of the Newsletter
Solidifying Customer Relationships with
Captivating, Relevant, Durable Content
Do you have important news and information to
share with your customers?
INCOMPAS can help you strengthen your relationship with your
customers with our
development tips and plan for creating engaging newsletter
Looking for a professional to deliver relevant
content to your customers?
Contact us today.
T: 604.302.2055 | F: 604.852.6274 | E:
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worked hard to gain your customers’ business and want to explore ways
to strengthen your relationship with them while informing them of
important news and information. One proven method of maintaining
regular contact with existing and potential customers is by
distributing a company newsletter. But wait! Before you begin
developing your first issue, don’t make the common mistake of thinking
your newsletter is another opportunity to “sell” more products and
services. Newsletters are NOT ads; what’s more, if you make the
mistake of treating your newsletter like an advertisement you will not
only turn off many of your valued customers, you will risk destroying
that coveted trust that you’ve worked so hard to develop.
your newsletter as an intangible agreement you make with your
customers. They’re living up their end of the agreement by opening
your newsletter and scanning it for information that is relevant to
them; your end of the agreement is to deliver content that your
customers will find engaging, relevant and pertinent to their needs.
If they enjoy the read, if they learn something new, if they’re left
with a positive feeling, then your newsletter has succeeded in
boosting their perception of your company and they will likely
purchase more products and services from your organization in the
trick to writing effective newsletter content is to stick to what you
know best and share your knowledge and experience with your customers.
Don’t assume that your customers will know what you consider basic
information – it’s amazing how much knowledge and experience business
owners simply take for granted. Think of your newsletter as an
opportunity to share your expertise and teach what you have learned
about your products and your industry. When assembling the content,
ask yourself if the information you are assembling will be helpful,
interesting and useful to your customers in some way.
can assist you in writing and producing your own effective newsletter
content, or we can edit your existing newsletter and offer
constructive advice on how to strengthen your editorial product. To
get you started, we’ve developed a step-by-step guide to assist you in
producing a winning newsletter.
Step-by-Step Plan for
Developing Durable Newsletter Content
tune with your audience
– Always put yourself in your readers’ shoes by thinking about what
matters to them. What are their most frequently asked questions when
it comes to your products and services? Ask your customers about what
issues matter most to them. Hold a brainstorm session with your
colleagues and talk to your sales, administrative and technical staff
– the front line for your customers; ask them what they think is on
your customers’ minds.
– Decide how many pages your newsletter will be and think
carefully about how often you can realistically produce an issue.
Develop a budget, and be realistic about the time and expense required
to assemble, write, design, edit and distribute each issue of a
newsletter. Assemble the team you will require to help you develop and
maintain a quality newsletter. Ideally, you will have an editor in
place to manage and deliver polished content and a designer to
establish and maintain a distinct, refined look.
Establish an editorial calendar
– Plan your issues in advance, develop an editorial calendar and
decide on a production schedule. Give your contributors plenty of lead
time and clearly written writers guidelines, including word count
expectations and photo requirements. Because you will likely depend on
volunteers to contribute to your newsletter, realize that the only
person who will respect imposed deadlines will be you. Allow plenty of
time in your production schedule to allow for unexpected delays.
– Start by grouping your newsletter content around a central theme
that will tie all articles together. Working to a theme will help you
focus your content and will help your readers better relate to your
company, products and services. When structuring your newsletter,
start with one or two short feature articles (such as a customer
testimonial or case study, or an article examining a current,
newsworthy issue) and follow with regular departments reporting
product, company and industry news, and providing seasonal advice,
tips & tricks, frequently asked questions (faqs), training, trends,
etc. Ask a leader in your organization to write a column each issue,
and place this column in a prominent position in your newsletter,
preferably immediately following your “lead” feature. Once you
establish a newsletter structure, follow it every issue to give your
readers a greater feeling of continuity and brand recognition. Don’t
forget to leave space for a linking Table of Contents or a box
explaining what’s inside.
– Don’t let fancy graphics and colourful images distract you from
delivering engaging, relevant content. Develop the content first and
ensure the newsletter’s design supports and highlights your message.
When writing, remember that newsletter articles should be short and
direct; place all of your most important information in the first
sentence or paragraph if you can. If an article requires a more
in-depth approach, write a short newsletter introduction and summary
highlighting the main points of the story, and provide a link to a
more detailed article in your website. This option will enable you to
populate your newsletter with a variety of quick-read articles, drive
traffic to your site while allowing anyone interested to read on for
more information, and build on the trusted relationship that you have
established by delivering a relevant, interesting and entertaining
– Don’t get lost in passive land! Keep your sentence structure short,
snappy and active. Passive voice can be tricky to spot; watch your
word order, since a passive construction presents the object first and
the subject last. For example, “ABC Corporation designed the new
widgets to improve efficiency” is a more effective than “The new
widgets were designed by ABC Corporation in an effort to improve
efficiency.” Also when writing, always ask yourself, ‘who cares?’ and
‘why is this information important to my audience/customers?’ Place
contact and other support information in sidebars, giving your readers
quick visual reference points.
attention-grabbing subject line – When distributing your newsletter by e-mail, your subject line
should tie directly to a specific headline article in your newsletter,
and – most importantly – it must stand out distinctively amidst the
multitude of subject lines in your recipients’ Inboxes. Your subject
line should also give your readers a clear idea of the main theme and
subject matter of your newsletter.
– Manage subscriber expectations right from the start by explaining to
your readers the editorial focus and purpose of your newsletter, as
well as the value your readers can expect to receive by receiving and
reading it. Provide a link to back issues to give people an idea of
the general nature of your newsletter, and give them options to
unsubscribe from receiving your newsletter electronically or in print
form. Follow the standard rules that dictate distribution of
responsible permissions-based e-mail practices.
on your competition – Reading newsletters produced by your competitors and other
industry participants will help you generate new ideas, and stay
abreast of what people in your industry are talking about. If your
competitor covers a topic of great importance to your industry, it is
perfectly acceptable for you to cover that topic as well; for best
results, wait a few issues and approach the issue from a completely
– First, talk to your customers about the articles you’re developing
and ask their permission to publish their comments in your article.
Watch to see how people scan your newsletter. Talk with a new sampling
of readers after each issue, and conduct regular formal readership
surveys. Monitor click-through rates and use web analytics to help you
track reader response to the articles you present, and use this
information to guide you as you develop future issues. Don’t be afraid
to get a little controversial. Establish a strong editorial voice and
an open forum, and get people talking by inviting your readers into