A prospective client called me this week to talk about an e-newsletter he wants to send his customers. I’m fond of newsletters, so it would be easy to just say, “Sure, let’s do it!”
Instead, what I suggest in situations like this is to ponder these points:
- What do you want the newsletter to achieve?
- How will you know it’s effective? How will you measure that?
- Why a newsletter over other forms of communication (video, for instance)?
- How does it fit in with other ways you communicate with your intended readers?
- Is there any behaviour you want to change or encourage?
- What do you want readers to do with the information you plan to send them?
- Who are your readers and what are their demographics?
- How would they normally look for the information you plan to send them?
- Are they likely to be viewing the newsletter on a mobile device or desktop?
- How will you collect their email addresses and permission to send your newsletter?
- What will make your publication really useful to your readers?
- What will make them look forward to it, open it, read it?
- What unique perspective or information can you provide that readers can’t get elsewhere?
- What are you the expert in, or what makes you different?
- Are there frequently asked questions you can answer, case studies you can share, survey results, conference recaps and so on?
- How will your content address the reader’s unspoken question, “What’s in it for me?”
- Who will write the newsletter?
- How important are looks?
- Do you want something with colour and impact, that could stand up to a magazine in the newsstand?
- Or do you want to go the other way, more subdued, even bare bones?
- How will you send the newsletter?
- What kind of budget do you have?
- How often do you plan to send the newsletter — daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly?
- Is there a particular day/week/month you want to issue your newsletter?
- When do you want to launch?
- Have you set up a schedule to make sure you meet your deadline?
These are just some of the things to think about. What other suggestions would you share with someone thinking about introducing a newsletter?
Image: Checklist by TeroVesalainen and Pixabay.