Learn from the criticisms of others. These are comments from subscribers to e-newsletters (from now on just newsletters) gleaned from forums and blogs. Some appear to contradict which merely means you have a choice.
1/ Clear, simple and short
For a newsletter which arrives every morning containing a précis of, for instance, news of a speciality, clarity and brevity are seen as essential. Whilst you might like the rather avant guarde offering in your free email marketing templates, if your subscribers are going to skim read, make it easy for them.
2/ Attractive design
For less frequent newsletters, for instance those that are perused at leisure or where the subject matter necessitates it, being nice to look encourages reading.
3/ Relevant images
Pictures that illustrate a point, or support copy, are of high quality and unique make the newsletter much more entertaining.
4/ Specific and to the point
Waffle, it seems, is a big turn-off. If you haven’t got anything useful to say, don’t say it. If you write on news of, for instance, country dancing, and nothing relevant has happened in the last week, then saying so is news enough.
5/ Something unusual
If a newsletter if different to the general run, providing unique information or insight, then there is every reason to stay a subscriber. Regurgitation is not good manners at a table and similarly not for newsletters either.
Your readers will vary. Some will be up to date with much of what is going on and will only look for material straight from the ticker-tape. Others will appreciate a list of what has happened over the last week. The choice is either to produce separate newsletters or put it all in one. If you choose the latter, place the new material at the top and have the rest in a clearly marked section underneath. Everyone is then happy.
7/ Easy to share
Sharing content on line is good for you and your subscriber. Ensure there are social network buttons on the newsletter. This allows them to take part and comment.
This is not jokes as such, but humorous comment, a slanted view, that sort of thing. Being pithy, perhaps a little critical, with an ‘I cannot believe it’ moment adds to enjoyment.
9/ Make it displayable at work
Subscribers don’t normally want content which, should their supervisor look over their shoulder, will create a bit of a fuss. So anything critical of management, that sort of thing, should be frowned on by the writer rather than the reader.
10/ Keep focused
If you are writing a newsletter on model railways then covering model aircraft is seen as an irrelevance by readers. By all means mention events, perhaps via a link, but don’t comment.
11/ And finally
Relevant content is king. Anything else will be forgiven. Crown that with it being well written, interesting and easy to read and you have a winner. Content is the main draw to any newsletter.
12/ Do not pad out just to fill a gap.