8 Elements of Effective Author Newsletters

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To create a newsletter that gets results, use the following eight components. These elements apply regardless of whether you’re creating an e-newsletter or print version. Schedule print newsletters to leaders every 90 days, and email newsletters to your audience every 30 days.

Important Note: The problem with most newsletters is that they blather about the sender too much. That’s selfish and turns off your readers. Instead, use your expertise to create a newsletter that helps the reader improve their daily life.  Try to focus 75% of your newsletter content on helping the audience, and 25% promoting yourself.

1. Brief feature article

The feature article only needs to be around 500 – 750 words.  However, pack the article with helpful information for the reader.  Use bulleted lists to make reading easier.  Don’t talk about yourself.  Be brief, pithy, and focus on helping the reader solve a specific problem.  Search through your past books and messages for good articles.

2. Extra element of value

After your article, give your readers another brief section of helpful information. For example, you could offer interesting statistics, Q&A section, helpful resource listings for leaders, or an insightful opinion on current events.

3. Value statements

Create a list or column of bulleted phrases that explain the benefit you provide to your audience and booking leaders.  These key statements should explain what sets you apart from other speakers and why your message is so helpful.  Focus on phrases that communicate the “life-change” you make happen for your audience.

4. Upcoming events calendar

Create a small box or listing of where you’ll be speaking over the next 3 months. Include the date, location, and event contact information.  This shows readers how active you are, and reinforces the fact that other people request you.  Also, include any national or regional media appearances (radio and TV).

5. Testimonial from a well-known leader

Use two or three sentences from a leader declaring how great you are, and how you’ve helped his or her audience.  Use someone with a well-known name or title, because your readers care more about “who” said it, rather than “what” was said.  Shy away from endorsements that sound vague.  Instead, use a testimonial that communicates a specific benefit you provide.

6. Featured product

Show a small picture and provide a brief description of a featured product, such as your book, CD, a new presentation, etc.  To help create urgency in the reader’s mind, offer a coupon or a discounted price if they order within the next 30 days. Be sure to include ordering information (your website and phone number).

7. Full contact information

Give your readers a list of all the possible ways to reach you, including phone, email, website, address, etc.  For a print newsletter, list this information near the header and under your return address.

8. Professional-looking layout

Compliment good content with good graphics.  If you’re comfortable with Microsoft Word software, try doing it yourself.  Or, hire a graphic artist to make a template for you.  Then, you can quickly drop the content into it for each issue.  For print templates online, visit: www.StockLayouts.com. For a good email newsletter system with a 60-day free trial, check out: www.ConstantContact.com or MailChimp.com.

If you have extra space to fill, then throw in a pithy quote, an interesting statistic that would appeal to your audience, or a brief update on your ministry or personal life. This is the one place where it’s appropriate to talk about your children or a recent vacation.

Now you’re finished.  Do these steps every 90 days for a print newsletter to leaders, and every 30 days by email to your audience database.  Then, watch as your platform grows!

Used with permission from WildFire Marketing by Rob Eagar