is for ...

Dear Alun

How many email newsletters do you receive every week or month? How many of them do you read? If you're like me, you receive quite a few and I don't always have time to read them. They go into a special 'read on Friday afternoon if I have time' folder.

So how do you stop your newsletter ending up there? This issue of the A-Z of Newsletters looks at three things you should avoid, if you want your newsletter to be read.

I hope you enjoy reading it!!

Best wishes,


J is for Junk, Jargon and Journals

There are plenty of things you can put into your regular email newsletter. Just as important are the things I think you shouldn't include in your newsletter.

So what should you leave out of your newsletter?

  • Junk - the official definition of spam is 'unsolicited commercial email'. It applies to sending regular emails to someone who hasn't asked for them, but I think it also applies to sending sales information to people who have asked to hear from you. They want to receive advice, information and ideas - not a whole newsletter given over to sales pitch and photos of your latest product.

  • Jargon - while you might understand every TLA (three letter acronym!) in your industry, your readers might not. Don't confuse them with abbreviations and technical terms that they don't need to know about. Rise to the challenge of explaining what you do without using jargon.

  • Journal entries - in my opinion, your newsletter is not the place in which to tell your readers what you did at the weekend or how much Christmas shopping you've still got to do. If you write a business newsletter, use it to build your business reputation by giving advice and information. If you want to keep in touch with your friends, use a personal blog or one of the many networking websites.

Every time you sit down to write your email newsletter, think as carefully about what you're not going to put in it, as what you are going to put in it and your readers will keep coming back for more.

J is also for ...

 ... two of my favourite services!

Just Giving is a website which helps you raise money for your favourite charity. If you’ve got an event coming up, you can create your own page and then direct people to it, where they can make a donation or sponsor you. The money goes straight to the charity, saving you time and effort. They can also collect Gift Aid from UK tax payers (an extra 28%), which really helps. Next spring a friend and I will be doing a 60 mile sponsored ride on our horses for the Brooke Hospital for Animals. If you'd like to support us, click here.

Just Add Content. You've just read that I don't approve of sales pitch filling up every newsletter, so as I haven't mentioned this since I last wrote about J, I hope you don't mind. J is also for Just Add Content (or JAC as we like to call him.) I bought the system nearly three years ago and combined it with my marketing business. What makes it different? You get a very personal level of service – you can speak to real people at sensible times of the day; and it’s not just about newsletters – you get masses of marketing support, to help you get the best from your newsletter. If you’d like to see some great examples click here. Thank you - shameless plug over!

The next issue of the A-Z of Newsletters will be published on 8 January 2008. Click here to suggest what K will be for.

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