Do you like newsletters?  Do you read the ones that arrive in your email inbox?

We send out a newsletter twice a month, but it’s not really ‘news’, in the sense that it’s not about what’s going on in our business.  Nobody cares about what we’re doing, only in getting something that is, potentially, of value.  That’s why I share tons of useful information on the areas in which we’re experts.

If you’ve got a new product, have written a book or are launching a new programme or something similar, that’s news – to a few people.  It’s information that could be useful to them.  However, most businesses don’t have that kind of news very often.

So, if you’re going to write a newsletter, check out what your list are most interested in and deliver that.

How often?

This is very much a ‘how long is a piece of string?’ question.  There is no right or wrong about frequency.  If you’re delivering great content and getting good open rates a weekly newsletter may work.  If you’re busy and don’t have time, there’s no rule that says you have to send out a newsletter weekly, monthly, quarterly or at some other interval.

In fact, if you find it tough to come up with content, there’s no reason why you should have any kind of schedule.  There are people who successfully send out newsletters at random intervals, so they only communicate when they have something worth saying.

Some people get bogged down in the schedule – and worry if the newsletter is late.  The truth is that few people will notice!  Most recipients of newsletters are not sitting in front of the screens anxiously awaiting your next missive.  They aren’t counting the days!  If it usually lands on the second Thursday of the month and one month it’s a few days late, most readers won’t even realise.

How long?

Say what you have to say – and then stop!  Items don’t have to be any prescribed length.  If it’s a short one paragraph piece of information then that’s fine.

If you feel your newsletter will look sparse, maybe create a structure that has a number of sections – so tip of the week, latest blog, this month’s offer, odd fact, etc.  This will also make writing the newsletter easier as you’re not facing a blank screen, you have at least a subject to trigger ideas.

Do you need a newsletter at all?

If you’ve invested time and effort in building a list you need to stay in touch from time-to-time, or they forget you. 

Your list is valuable because they are people who have chosen to subscribe and, in doing so, have said ‘I’m interested in your stuff’.  If you don’t communicate regularly, the memories of whatever they signed up for will fade and you’ll disappear into the sea of other people who do what you do too.

Your list is marketing collateral as you can market to them when you have anything that they may be interested in, given that they’ve self-identified as interested.  I’m not suggesting spamming them with sales pitches, they’ll just unsubscribe.  However, a good value newsletter is a great way to keep your list warm.