This is the 2nd in a series of posts about Team Newsletters for Direct Sales. Check out Part 1 if you haven’t had the chance to see that yet!
Newsletter Notes For Direct Sales Leaders (Part 2)
Things That Make A Newsletter Work
- Remember to keep it recognition-focused
- Keep it as short as possible.
- Whenever possible use pictures instead of words.
- If you include an article, either keep it very short or include highlights of take-home points of some sort.
- Listen to feedback you get on your newsletter and be responsive to it.
- Pick a style for your newsletter and stick to it.
- Use the tools that you have already.
- Find out who is actually reading the newsletter.
Let’s go over the “Do’s,” these things make a newsletter work:
1. Remember to keep it recognition-focused.
(see part one for more info)
2. Keep it as short as possible.
Studies show that the longer your text, the fewer people will read it. That’s true for emails, messages and newsletters, too.
3. Whenever possible use pictures instead of words.
Pictures truly are worth 1000 words. Especially when dealing with Gen Y, pictures are extremely important. “Say it with a picture.” It helps to create a folder on your main computer (or in DropBox or any cloud service you use) that is readily accessible. Anytime you see something inspiring, useful, or that makes a point that you’d like to convey, drop the picture in that folder. When you’re creating your newsletter, go through the folder and drag it into the newsletter.
4. If you include an article, either keep it very short or include highlights of take-home points of some sort.
We’ve all seen books and articles where there is a colorful box that includes a key phrase or sentence from a passage. Other times you’ll see a box with a bulleted list of points. These things break up text AND draw attention. Use them (or a picture!) whenever you can. Highlight your take-home point(s) with an eye-catching color.
Realize as you’re doing this that most people “reading” your article are ONLY going to see those points you highlight. But also realize that if you don’t highlight those points, they won’t read the article at all. If the points are strong enough, they may read the whole thing.
5. Listen to feedback you get on your newsletter and be responsive to it.
If you get feedback (and if your newsletter is being read then you will), listen intently. But don’t just stop there. Try to implement it if you can. People may ask for slight changes that make a big difference. If you aren’t responsive to the feedback, you’ll probably lose your readers.
6. Pick a style for your newsletter and stick to it.
One of my favorite “tactics” for newsletter style is to look at book covers. Yes, book covers, typically those from non-fiction books work best. They’ll have color combinations and font/style combos that work. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, after all. Another thing I like to do is to google “newsletter template.” 99% of what comes up you won’t be able to use, but you’ll find a STYLE you might like, or be able to tweak for your purposes.
7. Use the tools you have on hand.
You don’t need to go out and buy special software. If you have MS Word, use that. Pages on the Mac makes great newsletters. Most of these programs have newsletter templates you can use to start. Over time you may want to develop your own, but don’t let it bog you down. Save your finalized newsletter each month as a PDF and send that to your team. If you use a tool like Constant Contacts, you can make fine newsletters in that, too.
8. Find out who is actually reading the newsletter.
This can be as simple as a call out somewhere in the newsletter for responses from your team. Or you can send the newsletter with an email service like Constant Contact that keeps metrics of who actually opens the email and who clicks the download link.
Check back for “Things You Shouldn’t Do With Your Newsletter” Tomorrow!