educational

Newsletters That Rock!

Michael Green

Newsletters are becoming ever more popular. Not surprising – since all editors know that they are a tried and tested method for both disseminating information and subtly (and quite frequently blatantly) promoting any product or service. In short, newsletters work for their owners.

IT’S CROWDED OUT THERE
But the Internet and Email (as well as lower print production costs) have meant that the number of newsletter Titles is growing at breakneck speed! And with new Titles being published by the hour - covering just about every subject under the sun - the market is getting pretty jam-packed out there.

So how are you going to ensure that your newsletter doesn’t get crowded-out? How will you guarantee that your publication gains and develops a truly loyal readership, when they could so easily be distracted by your competitors’ newsletter offerings? The answer is simple: You’ve got to give your newsletter a ton of “Newsletter Personality!” Or to put it more accurately, you actually need to allow your own personality the space to shine through and dominate your written publication.

You see, when somebody meets you face-to-face they are quickly presented with (and pick up on) your personality traits, and this makes you instantly memorable. Even when you have a conversation on the phone, you naturally give over a whole range of characteristics that mean that you’ll likely be remembered in the future. But once you’re in writing, particularly if it’s in the form of a plain text email, then you’ve got to fight harder to have your personality shine through.

And the stakes couldn’t be higher. If you fail to impress your readers, then they will quickly forget all about you and move onto your competition. But the *best* way to distinguish yourself is to let your personality leap at the reader, right off the page or screen!

Now many newsletter editors face a problem, in that they are often more accustomed to writing somber business documents than publishing a lively and memorable read. Here is a tip to help you get your “Newsletter Personality” right out there: Think about your favorite newspaper. Maybe it’s the New York Times, USA Today or some local paper that you buy weekly. Somewhere in that paper there will be a columnist that you probably turn to and read week-in and week-out. Why? Because you feel you know the characteristics of the writer. You understand where they’re coming from, on a whole range of issues. You either empathize with their views or read the column because it makes you angry and you enjoy the controversy. No matter. What that journalist has achieved is to make their own personality leap from the paper. And you need to emulate precisely that approach in your entire newsletter!

HOW TO HAVE COMPLETE STRANGERS FEEL THEY KNOW YOU
If you don’t do it already, start telling your readership a little bit about yourself. People like to feel they know you and understand where you’re coming from. Here are some handy pointers. Just pull out and use the ones that best apply for your own newsletter readership.

• LET READERS KNOW WHERE YOU'RE FROM
People automatically start to think they know you and build a picture just from a place name, State or Country. You may not have been there for years, but it’ll start to build an image picture in your readers’ minds!

• ESTABLISH WHETHER YOU ARE STRAIGHT-LACED OR A BIT OF A JOKER
Humor can work wonders, but if you’re not a natural funny man (or woman) then don’t try and fake it. Just beyourself.

• BE FORTHRIGHT ABOUT YOUR VIEWS
Don’t sit on the fence worrying about whether your readership will agree or not. Establish where you are coming from straight-away and celebrate the fact. Either your readers will agree or if they disagree, it will create some interest and soon you’ll get readers letters, etc...you get the idea.

Whether you’re new to the newsletter editing game or already established, remember that your readers have a choice. If your publication comes across as faceless and lacking in personality, the chances are your readers will jump ship, right across to the nearest competition. Good luck ~ Michael Green

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