Number 1 Newsletter Content MistakeWhat makes good or bad newsletter content? I’m sure we all have differing opinions. One thing, upon which we may be in agreement, is that newsletter content needs to provide us with relevant content.

According to the Content Marketing Institute, “The days of boring newsletters with regurgitated business information are over. Now, it’s all about engaging your audience in a meaningful way beyond traditional advertising.  Newsletters provide a perfect opportunity for content marketers to get their message out.”

Neal Schaffer, author, speaker, and social media strategist adds, “Creating good content for your website, blog, and newsletter is key if you want to continue to attract customers to your digital assets.”

Good newsletter content should appeal to your audiences, and you may have more than one. For example, I write two newsletters every month – one for business professionals and one for nonprofit professionals. The content may occasionally overlap, but for the most part, each is relevant to its audience’s needs and interests.

There are, however, some newsletters that don’t follow the basics of content marketing. In fact, they make the #1 newsletter content mistake.

It’s all about them!

Here’s an opener from a recent newsletter I received:

“I am pleased to announce my new book…”

The content consisted of this individual’s new book launch, his upcoming presentations, his media coverage, and a promotion to purchase his new book. That was it. It was ALL about him!

It had no personality – no semblance of a personal brand. No offer to read a free excerpt from the new book, and no beneficial information for the reader. I will guess that many recipients have unsubscribed.

Content marketing can have a multitude of objectives. Here are just a few:

  • Engage and inform
  • Customer/donor acquisition/retention
  • Lead generation
  • Keep top-of-mind/brand awareness
  • Demonstrate your thought leadership
  • Show accountability to members/donors
  • Employee information sharing and engagement
  • Drive traffic to your Website, blog, or landing page
  • Increase event attendance

One thing you won’t find in any content marketing book, article, or post, is advice to just talk about you, your business, or your organization!

Have you ever received a newsletter that focuses too much on the sender? Please share your thoughts.

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6 Responses to The #1 Newsletter Content Mistake

  • I think I fight this battle on a daily basis. “WIIFM?” I ask clients and they’re like, huh? I tell them when someone sees or reads or hears anything from them, what that customer thinks is “what’s in it for ME?” It’s a struggle sometimes but you have to continually earn your place in someone’s inbox or following. Being all about ‘you’ with all your emails and social updates and shares, that’s not going to do it. You do so by sharing things that help the customer, give them some value, info what THEY want. FWIW.

  • I would have clicked “unsubscribe” as quickly as you did. With many communication mediums, especially social media, I like to keep the rule of third in mind. One third of your content should be dedicated to your organizations, another to your industry and another to others (donors, advocates, grantees, employees, etc.). No one likes to hear someone talk about themselves all day!

  • You’re so right, Elaine.

    Relevance is everything, now and probably forever. It’s expected, and what isn’t relevant is simply rejected. that’s a great rap song.

    Here’s my take on relevance, w/clear guidelines!:
    http://gettingattention.org/articles/2937/strategies-campaigns/nonprofit-marketing-2012.html

    • Nancy, I was a singer-songwriter in a former career. Want to collaborate on a song? :)

      Great post on relevance. If the content doesn’t resonate, why read it? Thanks for weighing in!

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