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5 Tips for Writing Newsletters People Actually Want to Read

4/18/23

Content Creation

“Do people even read newsletters anymore?”

They totally do. And while yeah, you can see a return on other things like ads, video content, or social media, newsletters still connect you with your audience in a way no other platform can. 

People are picky with their inboxes. Gone are the days when people would give out their email to just anyone. Those are precious goods now.

Why? Because we are bombarded with information all day, every day. Even on social media, you can’t control who’s posts pop up on your feed (anyone else miss chronological Instagram feeds?). But on email, you can!

So know that if you’ve landed in someone’s inbox, they must really like you. Or, at least, really like what you have to offer. And you have a great opportunity to connect with them there. 

But you don’t want to break that trust by sending out too many emails, too many sales announcements, or only showing up when you want something from them. It’s a delicate balance. 

Let’s take a look at how to manage that balance (your content strategy) by writing A1 newsletters people want to read. 

Write about what THEY care about

No one wants to check their inbox and see a bunch of sales or promo emails. Even if it’s not true, it makes people feel like you don’t care about them past the money. That’s a one-way ticket to unsubscribe

If you don’t want to lose subscribers, lean your ear in and listen to what the people want! How can you answer questions they may have about working with you? Or your industry in general? How can you frame it to be a little more engaging than usual? Are there stories you can use to help you get your point across?

If you aren’t sure what they’d like, go look back at your analytics for the last 3-4 months and see what has the highest open rates, and click-through rates if applicable. That content is a good indicator of what they may enjoy. Then after you’ve sent out a few newsletters, check your analytics again to see if your theories were correct. 

Have a clear CTA

Your newsletters should be engaging, yes, but they are still a part of your content strategy, so it’s okay to think about them strategically and have CTAs. 

Are your about to launch? Hint at it or talk about the specific pain points the offer in that launch helps solve without being obvious — that’s part of the launch runway! Do you want to help build brand loyalty? Link to case studies, reviews, or testimonials. 

It’s not that you can’t ever sell in a newsletter, it’s just that you have to do it in a way that’s not salesy. That’s the one time you can use that excuse. 

Make it readable

You’re probably tired of hearing us talking about making copy easy to read but too bad. We only say it so much because it’s quite literally one of, if not the most, important things you need for your copy. If people can’t or won’t read it, nothing else matters. 

So make it skimmable. Long chunks of text are hard to focus on and might cause your audience to lose interest. You have more space to talk in an email, but a good rule of thumb to remember for your newsletters is to keep it shorter than a blog but longer than a caption.

Design tips for making your newsletters readable

Because I’m also a designer, I have to interject here and talk about the visual layout of your emails. I know that depending on what provider you use, design options can be limited, and that’s okay. You don’t have to pull out all the stops. But there are a few best practices to keep in mind as you create them:

  • Try to use a sans serif font: Serif fonts are harder to read digitally. Unless it’s part of your brand guidelines, stick to something simple and easy to scroll through.
  • Break up text: Keep paragraphs to three sentences maximum. A lot of people will be looking at their phones, so anything longer than that becomes too lengthy. 
  • Use headers, bold text, underline, and colors: Making your copy skimmable and easy to read will be a lot easier if you make use of these things. You help reiterate important points and help the brains subconsciously know what flow to follow as it reads. Plus, it’s much less of an eyesore. 
  • Make it accessible: Part of making your copy readable is making it readable for all people. If you use ANY images or design elements apart from the text, you need to have alt text describing that image. Also when using colors, be mindful of legibility. Text should have a distinguishable contrast no matter what colors you use. 

Be consistent

Newsletters start to get fun whenever people start expecting them in their inbox every Sunday at 6 PM (or whatever time you send them). Consistent newsletters are a fun way to keep the line of communication open with your audience. Even if you have nothing to promote or sell at the time, you can use “hit reply and let me know what you think!” kind of CTA to facilitate discussion. 

But I know — easier said than done. Especially when you’ve got a million things on your plate. Sometimes sending newsletters is really low on your priority list. That’s cool — we got you! 

On top of planning content and making funny Reels, we also write really good newsletters too. And we’ve got a whole team of people that can help you do it. Get in touch with us here to learn more!

Ashton Hoot, Lead Copywriter + Dedicated Swiftie
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