is for ...

Dear Alun

I receive quite a few newsletters each week and month. I don't always have time to read them as they arrive, so I put them into a file in my inbox and save them for Friday afternoons. Last week, I settled down for a good read, only to find that my newsletter file was absolutely jam packed with words! I've never seen so many words in one place!

To find out what on earth I'm talking about, read on.

Best wishes,


L is for ... Length

There are no rules about how long your newsletter should be, but a number of those waiting to be read last Friday were far too long. They might have contained some great ideas, but the shear volume of words and the amount of scrolling required put me off reading beyond the first few paragraphs.

How do you get your length right?

  • Length vs frequency. The amount you write depends on how often you send out your newsletter. A monthly newsletter of around 1000 words only takes 4-5 minutes to read. You can get your message across, not take up too much of your reader's time and leave them wanting more. One that I binned last week was 5000 words long!

  • Break it up. One of the other newsletters was written in one long article of about 2000 words. This length would have been OK if it had been broken up by subheadings and bullet points. A constant stream of text can be very difficult to read.

  • One at a time. Another of last week's tomes talked about a number of different key messages, but didn't go into any of them in enough detail. To make sure your newsletter delivers good value to your readers, keep to one topic in each issue and give it enough substance. This helps show your readers that you really know what you're talking about.

Give some thought to the length of your newsletter and it'll be easier for you to get your message to more readers with every issue.

L is also for ...

Last issue of JAC Tips this year. I'm not a huge fan of Christmas, but will be taking a break from writing for a couple of weeks. JAC Tips will be back on 9 January 2007.

(397 words in this issue, in case you were wondering!)

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