Newsletters Part 2:
Getting into the details – How to use newsletters to keep your members informed, while not overwhelming the reader
Newsletters are a good way to keep your association members informed with the latest information. It will keep your members connected throughout the year and between events, as well as allow you to communicate directly, but on a larger scale. Newsletters also add a personal touch as they land directly into your members’ inbox.
In a recent report by Neilen Norman Group Email Newsletter Usability, it was determined that readers feel an emotional attachment to ongoing email newsletters. This creates a bond between yourselves (i.e. the association) and your members. It also provides those who may be considering joining with an idea of who you are, and the types of events that they can look forward to becoming a part of.
When you write your newsletter there are a few very important aspects to remember as to to not overwhelm your members.
1. Keep your newsletter organized and consistent
Creating a set of topics in which you consistently provide a variety of information will help your readers know what to look for in each newsletter instalment. We recommend even adding links at the top of the newsletter, so readers looking for something in particular can jump to that topic. Making sure these topics stay in the same order also allows for readers to know where to look for specific information.
2. Using a short summary linked to a website or a longer article is a great way to keep the reader informed without them getting bored with a topic
If there is a topic on which your association would like to provide its members with additional information than would normally fit within your normal newsletter template, then a good way to provide this information is to link a full article with a short summary. Another option is to link a topic summary to a website link. Both types of links can be attached to terms such as, “read more” or “click here for more information”. The links can be underlined or set to a different colour to stand out.
3. Make sure your newsletter is tablet and mobile phone compatible
New technology makes accessing emails on the go easier than ever before. Making sure your newsletter is formatted to be read on these portable devices makes it easy for your members to view your newsletter without having to load it on their desktop or laptop computer. Mobile formatting is incredibly important to remember since if your newsletter is not mobile compatible, most devices will attempt to load the newsletter anyways on these devices, usually leading to a poor reading experience.
4. Make sure your email list is up to date and does not include multiple entries of the same email
Everyone knows how annoying it can be to get the same email multiple times. Make sure that your association is not sending multiple emails to the same email address. Most newsletter services will run a search for repeat names and emails, and allow you to select which you would like to delete. You will also want to make sure that you include an email address where members can request to unsubscribe or provide a different email to receive a newsletter.
5. Keep your newsletters interesting with new information in each issue
Even if the information you want to provide in your newsletter is the same in multiple issues, changing the header name, as well as the wording is a simple way to keep the reader interested. Changing the image will also spruce up a topic. You can find free stock images at a multitude of websites. The easiest way to find free images is to use a search engine such a Google or Yahoo, and search with an image description plus the term ‘free stock images’.
Looking for more advice on updating or starting your newsletter? Let us help you! Get in touch with our digital editor to customize a newsletter perfect for your business. Feel free to email or call (information listed below). If this is a topic you would be interested in reading more about, leave a comment on our Facebook page, here.