What Everybody Ought to Know About Writing Better Email Newsletters

Try spicing up email newsletters & articles with unrelated topics

What makes your email newsletter different from those of your competitors? Does it offer better content? Does it look better? Does it offer something that your competitors don’t offer?

Forget all of those questions and answer this one — how does your email newsletter perform? One of our favorite email marketers, Jeanne Jennings once gave us a checklist of the four things that every email newsletter should accomplish.

Content and Tools of Engagement Checklist

  • The email newsletter provides benefit-oriented content that is written in an engaging manner
  • The email newsletter includes engagement tools for readers, things like surveys, polls, links to discussion boards and ways to provide feedback to, or communication with, the editors.
  • The email newsletter follows the 60/40 rule, with at least 60% of the content being editorial and no more than 40% being promotional.
  • The email newsletter is a manageable length to read online—2 to 3 printed pages.

Let’s focus on the first bullet.

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The email newsletter provides benefit-oriented content that is written in an engaging manner

What does “benefit-oriented” really mean? It means that when someone is done reading your email newsletter, that they are getting at least one take-away. This means that you have to give them something they haven’t gotten in another email newsletter that they read today, yesterday, or last week.

In terms of engagement, how are you entertaining the reader? Have you come up with a story to tie together real-life and a concept you are trying to teach?

For example, a couple weeks ago, I read two articles in the same week about wasps. My mind was blown by some of the disgusting and crazy things that wasps did.

Did you know that every fig you eat has a dead wasp in it? I didn’t either.

Now, I really wanted to write a marketing article that somehow tied in what I’d learned about wasps that week. What I came up with (for my own business blog and email newsletter) was Wasp Marketing: Why Wasps Make Great Internet Marketers.

This is probably one of my favorite articles. I was able to take something that really interested me and tie it into real-life and then turn it into something I could teach Internet marketing with. It was forwarded around the web like crazy and highly re-tweeted on Twitter.

Is there a way that you can do the same in your own articles? Today, try finding something online that really blows your mind. Now try to find a way to merge this into the articles and email newsletters that you’re writing.

Other examples of posts where we’ve taken seemingly unrelated topics and put them together to teach an important concept:

Do you have any examples of this method that you’d like to share? Leave links in the comments!


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