These days, it’s not unusual for most organisations and groups to produce some form of e-correspondence. Often, this takes the form of a newsletter that is circulated amongst subscribers, allowing the organisations to directly engage with their prospective clients, colleagues, or those interested in the services they provide.
Newsletters are a great way to promote the work of your group and to highlight the successes that may otherwise go unpublicised. You can use them to advertise events or job vacancies, discuss current issues relevant to your sector, or even use them to keep a community abreast of the news and updates in their local area.
To make this task easier than ever, several online platforms exist that can help you not only create the perfect e-newsletter, but also enable you to manage and nurture a contacts database, and to send your communications directly to the readers’ inboxes.
Sites like MailChimp offer groups or individuals free access to a wide range of features including the ability to synch all of your social media and communications channels, and newsletter analytics, whilst others like Interests.Me offer a multimedia service for a small monthly subscription fee.
If you’d like to get started creating your own e-newsletter, here are our top 5 tips for charming the e-comms socks off of your subscribers!
Know your audience! – Once you’ve established who you want to engage with, you can then decide how you go about this. This includes selecting an appropriate tone of voice, a suitable layout, font style/size, and deciding on the types of content they might find stimulating.
Start simple – Whilst it’s tempting to want to make your newsletter as engaging and interactive as possible, learn how to use the website/platform of your choice and take time to familiarise yourself with the features. Most sites offer a step-by-step tutorial guide, so take some time to get to know how features and functions work before you take the plunge.
“All right, stop! Collaborate and listen…” – Aside from the fact it’s nice to keep an open level of communication with other groups in your region, consider advertising for relevant third parties and include them when gathering material. This hopefully means you’ll have a wide variety of content, and it takes the pressure off of the person creating the newsletter to constantly source items to feature. Once people know your newsletter is a valuable way to promote their activities – and perhaps discusses issues relevant to them and their own followers – you’ll find that content submissions will really start to pick up!
Stick to your deadline!! – We know it’s tempting to want to sneak in that really worthwhile article or news item that’s just slipped into your inbox a couple of hours after the submission deadline, but re-editing and re-scheduling a completed newsletter takes up time. Instead, let others know the submission deadline well in advance, and keep any stragglers or items you receive between publication dates for the next edition of your newsletter. Create a folder in your email inbox to store these items for future publication, and that way you won’t lose track of them. Creating a set of guidelines for submission of content can also hopefully help to avoid any issues, and it serves as a useful tool for those wishing to utilise your newsletter.
Synch your media accounts – We know it sounds very technical, but making sure your social media, email, event management, and e-newsletter accounts are connected will save you lots of time and energy! In most cases, it takes less than five minutes to set up account synchronisation, and it allows you to take full advantage of the different platforms to reach all of your subscribers, audiences and followers.
If you would be interested in attending Communications or Social Media workshops at WVSC, please contact the Communications Officer, Victoria, via email at Commshub@wolverhamptonvsc.org.uk including a brief description of your group, the subjects you’d like to learn about, and the number of potential attendees.