For newsletters and email communication, your content will depend on your strategy and goals. Choose to send either a mostly promotional email or a mostly informational email. I recommend 80% information and 20% promotion – or vice versa. Having this focus makes it clear to your subscribers what to expect. You are better to send two separate emails than to send one email that is 50/50.
Each type of email has its place. I can get just as excited about a shoe sale as I do about a new idea. What do your subscribers want to read about (or look at)? That is more important than what you want to write about. (It’s also the difference between blogs and newsletters.)
Content creation is one of the big challenges for my newsletter clients. I always tell them that it gets easier once they get started. I suspect most don't believe me at first.
Here are some tips to help you get started:
- Write when you are inspired, rather than to meet a deadline. It affects the quality of your message.
- Schedule time to get inspired. Read articles, blogs and magazines.
- Always be on the alert for interesting information relevant to your subscribers. ‘Scanning’ will quickly become a habit.
- Keep an 'ideas' file – either electronic or paper. This will be an invaluable source of inspiration.
- Agree or disagree with others' opinions. Make sure your argument is convincing and relevant.
- Write like you talk. Do you ever say 'therefore' in a conversation at Starbucks? If your answer is yes, then use it in your writing. Otherwise, try 'and so'.