Tips on Writing Effective Newsletters

I’ll spend a day or two writing and putting together the pieces our vBulletinSetup Newsletter. Articles and written and rewritten after thought of the whole layout may change with some event or special that we have to get out in the newsletter. I try to remove all spelling and grammatical errors and usually try to get a staff member or two to look over it before posting it live. Our newsletter page is a little out of alignment at the moment, but in the emails they look great. I guess I’ll just start listing off some tips and we’ll see how this goes.

– Always keep your audience in mind: For obvious reasons, all the content in the newsletter is directly related to vBulletin news, vBulletinSetup news Sherry Dyson . This can work with any niche, if your site is about ford mustangs, then post the latest news in regards to that car.

– Email newsletters should be simple: If you are pushing out an email newsletter, you should try to keep it as simple as possible. Don’t put many images in the email and use all text. Your content should speak for itself, when I do add images, I try to make them very small in compared to the text.

– Take your time composing the newsletter: As I started above, it takes me a few days to actually put together the newsletter.

– Only publish the best: This is where I’m lacking a bit. I’m lucky enough to have a wife in advertising and plenty of members that will look over our newsletter. This really should be the #1 goal in a newsletter.

– The newsletter must be readable: Don’t stuff 20 full stories in your newsletters, no one will read past the first sentence before deleting the email. I will post a snippet then link to the full story in the forums.

– Choose the lead stories carefully: This is your “front page” if you are thinking like it’s a newspaper. You only want to post the stores that will be attractive to the largest number of people.

– Build up the newsletter: In the beginning a newsletter will most likely be very simple, a few lead stories, some short news, and then a message from the admin. As your publication grows, you can add some featured stores, banners or columns to split the page up, rss feeds even for other news sites in regards to your niche.

– Include the source: Our newsletter is full of links back to the stories in the forums.

– Use catchy captains in the title: This is something I don’t take advantage of, but I need to start. This is your first impression on the member reading your newsletter. If the title is boring, it will most likely be deleted.

– Ask your readers what they think: Ask your readers what they think of your newsletter. They are the reason you post them aren’t they? This is a great way to find bugs that you may not see.

– Offer incentives for newsletter writers: I tossed this in here because this is something we have been doing on our blog. You may have noticed a few more authors other then myself lately. bdude, David and Blake have been helping out with the blog post. This would also work for newsletter, to get a collaborative process for a better product.

– Don’t sacrifice look for readability: You don’t want so many banners, tables and columns on the newsletter that it makes it hard to read. Keep it simple.

– Enjoy the praise: Once we started getting threads of users saying “great newsletter” and “thanks for sending” I knew I was up to something good.

A well written newsletter can generate a great deal of traffic, always try to improve your issues and don’t forget to ask for user feedback. I’m trying to think of a few more tips, I’m a bit stumped right now. This should be a good start.

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