Newsletter spring cleaning: eight tips for fresher content.
Some of you probably live in very mild, even tropical, climates, so you didn’t experience the freezing cold, snowy winter we did in the Northeast. It was a tough one, with huge snow banks, icy roads, and chilling temperatures, keeping us stuck in the stale indoors. Not any more -- it’s springtime!
There’s something about spring that makes us want to start cleaning. In the spring, people clean out their closets, basements, and gardens, creating room for new things to grow and expand. It’s a good idea to do the same with your newsletter. Today, I’ll suggest some ways to take a fresh new approach with content.
First, find out what no longer works from a content point of view. There are three ways to do this:
Throw Out Whatever Gathers Dust
If you have articles no one ever reads, month after month, guess what? It’s time to get rid of them. Cut the cord! Delete them from your editorial list! If you can figure out why nobody reads them, great. If not, just break free of the excess baggage.
Fix What’s Important
If those articles you consider to be most important for conveying your message are the ones read the least, don’t quite throw them out. For example, if your product updates convey critical information but no one’s reading them, perhaps you need to repackage them. Instead of a long-winded, boring article, try a sidebar with a bulleted list of bare-minimum facts and a link to a microsite containing the nitty-gritty details. That way, people will find what’s important to them in a quick, convenient way.
Add New Energy!
A couple of ideas to get people reading again:
What are you struggling with in your newsletter strategy? E-mail me your thoughts about what’s gone stale. I’ll offer some advice on how to give it a fresh perspective.
Meet Kathleen at ClickZ E-Mail Strategies in New York City on May 19 and 20.
August 10-12: Revolutionize your digital marketing campaigns at ClickZ Live San Francisco! Educating marketers for over 15 years, our action-packed, educationally-focused agenda covers every aspect of digital marketing. Early Bird rates available through Friday, July 17 - save up to $300! Register today.
Kathleen Goodwin is the former CEO of IMN (formerly iMakeNews), specializing in customer acquisition and retention through permission-based e-newsletters. For nine years, she was vice president of marketing for Ziff-Davis' publishing division, where she oversaw the marketing of all print publications and their early online siblings. She also serves as an advisor to early-stage companies and has been responsible for several successful new-business launches.
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