It's a sure bet that at least some internet guru has told you that your agency needs to have an email newsletter. If that's what they told you, ignore them. They don't know what they're talking about. Anybody can write a newsletter. Your agency really needs a newsletter that POPS!
You've Got 15 Seconds or Less . . .
. . . to get the undivided attention of the recipient. Let's assume that you've done all that you need to do to for the effective distribution of your newsletter. That's good. No one is going to read it unless they receive it. However, just because they receive it doesn't mean they will read it. That's why your agency newsletter needs to POP!
So, here's what you need at the very start:
- Create Attention-Grabbing Headlines
Imagine a headline that reads, "How the Philosophy of Existentialism Affects the Way Insurance Policies Are Written in Developing Nations and Why the People Don't Care." Then, don't write anything that resembles that.
Make your headlines short and snappy, like "Read This Now – Before It's Too Late."
- Use alliteration, like "Seven Steps to Security."
- Create some curiosity, like "What Our Competitors Don't Want You to Know." This can be the lead-in to an article that highlights the benefits of your services, but from a completely different angle than usual.
- Play with words, like insure, ensure and assure.
Remember, if they don't read the headline, they won't read the article, or, if the headline is b-o-r-i-n-g, they still won't read it.
- Grab Them with Graphics
Especially at the beginning. Some people are attracted by the visuals more than the headlines. MSN.com uses this technique brilliantly on their website. The same basic approach can be extremely effective for an email newsletter. Hit them with a graphic the second they open the newsletter.
Now that You Have Their Attention . . .You've led the horse to the water, but that horse is not going to drink from a stagnant pond. Give him some cool, clear water that refreshes and energizes. In other words…
- Provide Consistent, Compelling Content
You've got them where you want them. Now make it worth their while. It the content is not relevant, or if it does not increase their awareness or understanding of an important topic, or if does not have a clear benefit for them, for instance, you and your agency will have wasted more of their time than if you had had a boring headline.
If you take away nothing else from this article, let it this: Not only does the content need to be compelling, it needs to be consistent. That means all of the time. Consistent, compelling content keeps them coming back for more, but one boring, useless piece of content can drive them away forever.
If creating a newsletter for your agency is easy, it might mean you aren't following these suggestions. This is not a matter of finding the easiest way. It is a matter of finding the most effective way. Keep working at it. When you think you've nailed it, keep polishing it, so that it will really POP!