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Tips on Writing an Effective Newsletter
Brandon Sheley
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 4,677

Living in Topeka KS, enjoying life! Loves working with online communities like vBulletin and IP.Board. I知 into Search Engine Optimization, and Social Media.

Google Kansas
by Brandon Sheley Brandon Sheley is offline 31 Dec 2008

Tips on Writing an Effective Newsletter

I saw a request in the forums for a little tutorial on writing an effective newsletter, so I thought I would give it a shot.
I値l spend a day or two writing and putting together the pieces our vBulletinSetup Newsletter. Articles are written and rewritten after thought of the whole layout may change with some event or special that we have to get out in the newsletter. I try to remove all spelling and grammatical errors and usually try to get a staff member or two to look over it before posting it live. Our newsletter page is a little out of alignment at the moment, but in the emails they look great. I guess I値l just start listing off some tips and we値l see how this goes.
  • Always keep your audience in mind: For obvious reasons, all the content in the newsletter is directly related to vBulletin news, vBulletinSetup news. This can work with any niche, if your site is about ford mustangs, then post the latest news in regards to that car.
  • Email newsletters should be simple: If you are pushing out an email newsletter, you should try to keep it as simple as possible. Don稚 put many images in the email and use all text. Your content should speak for itself, when I do add images, I try to make them very small in compared to the text.
  • Take your time composing the newsletter: As I started above, it takes me a few days to actually put together the newsletter.
  • Only publish the best: This is where I知 lacking a bit. I知 lucky enough to have a wife in advertising and plenty of members that will look over our newsletter. This really should be the #1 goal in a newsletter.
  • The newsletter must be readable: Don稚 stuff 20 full stories in your newsletters, no one will read past the first sentence before deleting the email. I will post a snippet then link to the full story in the forums.
  • Choose the lead stories carefully: This is your 吐ront page if you are thinking like it痴 a newspaper. You only want to post the stores that will be attractive to the largest number of people.
  • Build up the newsletter: In the beginning a newsletter will most likely be very simple, a few lead stories , some short news, and then a message from the admin. As your publication grows, you can add some featured stores, banners or columns to split the page up, rss feeds even for other news sites in regards to your niche.
  • Include the source: Our newsletter is full of links back to the stories in the forums.
  • Use catchy captains in the title: This is something I don稚 take advantage of, but I need to start. This is your first impression on the member reading your newsletter. If the title is boring, it will most likely be deleted.
  • Ask your readers what they think: Ask your readers what they think of your newsletter. They are the reason you post them aren稚 they? This is a great way to find bugs that you may not see.
  • Offer incentives for newsletter writers: I tossed this in here because this is something we have been doing on our blog. You may have noticed a few more authors other then myself lately. A few members have been helping out with the blog post. This would also work for newsletter, to get a collaborative process for a better product.
  • Don稚 sacrifice look for readability: You don稚 want so many banners, tables and columns on the newsletter that it makes it hard to read. Keep it simple.
  • Enjoy the praise: Once we started getting threads of users saying 堵reat newsletter and 鍍hanks for sending I knew I was up to something good.
A well written newsletter can generate a great deal of traffic, always try to improve your issues and don稚 forget to ask for user feedback. I知 trying to think of a few more tips, I知 a bit stumped right now. This should be a good start.
If you have a news letter, I壇 love to see a link to it. Seeing what痴 working for other people would really be appreciated.

Cheers
-Brandon

Last edited by Dismounted; 02 Jan 2009 at 09:57..
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