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The Best Online Newsletters: What Have They Got That Yours Does Not?

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The Best Online Newsletters:  What Have They Got That Yours Does Not?

The online newsletter. Everyone wants you to sign up for theirs. So you do, sign up here and there – sometimes to get a “freebie”, sometimes because you’re genuinely interested in what they have to say or have to offer. But once they hit the inbox, what separates the good from the bad? The opened from the unopened? What makes some desirable, gotta-have-now information?

6 Essential Elements to Make Your
Online Newsletter One of the Best:

#1 Established Rapport

Before you even win the luck of an “open”, you have to connect with your audience. Whether business prospects, clients, former clients, partners or all of the above, they first established some sort of a relationship with you, online or off. If you did a good job of selling your newsletter as important and useful, they’ll already want to open because they know you, and they know it’ll be something good. (You promised.)

#2 Attractive Design

For some it might be “shiny object syndrome” (I can’t take my eyes off it, it’s so beautiful…). For some it’s art appreciation – people are more likely to linger when something makes them feel good or intrigues them, like art does. Just-right color, shape, form, lines and spacing – they all work to capture and keep our attention. Make sure your newsletter layout is balanced and appealing.

#3 Uncluttered Content

Following this tip is essential for the “space” idea aforementioned. We’re all bogged down, distracted, stressed, overwhelmed by too much information. Don’t clutter up your pleasing design. You newsletter should appear light, and therefore non-burdensome. Cut the excess, pare it back to the essentials, and make it feel like a breath of fresh air.

#4 Brevity

And this tip follows the two before – keep your copy (introductions, articles, etc.) BRIEF. The best online newsletters offer bite-sized pieces of yummy information that readers just get a taste of. If the reader wants more, she has to click through. House full articles and blog posts on your website. Doing so gives you the added advantage of driving traffic to your website.

#5 Relevance

With this brief copy of yours, always (I’ll say that again: ALWAYS) keep your audience’s problems and desires in mind. You can creatively address solutions to those problems and desires, but remember that you are writing for them, not for you. It should be what they want to hear. (Sorry, your newsletter is not about you.)

#6 Helpfulness

After you’ve helped your readers by offering tasty morsels of useful information, help them help themselves – to more of what you have to offer. Maybe that’s by guiding them to valuable content on your website. Maybe it’s pointing them in the direction of a great resource. Perhaps it’s encouraging them to find out more about what you offer, so they can sign up, sign on, hire you, refer you, or buy what you’re selling. And if they’re not ready to do that yet, maybe they’ll settle for following you on Twitter (for now).

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