ChecklistA 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. 

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