Turning Blank Space into an eNewsletter (Part 1 of 3)
Pt. 1 of 3– Planning
So, you are ready to start turning blank space into an eNewsletter, but where do you begin? Sure, there are various templates available to get you started, but at the end of the day, you have to turn blank spaces into a beautifully designed and informative eNewsletter.
The first step is planning it all out. Why are you writing this newsletter? A lot of people create them just because they have been told that it is good for business. You have to give your eNewsletter a purpose and make it something people will want to actively engage with and respond to. If you don’t believe there is a good reason for sending it, chances are that your readers won’t believe there is a good reason to open it, and even fewer to read it.
A good newsletter requires you to think from the consumers point-of-view, rather than your own. It should not be a sales ad. It should be a way for you to communicate and engage with your community.
The best way to start is to gather all of your ideas and begin thinking about content. Who is this newsletter for? What do you want your readers to take away from it? You want to have various types of content and information, but you also want to make sure that you are not throwing things in there just for the sake of it. People are busy; they opt-in to receive your newsletter, so now you just have to keep them hooked. To do this, you need to make sure that the focus is not on you. Rather than just saying you are having a sale on a new pair of shoes, create a story and vision about what your target audience might be facing and how getting a new pair of shoes might just solve all their problems … and thankfully, they are on sale! Helping and informing your audience is always the key. Keep all the content useful and relevant. Make it something they are excited to share and forward to friends.
Once you feel you have successfully thought through and planned out all of your content, you are ready to move on to the second step, organizing and designing the layout. This can be done through a designated platform, such as MailChimp or Constant Contact, or by programs such as Adobe InDesign. Deciding where to create and host your newsletter should all be part of the planning stage, so do some research and figure out what the best option is for you and your experience level.
Check back next week for part 2, where we’ll be focusing on organizing, branding and designing your eNewsletter for your specific target audience.