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defining the structure of a newsletter

The newspaper has changed… if you can no longer swat a fly with it, what good is it?

The newsletter is a personal newspaper for the recipient. We are no longer sending 20-30 pages of information to everyone in the hopes that the appropriate household member grabs their own section and retreats to their favorite chair.

You write target newsletters to targeted audiences. This means that the newsletter is written specifically for the reader and is short enough to be read (or previewed) in a couple of minutes.

Some newsletters are “salesy” in nature, but most newsletter should be informative and inviting, and basically letter the reader that you have not forgotten about them, and here is some new information to pass along.


Define Format of Newsletter

The number one goal of the newsletter is to keep in touch with clients and potential clients. In doing so, you need to lend you brand to the letter. Make sure that your logo is placed appropriately and that your colors enhances the look and feel of the letter.

Decide on what content is going to be sent. Is this primary a “selling pitch” or education pieces (or both)? Will you be  including articles from your own blog and other experts?

Do you want the newsletter to be rigid and structured, or feel more personal, and direct from you?

Design Structure for Newsletter Content

Once you’ve decided on what you want to share with the readers, you need to format the letter so that you know “where things go”.

You could decide that you will have one primary topic that appears at the beginning, followed by 1, 2 or more supporting (or not) topics afterwards. You might want to present 2-4 topics of equal importance.

Do you what “sidebars” showing the same or similar content for each newsletter?

Create Content

Content is what is going to keep your readers reading. If you are not provided relevant content to them, something that keeps them “in the loop” or brings “tears to their eyes” (sadness or laughter!) then you are going to lose them – worst yet, you may get the dreaded “spam” click!

Your newsletter readers have signed up with you for a reason: they appreciated your website or they got something for free. Keeping them entertained so that they remember you is your primary goal.

Scheduling the Newsletter

This is going to be dependent on the content you are going to be providing. You can schedule newsletters weekly, b-weekly, monthly, quarterly or even annually. If you go past monthly, people may tend to “never remember” you. bi-weekly or monthly seems like a decent time interval to not bother someone too much, but to keep your name in mind.

Whatever schedule you decide upon, DO IT CONSISTENTLY. Remember, you are trying to demonstrate that you are a professional, committed and detailed business, and your newsletter will help you achieve that goal, or destroy that goal – don’t be late and, for goodness sake, NEVER miss a delivery!

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About Tom Joe Finnin

IT professional for over 20 years... currently working at a Fortune 100 company for last 15 years. Love to help people help themselves - let me help you create a web presence quickly and efficiently.

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