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Writing Memorable Spreadable Email Newsletters

Go to a coworker who subscribes to(but isn't involved in producing)your email newsletter and ask them what the theme and two or three key ideas are from the latest issue. If they can tell you you're on the right track. Now, call a customer and ask them.

If your coworker can't recall and articulate the theme or key ideas of your newsletter how can you expect your customers and prospects to remember what you have to say. I'd argue that two ideas that are remembered are worth much more than five or six that well presented ideas that aren't remembered.

Spreadable ideas are what increases the value of your newsletter in subscribers minds. If your idea is what follows “You know, I just read about...” when a reader speaks up in a meeting or around the lunch table chances are your open rates and “forward to a friend” rates will be increasing. Information, ideas and stories that readers can share and apply to their own lives is the definition of relevant. Relevant is what keeps subscribers reading and talking about your newsletter and your company.

So how do you do it? How do you craft relevant newsletters? Here are some ideas to get us thinking:

  • Themes - Think of themes as the one word or phrase summary of your newsletter issue. This is the answer to the question “What was the last issue of the newsletter about?” For example: The October issue of the BeTuitive newsletter (subscribe here)is about “Storytelling”
  • Focus- Every element of the issue should reinforce the theme. Craft every article, summary, news item, graphic, link, subject line etc. to in some way relate to and support the central theme. Too many newsletters are not memorable because the theme isn't clear.
  • Summaries - We all know that people skim online content. Your summaries or blurbs need to capture your readers fleeting attention. More than that your summaries become talking points when readers talk about your ideas and content. They literally can be the two or three memorable sentences that follow the “You know, I just read an article about...”
  • Spreadability - There are technical and structural issues about constructing email newsletters that aid their spreadability. Most people are very familiar with how to forward email. It's still important to include a “forward to a friend” link because it plants the idea in readers minds and gets them thinking subconsciously who in their relational network could benefit from this content.

I'll look at these ideas in more detail in the days to come. In the mean time go as that coworker what they remember from the last newsletter.

UPDATE: Now with link goodness

Related:
Storytelling vs. Story-crafting
Why a Reader Forwards an Email Newsletter

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November 2, 2005 in award winning newsletter, blog publish, Blogs, Building B2B Relationships, Building Customer Community, Building Customer Intuition, bulk email marketing, Business editorial, business magazine, Business Marketing, Business newsletter, Business publications, Business relationships, CMO, company blog | Permalink

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