|Dec 08, 2005 8:51 pm
||6 Newsletter Secrets Guaranteed To Produce An Award Winning Publication
"6 Newsletter Secrets Guaranteed To
Produce An Award Winning Publication!"
By Michael Green
Understand Why Newsletters Work So Incredibly Well!
Whoever you're producing a newsletter for; yourself, your company,
your club, society, school, voluntary organization - whoever…the
chances are that it's intended to present you in a good light and
can therefore be considered as a PROMOTION for your organization.
There are lots of ways to promote yourself; brochures, sales
letters, the web, perhaps newspaper, radio or even TV. But they
all have a disadvantage that few have noticed or taken the time
The problem with all the other forms of marketing covered above is
that everyone already knows that the sole purpose of producing the
advertising is to promote you (your organization).
There's nothing wrong with blatant promotion. We all need to do it.
It is just that the public (businesses, whoever) are simply all
too sophisticated to think that you're trying to do anything else.
So no matter how clever or sneaky your advertising, they'll see it
for what it is. You're trying to sell them your product or service.
But this isn't the case with a newsletter...
A Newsletter Can Be Completely Different
Why is a newsletter so different? The answer is that unfortunately
some are not!
I see a lot of newsletters that look like the organizations
brochure, but just under a different name. The owners think that
by calling the publication a newsletter, their audience won't
notice that all it does is carry on shouting about the same old
stuff over and over.
So they fill their newsletter with pages of articles about how great
they are, with some dull old news that no-one is ever gonna read and
with statements from the President and so on…*VERY DULL*.
I've yet to see a convincing example of this type of newsletter and
seriously doubt that it is ever actually cost-effective to produce
something like this. How can it be? It's boring, extremely
unconvincing and at best, it might just be perceived as another
Your newsletter is capable of so much more!
Secret # 3:
How Newsletters Can Build Incredible Credibility
“A newsletter is the greatest credibility building marketing tool
known to man.”
Re-read that sentence and think about it for a moment…
The public has grown cynical of glossy self-congratulatory brochures
and salesy marketing letters. Consider for a moment how many times
on average per week, you receive a brochure or a letter through your
mail trying to sell you additional credit cards. Most the time you
just rip them up without a glance - right?
In short people have grown accustomed to receiving sales based
But a newsletter is different - completely different…
That's because a newsletter doesn't appear to seek to sell you
anything as its first and primary objective. Instead it seeks to
inform, to educate, to build knowledge.
The secret to a newsletter success is that it can lift the credibility
of your organization over all your rivals.
Secret # 4:
How THE Key Secret is to Build Trust
Think for one moment about the biggest factor that encourages people
to buy or join one organization over another. The answer is “trust”.
People go with organizations that they trust or they know from
somewhere. It's just human nature! But let's see why?
Imagine for a moment you require an electrician or a plumber to
do some work in your home. Who do you turn to if you don't have
a regular person you use?
Nine out of ten times you'll turn to a family member or close
associate for a recommendation of an electrician or plumber that
they used recently and were happy with.
Why is this?
The answer is that we'll trust the recommendation far more than
we'll trust somebody who we located via the Yellow Pages.
Don't think that the above situation only exists in home life.
No, it exists in business and all other environments. We always
prefer to work on recommendation - we always look for an
organization or individual that we can trust.
Now the chances are that you cannot win sufficient work, members
(or whatever your objective is) through recommendation alone.
So you're going to need an alternative model to work from. A
newsletter is that model and resource!
By publishing a newsletter, rather than another sales brochure,
you will build credibility, inform your potential clients, and
most critically of all - develop vital trust between you and your
REMEMBER: Trust Builds Through Communication.
So we now know that building trust is vital and the simple lesson
is that the absolute key to building trust is great communication.
And I can't think of a better communication tool, than a newsletter!
Debunking The Many Newsletter Myths!
For some reason newsletters production seems to virtually "attract"
legends and myths.
Let's start by debunking some of the myths that have grown up around
the subject. I'm letting you in on these secrets because if you
believe them, you'll never end up being an award winning newsletter
editor. We don't have space to deal with them all here (I go into
more detail in my newsletter manual), but here are three from the
list right here.
Myth 1 - Don't I need to be a professional writer?
You don't need to be a novelist to write a newsletter. You need a
plan and a structure and then you really are ready to start.
The tips I'm giving you are to get you started. What you do need
though is the ability to speak to people, ideally a sample of your
readership, and ask them for ideas. What would they like to see in
So you certainly don't need to be a novelist or a writer. Your job
is to try and get inside the heads of your readership and give them
what they want.
Myth 4 - Won't I need to be an expert in everything I write about?
Don't think you have to have the ability to write about all topics.
Write about what's of interest to you. And, if you want to tackle a
subject that you don't know a great deal about, then ask someone who
Most newsletters articles do not descend into great detail so, once
you've got the facts together, you will find you can edit an article
on virtually any subject even if you don't have personal knowledge.
I was editing an article about nuclear science - a subject that I do
not know or understand anything about. I was still able to edit down
the facts and present a short 450 word article that made perfect
sense to my readership. You can do the same no matter how complex the
Myth 9 - My newsletter is being paid for by my organization, so
that's all it should talk about.
This is really about striking a balance between product-oriented and
Some people still think that “every article in my newsletter must
feature my product and/or company, club, society”…(fill in the blank).
But as I've already touched on, one of a newsletter's many strengths is
"credibility". If your newsletter contains no solid, practical
information, readers are more likely to perceive it as 100 percent
sales-oriented, and less likely to read the next issue. Strive for
a balance by providing some useful information that doesn't require
purchasing your product or service.
I think this balance can be as much as three-quarters Value Added
Interest material and just quarter product/service or "about you"
orientated. Come to your own balance, but please keep the balance
in mind at all times.
How To Write A Newsletter Without Doing All The Hard Work!
One of the greatest challenges for any newsletter editor is not as
the job title suggests 'editing', but finding or producing the
Some people view newsletter editors in the same light as magazine
editors. Nice comparison shame it just isn't true!
You see a magazine editor probably has a sub-editor, a photographer,
a picture editor and a number of reporters. They probably still
complain that they are badly under-resourced. But they're not
compared with you of course.
So you've got to learn a few shortcuts! Here's one to start with:
Conduct an Interview and Tape It.
Get hold of a key member of staff, head of the sailing club,
whatever is appropriate. Tell them that you know that there's
an audience out there who would just love to hear about his/her
views and that you're coming down to do an interview (this can be
done over the phone if need be).
Now set your Voice Recorder, Answering Machine or Dictaphone
running and ask the key questions you know your readership is
waiting to hear the answers to.
Remember to ask the open ended questions. Those are the ones
starting with; who, what, why, when, where and how.
When you've finished the interview off you go with say 20-30
minutes of recording and your job is simply to play it back
and write it out, editing as you go.
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