Create an Informative Newsletter

Think about the people you consider experts. They are known for sharing their knowledge through books, research papers, columns, articles and newsletters. Experts write. If you wish to be seen as an expert, consider writing an informative newsletter.

Of course, you don’t just sit down and crank out a good newsletter overnight. You need to think it through–and plan out many of its attributes well in advance. If you like the idea of a newsletter and want to use it to network your business, here are 10 questions to ask yourself:

1.  What will be the purpose of the newsletter?
2.  Who is the target audience?
3.  Why would my target audience want to read it?
4.  How will it benefit my audience?
5.  What features will it contain?
6.  Who will write the text?
7.  Will I use a professional to design the layout?
8.  How often will it go out?
9.  How will it be distributed?
10.  How will people sign up for it?

Your newsletter should be informative and educational so that it brings value to your audience and motivates people to read it. Also, unless you have a publishing or web design expert on staff, you should seriously consider outsourcing the production of your newsletter to a professional. Remember, your newsletter is an extension of your business, and it’s often the first thing a prospect sees of you.

Publishing a newsletter week after week or month after month is time-consuming and requires a strong commitment, but it can be a powerful networking and marketing tool. You want your audience to come to expect it–indeed, to look forward to receiving it–and that means you have to deliver it on time and deliver top-notch quality.  An expert produces nothing short of the best.

7 thoughts on “Create an Informative Newsletter

  1. Hi Ivan,

    thanks for sharing this.

    We experience that many people think this is a good idea, but find it too much work.

    So planning outsourcing from the beginning is already a good thing to do.

    Two other tips are:

    1) Don’t write everything yourself. Involve your network. Ask colleague experts or people who have ideas and opinions which are interesting for the readers to write a guest article.

    2) Reuse your own quality content. If you have a blog, reuse the content in the newsletter, if you write articles or have been interviewed: reuse it in the newsletter.

    Many people don’t read blogs because they have to look for the information themselves, but will read it in a newsletter. And not everybody reads the same newspapers, magazines or websites. So don’t think that people have already read the information.

    Conclusion: work smart, not hard. Involve your network and reuse information when making your newsletter.

    Have a great networking day !

    Jan

    Jan Vermeiren, Founder of Networking Coach (http://www.networking-coach.com)

  2. I’ve used newsletters in the past, with a fair amount of success. There are a lot of hidden time consumers, such as keeping the recipient list updated, dealing with technology, etc. It is viable, and does reach a different sector of the population, though.

  3. Ivan,

    In the “new economy”, this is exactly the kind of fundamental business practice that we can no longer afford to see as “a good idea”, but rather “a MUST execute idea”.

    I’ve learned from observation, and from my own shortcomings early on with my newsletter, that there are several mistakes to watch out for, when it comes to understanding and implementing a newsletter. Here are a few of them:

    1. Understanding the ‘Why’ behind the ‘What’

    A newsletter sounds like a great idea, but until somebody understands the principles (even spiritual principles) behind ‘why’ a newsletter works, they will never have the personal leverage – motivation – to do it.

    So, why does it work?

    The power of a newsletter is that is follows a universal/spiritual principle. Give value first, before asking for business. It’s the difference, as you have written about Ivan, between hunting and farming.

    If a quality newsletter is put out reliably with valuable information, the readers feel an intrinsic desire to want to give back to the person who is giving to them. This is, in essense, The Law of Reciprocity.

    2. Effectively Onboarding A New Subscriber

    We’ve all recieved newsletters, especially digitally, that we weren’t expecting. This actually backfires, and causes the opposite desired relationship between the publisher and the reader. The right expectation has to be communicated.

    For example, after meeting a prospect at a networking event, instead of placing somebody on your list and starting to mail, consider these 4 steps:

  4. Ivan,

    In the “new economy”, this is exactly the kind of fundamental business practice that we can no longer afford to see as “a good idea”, but rather “a MUST execute idea”.

    I’ve learned from observation, and from my own shortcomings early on with my newsletter, that there are several mistakes to watch out for, when it comes to understanding and implementing a newsletter. Here are a few of them:

    1. Understanding the ‘Why’ behind the ‘What’

    A newsletter sounds like a great idea, but until somebody understands the principles (even spiritual principles) behind ‘why’ a newsletter works, they will never have the personal leverage – motivation – to do it.

    So, why does it work?

    The power of a newsletter is that is follows a universal/spiritual principle. Give value first, before asking for business. It’s the difference, as you have written about Ivan, between hunting and farming.

    If a quality newsletter is put out reliably with valuable information, the readers feel an intrinsic desire to want to give back to the person who is giving to them. This is, in essense, The Law of Reciprocity.

    2. Effectively Onboarding A New Subscriber

    We’ve all recieved newsletters, especially digitally, that we weren’t expecting. This actually backfires, and causes the opposite desired relationship between the publisher and the reader. The right expectation has to be communicated.

    For example, after meeting a prospect at a networking event, instead of placing somebody on your list and starting to mail right away, consider these 4 steps:

    1. Let them know you have a newsletter that you believe will serve their business, and ask for permission to on board them.
    2. Send an introductory email/direct mail piece, explaining more about who you are, how to use and benefit from the newsletter, and include testimonials from other readers of the newsletter, to inspire a new reader to look forward to the first issue they receive.
    3. Be sure to invite your readers to reply, comment, critique, vote, submit their own stories, and get engaged. The more interactive the newsletter, the more responsive your list will become. Hint: Always highlight examples of others who have interacted. Recognition is the cause of whatever is recognized.
    4. Ask your new subscribers, either in person, or at the time of subscription on your website, what do they want to hear about. The more you can tailor your content to your readers, the more you know you are really serving your audience.

    Hope that helps anybody who is considering a newsletter, or who already publishes.

    Jon Berghoff
    Founder, Global Empowerment Connection
    Publisher of Insights on Influence, a free newsletter on the cutting edge of sales, marketing and leadership – all things influence. http://www.geconnection.com

  5. Dr. Misner,

    As someone that believes in drip marketing, a newsletter or a new customer announcement is a great way to keep on the mind of your potential prospects and existing customers.

    I also believe doing a data-mine (Opt In) of your database especially this time of the year (December) it is the best way to keep a productive database in the new year.

    New video based technologies like the one I provide (www.FloridaWebOuts.com) also allow you the ability to develop and enhance the relationship using your newsletter. Whether we believe it or not we do not buy products we buy the people marketing those products first and foremost which is also why BNI is so important to advancing business.

    Great article

    George Tsafonias
    Owner Rich Media Global /WebOut Technologies
    http://www.FloridaWebOuts.com

  6. I’ve been wanting to develop a local offline newsletter thats packed full of rich content to small businesses.

    This looks like it can give me a kick start into the right direction.

    I always believe in over-dilevering content and the reverberation of business will follow.

    I have experience in delivering online newsletter and feel that offline should pretty much mirror the same model if I’m not mistaken.

    The benefits of a newsletter can be such as lead generation, sponsors, and building new relationships by giving to the business community.

    Frank Bruno
    http://www.DitchYourJob4IM.com

  7. Sir

    It was a pleasure reading your article as it give a benchmark for a newsletter. I have just launched my first newsletter and to test the readership I gave a free item. I was suprised with the response.

    Warm regards
    Karl Smith- South Africa’s Business Networking and Referral Coach- http://www.execuedge.co.za

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *