There are many opinions about what a newsletter is.  There is a faction that says the secret is in the name ‘NEWS-letter’.  However, what constitutes news for your audience?

It’s probably not what YOU consider to be news, but remember that you’re delivering content to help, support, inform, educate or entertain your reader.

In other words they don’t want to know YOUR news, they want THEIR news.

The newsletters I read frequently are:

  • Entertaining
  • Written as though the writer is talking to me
  • Deliver something of value and/or interest TO ME
  • Don’t ramble – I’m busy
  • Make it clear and easy to take further action if it’s relevant.

Do your research

If you’re still not sure what your audience want, ask them what they read, what they delete and what they mean to read, but don’t get around to.

Sign up to the lists they follow and see what kind of content they like! 

That third category ‘What they mean to read, but don’t get around to’, is worth looking at – it clearly delivers something they’re interested in, but not in a way that they find easy to consume.  In other words, getting the value takes effort. 

Could you deliver similar content – in a more engaging way?

That’s Entertainment!

Why have I put Entertaining at the top of the list?

Because that’s what attracts us to newsletters.  We want to be entertained (I spent 5 minutes this morning whacking penguins – thank you Alan Stevens!)  Entertainment doesn’t mean that the content has to be irrelevant, it just needs to entertain the reader.  That might be:

  • A relevant cartoon (check copyright)
  • A quiz or questionnaire with a result (e.g. what personality type are you?)
  • A game
  • A video link to something funny or bizarre

However, it might be simply your writing style.  One of the newsletters I get – and read, usually starts with a humorous comment or two about the writer’s current situation. 

I’m celebrating 3 very important things today:

  1. The weather has momentarily stopped being a heatwave – putting rest to Mrs S’s insistence that we’re all destined to spontaneously combust and should ready the hosepipe, post haste.
  2. I was able to watch the entire first 7 minutes of my TV show before the kids came in to complain about the volume (a new record).
  3. Lesson Two of your $0 to $1k From Book Sales free course is now ready (woop).

There are plenty of ways to entertain your audience while delivering great value – and that’s the secret of a really good newsletter – deliver value.