Writing Newsletters Online: How to Get it Right

A strange thing has been happening to newsletters online.

They have been turning into either a) promotional emails or b)
web pages delivered by email.

I’m sure you know what I mean. Go back a couple of years and you
could look forward to receiving your favorite newsletter in the
knowledge that the newsletter itself would contain some great
content…something you could read and enjoy, or learn from.

You could open the newsletter in your email and read it, from
beginning to end. There were articles, reviews or just personal
rant…well written and interesting.

In short, there was real value, right there in the newsletter.

These newsletters, where significant value lies in the body of
the newsletter itself, are becoming harder and harder to find.

Instead, more and more companies and organizations are using
their ‘newsletters’ as a promotional ploy to drive you to pages
on their sites.

In one way, it’s understandable. As anyone with a newsletter
knows, if you have one or two links to your site in the
newsletter, your site traffic really spikes on the days you send
out the newsletter.

When you see that, it’s tempting to optimize the entire
newsletter – its format and content – as a means to drive
additional traffic and generate more sales.

As a result, you now see numerous newsletters where an article
is not included in its entirety. You simply get a teaser and a
link to a page on their site. Or else you get a ‘newsletter’
that looks just like the site interface, with all the various
navigation links and promotional messages included.

This may be great if you want to maximize the traffic to your
site each time you send out a newsletter. But there is a catch.

The catch is, if there is less value in your newsletter itself,
your subscribers will quickly begin to become bored with it.
After all, with a zillion other promotional emails cluttering
our inboxes – why pay special attention to a ‘newsletter’ that
is simply another sales pitch?

The real value of a newsletter that contains valuable content is
long-term. You’ll get more word-of-mouth, you’ll get higher
open-rates, and you’ll get long-term readers who look forward to
your newsletter, for years ahead.

Is there a compromise? Sure there is. A valuable newsletter
doesn’t need to be text-only without a single link, or devoid of
any promotional elements.

Just make sure that every newsletter contains some valuable
content, in its entirety. Give people a real reason to look
forward to receiving it, opening it and reading it

Nick Usborne is a copywriter, author and speaker. You can access
all his newsletter articles on writing for the web at his www.ExcessVoice.com site.
You’ll find more articles and resources on how to make money as
a freelance writer at www.FreelanceWritin

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