is for ...

Dear Alun

Are you one of the many people who see email newsletters as an intrusion of their own and other people's privacy? Do you think that bombarding readers with information every couple of weeks isn't a good idea? In many cases, you're not wrong. Why? Because the newsletters that too many people send have the wrong focus. They are all about the writer and their great products and services.

This issue of JAC Tips looks at how to turn the focus around, so that your readers will keep reading what you send, instead of hitting the delete button.

Best wishes,


Y is for You

What's the most important word that you can write in a newsletter? What's the word that will show your readers that you're really interested in helping them solve the problems they face? The word is YOU!

How can you put more 'you' in your newsletter?

  • Benefits, not features. If you use your newsletter to tell readers about the features of your product or service, the focus will be on your business and you'll leave your readers asking "What's in it for me?" By focusing on the benefits, you'll show your readers how you can help them. "We sell small blue widgets ... which means that your machines will work quicker, allowing you to produce more of your widgets in the same time."

  • Give aways. Giving away free advice is one of the best ways of building your reputation as an expert in your field. Treat all your readers as if they're paying for your newsletter and fill it with advice on practical steps they can actually take. "If you put these tips into practice in your newsletter, you'll put the focus firmly on your readers."

  • Use the ratio of 4:1. To check how you're doing, every time you write words like I, me, we or our, you need to write the word You (or your) four times. It can be difficult to do at first, but once you get the hang of changing "We can help by ..." to "The help you will get will show you how ..."

The newsletters that intrude and get deleted talk about the writer, when what readers want is something useful for themselves and their business. Put the focus on them with 'you' and you'll build up a list of loyal readers.

Y is also for Your Newsletter

If you'd like some help setting up and running your own newsletter, I'm running two half day workshops in November in Oxfordshire called How Not to Do a Newsletter which will help you. During the session you'll learn the best way to set up, design and send your newsletter; you'll get ideas on what to write for a whole year; and you'll learn tricks about growing a great mailing list. The cost will be about 47 (including VAT) with a great discount if you book early.

Previous participants said "Helped me to re-think the way I do my newsletter and gave me confidence" and "Clear, confident presentation that was full of information."

If you're interested in coming, click here to let me know and when the date is finalised, I'll let you know.

Created by JAC: the most helpful email newsletter service in the UK

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