Newsletter copywriting

“How can I make my newsletter work harder?”

“For a start, don’t call it a newsletter. Not many people sign up for those any more. All our inboxes are far too full.”

“What should I call it then?”

“I call mine a ‘tipsheet’. You might call yours ‘offers and deals’ or ‘leadership insights’. Whatever title shows its value to the readers.”

“How do I get more subscribers?”

“No-one will give up their precious email address unless they get something they want in return. So offer an additional incentive. For example, my subscribers also get my ebook ‘Buyer’s Guide to Copywriting’.

“Any other ways to get signups?”

“Yes, only ask for firstname and email address. The more information you request, the less likely they are to give it to you.”

“Any more tips to grow my list?”

“Yes, the call to action is critical. Make it a button not a text link, and make sure the wording on the button doesn’t sound like a newsletter. So don’t say ‘Sign up’ or ‘Subscribe’. Try ‘Yes please’ or ‘Go’. Or something that shows the value they get, such as ‘Get my free ebook’.”

“How do I get more people to open it?”

“Open rates depend on your subject line. Unlike most headlines where it’s wise to focus on the word ‘you’, your subscribers already have a relationship with you. So it’s OK to write a more personal subject line.”

“Can you provide an example?”

“My most effective subject line was ‘Oops, I made a mistake’. Ordinarily, that would fail the ‘who cares?’ test. But it wasn’t clickbait. The newsletter content explained what I’d done and what the readers could learn from my mistake.”

“Let’s talk about the content. What should I write about?”

“For a start, don’t send readers your news. Not many people care about that. Make it add value. Don’t make it an advert.”

“That’s a good line, why don’t you say it again?”

*Blushes. “Make it add value. Don’t make it an advert. Now, ask your question again.”

“So what should I write about?”

“You can reuse your blog content. Your blog sits on your website, passively hoping people will find it through search or by clicking an ad or social media link. Your newsletter (not called a ‘newsletter’) is actively pushed out to the inboxes of everyone on your mailing list. Different people can therefore read the same content.”

“Great idea. Where else can I use that content?”

“Different formats will reach different people depending on how they prefer to consume information. You can reuse your articles on your Linked profile or company page, maybe a few weeks later to avoid the risk of duplicating content. You can read them out loud and release them as an audio or video. You can also package related articles into an ebook to giveaway or sell.”

“Brilliant. But I really want my newsletter to drive sales. Any advice?”

“A newsletter is a soft-sell marketing tool, not a hard-sell marketing tool. That’s what advertising and websites are for. But you can include a call to action to drive traffic to your sales pages.”

“OK, but how do I get more people to click my links?”

“You might include a teaser with a clickthrough to the full article on your blog. Make the call-to-action ‘continue’ or ‘continue reading’ instead of ‘read more’, and you should get more clicks because it’s bottom-up copy (reader point of view) rather than top-down (company point of view). Once they’re on your site, they can click around to see your sales copy and hopefully be persuaded to buy something.”

“That all makes sense. But I just don’t have the time to do it all myself. Can you help?”

“Of course. My team are all journalists-turned-copywriters who are skilled at writing fact-filled copy with no fluff. They’ll generate newsletter content you can archive to your blog, or blog content you can use for your newsletter. Just contact me to get started.”

Comments from readers of our client newsletters:

  • “I found [your newsletter] both interesting and entertaining, unlike some of the dull and long-winded fare that gets distributed most of the time”
  • “I read the insights you share and thoroughly enjoy the way they are written.”
  • “I look forward to future editions… Keep them coming.”
  • “I have been subscribing to your newsletter for a while and I always find it interesting. I just wanted to say that this particular article is outstanding – thank you for sharing it.”
  • “Thanks for an interesting and important article!”
  • “This is a great article and 100% timely and applicable to a project I’m engaged with. Thank you!”
  • “Spot on in every paragraph. I wish you didn’t have to write it but it simply must be read!””
  • Really great article!”
  • “Wise words as always.”
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