Let’s get real here – none of us really want another boring newsletter cluttering up our inboxes.  Do you really need to know that we just had a team meeting or have a few exciting marketing projects in the pipeline?  No!  And I don’t want to know about your new team members or piece of equipment.

So – a good ‘newsletter’ isn’t actually a newsletter at all!

If you want to nurture the people who have signed up for your list you have to give them value.  Something that might help them in some way.  So here are five top tips for newsletters that get higher read rates and fewer unsubscribes.

1:  Plan ahead

If you get to newsletter time (whenever that is, whether you send something out weekly, monthly or less frequently) and you groan, invest in time planning the subject matter for your next 3-6 months newsletters.

If you have a system and structure things will get a whole lot easier.  You will at least have a starting point.  If your content isn’t topical then you could even have a half day once a quarter and write a batch.  Then you will just need to review and check the content before each issue actually goes out.

2: Lead with value

There are no rules that say you can’t include an offer, a promotion or some relevant (to your readers) news in your regular newsletter, but always deliver value first.

I use my blog content as lead articles as I always write blogs that are aimed to make online marketing and content writing easier.  However, it might be a process, a model, a template, some top tips or something else that will help your reader in some way.

3:  Create your own unique style

Write as you speak and imagine you’re chatting directly with the reader.  When you’re talking to someone live you don’t dive right in, you start with a preamble, setting the scene, getting into the why this came to mind.

While it’s sensible to ensure your spelling and punctuation are correct, a conversational style will be much easier to read.  If you think about what engages you – and what doesn’t – you know pompous corporate-speak is boring!

I’m on a couple of email lists where this has been done extremely well and I always looked forward to reading what they had to say next, it feels as though I’m checking in for a chat about their latest clever idea.  After all, there are a lot of people out there who do what you do, or something similar; it’s your ‘take’ on it that people are looking for.

4:  Be authentic and transparent

If you’re going to make an offer ONLY for people on your email list, ensure that it’s a genuine offer – and is only available to them.  Some people will check and it won’t do your reputation any good at all if they discover that you’re promoting the same offer on your website, on your social media and elsewhere.

People who have signed up for your list have already self-identified as being interested in what you have to offer, so make sure they don’t lose faith in you.

5:  There’s no rule that says a newsletter has to be long!

Say what you have to say and then stop.

Don’t waffle.  Don’t fancy it up with lots of additional fluff.  Don’t try to write to a word count.  If it only takes you 50 words to get your message across, then that’s all you need to write.  Your readers will thank you for not wasting their precious time.