22 September 2022 |
110 – Josh Spector: The Secret to Writing Killer Newsletters
By Daniel Murray
From digital marketing for the Oscars to running his own consultancy business, Josh Spector is a marketer obsessed with great communication.
Josh has always been a writer and now creates his killer newsletter For The Interested, helping creative entrepreneurs grow their audience and business.
He and Daniel talk about the difference between content that’s just shared and content that drives change, why you should always take a value-first approach, and why good marketing is really about serving people.
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How to Write a Newsletter
A newsletter is a great way to keep your customers informed about new products, company news and special offers.
It’s also a way for you to build trust among your customers by showing them that you are trustworthy and will look after their interests. If you want to create an impact with your newsletter and drive home its message, you should use effective writing techniques.
Use the following tips to write a creative, compelling newsletter that engages your readers.
Establish Your Newsletter’s Theme and Voice
The first thing readers will notice about your newsletter is its design and layout. The visual elements of your newsletter should give a sense of what your business is about. If you are creating a newsletter for an insurance company, you might use imagery that connects with stability, reliability and security. If you are writing a newsletter for a car rental company, you might use images that suggest freedom, adventure and discovery.
The same is true of your newsletter’s voice. Your readers should be able to “hear” your voice in the words you write. It’s easier to write a newsletter if you break it down into parts. You may find that it helps to begin by writing an outline. Once you have your main points written down, it will be easier to write the rest of the newsletter.
Use Conversational Language
One of the best ways to get your readers’ attention is to address them by name. If you know some of your subscribers’ names, use them. You can also use their first name or initials. There’s nothing more impersonal than “Dear Subscriber” or “To our valued customers.”
Most readers want to know that you are speaking directly to them. Keep your language conversational. If you use words that are too formal or stuffy, there’s a good chance that your readers will be turned off. Strive for a natural, relaxed tone that’s easy to read.
Show, Don’t Just Tell
Newspaper and magazine journalists have an old saying: “If your mother starts recommending stocks, get yourself another broker.” In other words, don’t just tell your readers that a certain strategy is better than another, give them facts and figures that prove it.
If you want to tell your readers about a special promotion or discount, don’t just say “We’re offering a 10% discount on all orders over $100.” Instead, show them how much money they can save.
Depending on your industry, you might also show your readers how much time and effort they can save. Whatever figures you use, make sure that they are accurate.
Hook Your Readers
The first sentence of your newsletter is critical. It needs to catch your reader’s attention and make them want to keep reading. If you have a limited amount of space, you need to get your point across quickly.
The best way to do that is with a “lead sentence.” This is a sentence that starts out with a “hook.” For example, if you are writing a newsletter for a car rental company, a lead sentence like “Tired of driving a boring old car? Rent one of our sports cars and turn heads on the road!” will get your readers’ attention and make them want to read the rest of your newsletter.
Your lead sentence should be short and catchy. If you have room for only one sentence in your newsletter, it should be this one.
Explain Why Your Product or Service is Worth Buying
Your newsletter should include information that helps your readers make better decisions. If you are selling a particular product or service, find out what benefits it offers. If you are selling a car, for example, you might show your readers how much gas-saving features can save them, or you might tell them how many years they can keep the car without needing repairs.
If you’re in the business of providing information and services, show your readers why they need what you’re offering. If you are writing a newsletter for a marketing agency, for example, you might explain the benefits of using digital marketing to promote your products and services. If you are writing a newsletter for a real estate company, you might explain the benefits of using virtual tours to sell your clients’ properties.
If you want to retain your readers’ trust, don’t pepper your newsletters with jargon and marketing-speak. Avoid terms like “synergy” and “value proposition.” Your readers don’t care about your business plans and growth strategies, and they are unlikely to understand what you are talking about. Instead, use plain, everyday language.
You might consider hiring a professional editor or proofreader who can help you write a newsletter that is clear and easy to understand. Let your personality show, but don’t use slang or colloquialisms that may confuse your readers. Read what you’ve written out loud to make sure that it makes sense to someone who isn’t familiar with your business.
Don’t Be Afraid to be Funny
If you are comfortable with humor, don’t be afraid to use it in your newsletter. Some of the most successful newsletters have a humorous tone. This is particularly true if you are marketing to small businesses. If you are writing a newsletter for a business that offers consulting services, humor may not be appropriate. If you are writing a newsletter for a business that sells novelty products or gift items, it may be a good idea to inject a bit of humor into your message.
Humor is a great way to break the ice and get your readers’ attention. It also shows your readers that you are friendly and approachable. People who read newsletters written by people they know and trust are more likely to make purchases from those newsletters than those written by people they don’t know.
Sum Up With a Takeaway
The final sentence of your newsletter should bring your readers full circle. Use it to summarize the points that you made in the rest of your newsletter. If you discussed a new product or service, remind your readers what it is and when it will be available.
If you have a special offer, be sure to tell your readers when it ends. If you have some advice or information that you want to share with your readers, wrap it up with a takeaway sentence. If your newsletter is promoting a special event or sale, be sure to tell your readers when it ends. The last sentence of your newsletter should bring everything together and leave your readers with a positive impression of your business.
A newsletter is a great way to keep your customers informed about new products, company news and special offers. It’s also a way for you to build trust among your customers by showing them that you are trustworthy and will look after their interests. Most importantly, a newsletter is a chance for you to communicate your company’s values, culture and mission through words.
If you want to create an impact with your newsletter and drive home its message, you should use effective writing techniques. Use the following tips to write a creative, compelling newsletter that engages your readers.