletter after newsletter sound like they were written by sales person A. The marketing content overwhelms (or underwhelms) the customer with long lists of vague claims that could apply to any industry from space station manufacturing to organic farming. The customer, in effect, doesn’t exist.

At TWP, we answer your customer’s most important question: “How will you help me?” Our solution-driven content differentiates your company from the competition and converts inquiries into sales. For marketing and technical writing that connects with customers, contact TWP today.