Newsletters – often sent via E-mail nowadays, as E-newsletters – are used by businesses or associations to raise funds, encourage sales, or increase productivity.
The trick in writing the perfect newsletter is to hide the true purpose by appearing to deliver an entertaining read to the recipient.
Newsletters normally cover a single topic and are sent to people who have an interest in that subject, so readers are already predisposed to receive information, but a mistake to take this for granted and simply deliver thinly veiled advertising or promotional material.
Results are Evident
The company or group who commissions a freelance writer to produce a newsletter will soon have evidence about the success or failure of the newsletter by the increase or decrease in fund-raising, productivity or sales. Readers' responses, or lack of, will soon determine whether the writer will be employed again.
Writing the Perfect Newsletter
Writers can find that they are not only responsible for writing articles, but that they are also expected to be editors and production managers of the newsletter.
Research provides a wealth of material. Only by talking to as many people in the company or group as possible can a writer discover the potential story material, and, above all, the interests and priorities of the group involved.
Members of the business or group already have a vested interest in its success, therefore they will be well disposed to lending a hand by providing good story material. Featuring members of the group or company in news or success stories, or biographical stories (e.g. ‘A Day in the Life of…’) is always of interest to readers.
It’s also possible that the company or group have budding writers who would like to contribute opinion pieces, or regular columns.
Regular Features Save Time
Regular features or series of articles which appear every week gather a regular readership and save time when working out how to fill the blank pages of each issue.
Light-hearted features of an entertaining nature are always good for readers. Unusual facts, quotes, jokes, even a pastime section, with something like a crossword, or sudoku puzzle can attract readers.
Rewards Can Bring Rewards
Competitions for readers with prizes, can pull readers in, and make them faithful. Special offers or rewards, only available to readers of the newsletter are successful. Reward your readers and they will thank you for it.
Feedback Proves the Readers are There
Use opportunities to get feedback from the readers to prove that the readership is strong, and to gather information about what is working. Institute a Readers’ Letters or Question and Answer page. It fills space and allows you to find out what your readers are thinking.
As freelance writing opportunities go, writing a newsletter can provide a steady regular income. However writers must remember that they will be judged on their results.