What do you put in a newsletter? Information about events? Information about members’ events?
What value does that have for your audience?
That is not meant to be a snarky question. I really want to know.
Do they love getting reminders of your events every week? Maybe they do.
But if that’s all you’re placing in your newsletter couldn’t that be accomplished in an email?
What’s the Most Valuable Newsletter You Receive?
Inform in your Newsletters
When I think about my inbox, my most valued newsletters, the ones I would notice if they suddenly stopped sending them, are the ones I can learn something from. The ones that contain information that help me do a better job at my job.
Some people send out links to their own blog posts, some a mixture of theirs and other things they’ve found helpful on the web. But providing valuable information is one of the best ways to increase (and maintain) your open rate.
Do More than List Events
I belong to several groups who send me reminders of their events that week and they do it in an email with a very obvious subject line. If you’re using all of your newsletter’s real estate to detail your events, you’re not making the most of that space. A small section dedicated to your events, listing them by name, and providing a link back to your site is all that is needed.
Use Your Community
People enjoy the “specialness” of your town. Add a picture of something you’ve appreciated in your area or request for people to send pictures into you giving them credit. Not only does it break up the text nicely but it gives people another reason to open the newsletter.
Graduate to Unique Content
Give members the opportunity to write a piece for you about something people need to know. Make it clear the purpose is to inform not sell (but give them a by-line so people who are interested in what they wrote can connect with them). For instance, a CPA could write a piece about changes in the tax law that will affect small business this year.
If your newsletter is only about you, your giving away a prime opportunity to showcase your community. People don’t open newsletters over and over expecting to be wowed. If they don’t enjoy the content the first 1-2 times, they won’t open them in the future. Don’t give your chamber newsletter subscribers a reason to ignore you.