Planning for a newsletter – Best practices


Newsletter are reports, issued periodically by businesses or organizations and used to present information and news to people with an interest in the organization or the subject matter. Above all, a newsletter is a chance to attract the attention of your audience and would ideally lead to a certain action. In order to achieve the desired purpose of the newsletter, it must be planned and executed in a way that will bring about the desired results.

Before we begin, we need to stress the importance of defining the objective of your newsletter. Do you want the newsletter to send traffic to your website or do you want to disseminate information and build goodwill. Is it only going to inform about new products or services or new events and situations or a continuous discourse on subjects of interest.
Newsletter are not just for businesses. Religious and government bodies, non-profits and charities, user groups etc. all have newsletters.
To send newsletters via mail, you will need your members postal address. If by email, their email address. In both cases, you will need to develop a database and make it easy for people to sign up. You may use an auto-responder like GetResponse, Aweber or MailChimp if using email.

First and foremost, you must know who your audience is and understand their needs. Keep in mind that they are on more than one mailing list, so send only relevant content that might interest them. A good practice is to include other relevant materials alongside your own for added value. Readers will certainly appreciate your effort, especially if it proves to be a good source of information.
Second, your newsletter must tell a story, whether that is a product or service does not matter. People in your audience must be able to relate to the story or else the desired action will not come about. If you are unable to achieve this yourself, you could always hire a content writer to help in your efforts. Communicate with your writers, talk to them, help them understand your objectives and the story you want to tell and let them write it for you.

Third, choose the way you will deliver the content carefully. If your audience is mostly using mobile devices, then your newsletter must be mobile friendly as well. Be especially mindful of images and graphics as they take extra time to load.
Now that you have got all the basics down, create a calendar to help you plan the best time to send certain content. Be mindful of holidays and events in your area so you can keep it all as relevant as possible.

Next comes the subject line. This is very significant for the success of your newsletter. If the subject line does not pull people in, the rest of your content will not stand a chance to serve its purpose. Use between 25 and 75 characters.
The Call to Action should be written in a clear way that is easy to understand and be related to your aim. For example:

  • “Tell us what you think”
  • “Watch the video”
  • “Find out more”
  • “Click to Order”


Define when and how many times you are going to send it so you can also know when to have the draft content ready. Go through it one more time before sending it on its way.
Last but not least, you need to measure the effectiveness of your newsletter. Monitor the number of subscribers, the click rate, forwards, new sign ups etc. To avoid any legal issues, always link to your privacy policy and a way for people to unsubscribe.

In conclusion, before sending out your first newsletter, the majority of your time will be spent in the planning stage. Then the second one will be a matter of finding the content, address any glitches from the first run etc. It is hard work, but worth the effort. That’s why so many organizations continue to send out newsletters.

If you need help with content creation, content promotion or handling the mechanics of emailed newsletters, contact us at . You’ll be glad you did!


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