As distinct from blog posts, which run 500-800 words in length, a newsletter gives you the opportunity to expand your views on a subject. They also allow you to include more than one subject and to use design features with greater creativity.

With a newsletter, you can show off many facets of your company. You can establish recurring features: “Employee of the Month,” “Latest Product,” “This Month’s Quotation,” and helpful suggestions for customers.

I read a newsletter from a company that sells health products. The main article explained how to identify the beginning signs of a cough and how to prevent it from getting worse. The information was detailed and both scientific and accessible to ordinary non-scientists. Only at the end did the author mention a product the company sold that could help with the early stages of a cough. It was a well-balanced application of the 80% information and 20% sales formula.

This company repeatedly follows this format in its main newsletter article. My appreciation of the quality of the material they send to customers and potential customers increases with each newsletter. In addition, I have re-ordered the product I buy from them.

Study Newsletters

You may not be the one who writes your company newsletters, but you can give guidance to the person who does. That means knowing what makes a good newsletter.

While you should give careful attention to newsletters sent by your competitors, don’t limit yourself to these. Sometimes a creative approach in a newsletter for a business that has little to nothing to do with yours can spark ideas.

Plan Your Newsletter Topics

Tight planning is probably not possible in these rapidly changing times. However, keep in mind the primary problems and challenges of your ideal client.

Create a survey to identify your clients’ needs. Ask what kind of information they’d like to receive in a newsletter. What matters most to them?

If your company sells tangible goods, you can also run a survey asking customers how they use them. If you are a services-based company, ask your client for feedback about how you take care of them.

What advice about usage would they give to actual or potential customers? Results from these questions can yield material for newsletters.

Ask for Some Action

Use a variety of ways to encourage engagement. Ask the reader to click on a link, request a free report, answer a survey or give you feedback. Test the response system to make sure it works BEFORE you publish the newsletter.

Pay Attention to the Tone of Your Newsletter

People want sincerity and honesty. They often also want to know what your company is doing to help others.

If you are active in the community, find a non-bragging way to say it. You can also contribute within the context of your newsletter by listing useful resources.

Track subscribe and unsubscribe rates and fine-tune your material in response.

Think primarily of your newsletter as a resource for your customers. With the help of your team, create a mission statement that reflects this principle. Evaluate the material for the newsletter with your mission in mind.

Pat Iyer has been sending newsletters to her clients for years.