How to create a winner
You could spend hours every time agonising about what to talk about in your email newsletter. Or create a living content plan and save yourself the angst. Like so many things in small business life, planning is much more efficient than going at it willy-nilly. Here’s how to create a simple, useful newsletter content calendar and make your marketing life a whole lot easier.
You don’t need to go mad. Just fire up a fresh word processing or spreadsheet document and split it into sections based on how many newsletters you send out in a year. Then populate it with:
- Your business’s anniversary and any other important dates
- Planned special offers and promotions
- New product launch dates
- Relevant events (you should be able to hang news items and stories around events like Easter, Valentine’s Day, Xmas and New Year, Eid, half term, school summer holidays, Bonfire Night, Halloween, Mother’s day and any number of special one-off events like this Saturday’s ‘Earth Hour’, perfect if you’re in the ‘green’ sector)
- Website updates – planned redesigns, new videos, information resources, payment gateways and so on
Keeping a running content plan
Keep the list handy on your machine so you can add ideas whenever they occur to you. You might hear a piece of breaking news directly relevant to your next newsletter or find a piece of research, generate cool case studies and testimonials, set up interviews with customers (or yourself / your staff), announce new staff and updates technologies, cheaper delivery or extra customer service options. Cover new partners, manufacturers or suppliers… you get the picture.
If you have staff, let them propose ideas too. Ask for input at networking events, ask on social media, ask friends and family. The more the merrier.
Asking your prospects and customers what they’d like to cover
People love being asked questions. If you’re not sure whether your ideas for newsletter content will strike the right chord with readers, ask them what they’d like you to cover. And consult yourself, too, with you consumer head on: if you’d enjoy reading it, use it. If you’re in doubt, think again.
Me me me…
Here’s a tip: Look outwards, not inwards. Focus your news on the customer benefits rather than blowing your business’s own trumpet. Less ‘me me me’, more ‘you’.
Creating a stock of newsletters in advance
If you’re on a writing roll with time to spare, create the basics of a few newsletters in advance, covering the things you’ve planned for each edition and leaving space to add last minute time-critical information, breaking news or features about trending topics.
Thank you, Brainstorm Woman!
I’m a dab hand at brainstorming – if you’d like help kicking off your newsletter content plan I’ll be glad to pitch in.