Tips for Choosing Newsletter Format

by Deidre Rienzo on June 3, 2011

Image for Newsletter Format Post

Maybe you’ve been trying to create an email newsletter for some time, but you don’t know what to include. Or maybe you have a newsletter, but you aren’t sure it’s working. What is the right format? We have the formula. Consider these tips, find a good balance, and reap the ROI from a newsletter that works.

Understand the basics

Your newsletter format shouldn’t be an arbitrary decision. It needs to be based on three important factors:

  1. First, start with your audience. What do they want to read? What do they get excited about? If possible, talk to or survey subscribers. Think about what kind of value you can give your reader, based on their needs and your expertise. What can you offer that they need and don’t already have?
  2. Set a goal. Your goal should drive the format. Do you want to sell something? Increase loyalty? Introduce new services? Interact? Collect information for your marketing efforts? Consider what you want to achieve, and let that drive the content (in a way that appeals to your audience, of course).
  3. Size up the competition. Do you receive your competition’s newsletters? If not, sign up. Get ideas. What works, and what doesn’t? How can you provide value in a more useful way?

Format options

Once you understand your audience, goals and competition, create a format that will work best to impress. Different types of newsletters include:

  • Quickies: Used to announce a new service, product, promotion or event, these awareness-makers should be short and sweet.
  • Short story: A single, short article, created by you—about any relevant idea or topic you choose. The material should be short, and allow the audience to read the whole thing without clicking elsewhere.
  • Teasers: When you’ve got good material elsewhere—and you want to highlight it in your newsletter—give a taste in the newsletter, and link the excerpt back to your website or blog so the audience can read more.
  • Multi-section: This type of newsletter is often longer, and might include a mixture of the elements above.

If your main roadblock to publishing a newsletter is choosing the right format, let us help you work through this formula to find a useful, realistic and business-smart approach.

What tips have we missed? Please share below. If you’d like to share your expertise as a guest blogger, please check out our guidelines, and let’s see how we can work together.

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