Newsletters That Work – Part 1 of 2

Sections of this topic

    How to Create Newsletters That Capture Attention

    Your email newsletter is an extension of your company’s brand and personality. It’s an opportunity to offer value and keep your customers engaged. Yet so many times, companies don’t even get to first base – their email newsletter never gets opened!

    This list incorporates the most important components of a successful email newsletter, with a few examples of how to use them. I’ve chosen to apply them to The Last Best Women – a nonprofit organization that offers microfinance to impoverished women in third world countries – but they apply to for-profit businesses just as well:

    1. Compelling Subject Line: The very MOST important thing for ANY newsletter is a Compelling Subject Line – something that captures your readers’ attention and intrigues them to open it. You’re competing against dozens of other non-essential emails every day. Most people don’t have time to open every email they receive. So yours must pop out. Here is an example of a compelling subject line: “How YOU can help change a life with just one email”. Then in the inside, on the first page at the top, repeat that with the answer: “Please pass this email on to six grateful women you know who might want to learn how microfinance changes the lives of impoverished women.
    2. Call to Action: Every newsletter should have a Call to Action – above the fold, so to speak – at the top of the computer screen. If you do #1 above, that is your Call to Action. Another Call to Action might be: “Please read more about how microfinance gave Rosalinda Flores renewed hope for her family and financial earning power she never dreamed possible.” Next to this is a link to an article that tells the story about this real woman and her real microfinance success. Another great Call to Action could be a specific Tweet you ask them to send. Or a Facebook Post.
    3. Tell Stories: Reader interest at least TRIPLES when you tell a real story. Every business has great customer stories. If you haven’t collected them, just ask them! It also makes for a great Facebook or LinkedIn post. Use real names and pictures. Keep it rather short.
    4. Testimonials/Quotes: Almost nothing is as powerful as a quote or very short testimonial. Top of fold, first page, with picture, preferably.
    5. Pictures: Every newsletter should have pictures. The Executive Directors’ picture personalizes her message. Pictures of volunteers help them feel more connected to the organization. Pictures of the recipient of the organizations’ services give readers the feeling that they are in touch with what this organization does.
    6. Mission/Vision: The first page, top of fold, is the best place for the Mission/Vision. It’s enormously important to remind and reaffirm everyone of the organization’s good work.

    These ‘tips’ actually work! They make your newsletter captivating, and help you stand out from a very crowded crowd.

    The next post offers 7 more essentials.

    What tips work for your newsletter? What doesn’t work?


    For more resources, see our Library topics Marketing and Social Networking.

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    ABOUT Lisa M. Chapman:

    Ms. Chapman’s new book has a name change! The Net-Powered Entrepreneur – A Step-by-Step Guide will be available very soon. With offices in Nashville Tennessee, but working virtually with international clients, Lisa M. Chapman serves her clients as a business and marketing coach, business planning consultant and social media consultant. As a Founder of iBrand Masters, a social media consulting firm, Lisa Chapman helps clients to establish and enhance their online brand, attract their target market, engage them in meaningful social media conversations, and convert online traffic into revenues. Email: Lisa @