Newsletter Writing Tips

Newsletter Writing Tips

How to Write a Teacher Newsletter

Teacher newsletters are a great way for educators to communicate and share ideas with each other. These newsletters can also serve as opportunities to inform teachers about the latest legislation regarding nationwide and state-specific education. Below are a few tips to ensure that your teacher newsletter is as effective as possible.

Consider featuring an advice column written by a veteran teacher. New teachers could submit questions to the column writer and they could be answered each issue. Not only would this feature benefit a newcomer but all teachers could benefit from seeing the perspective of a co-worker.

Publish a compiled list of informative websites for teachers. Possible websites could include those that address common classroom behavorial problems and offer advice on how to deal with the problem most effectively. Listed websites could include possible lesson plans and fresh classroom activity ideas.

Include a section about happenings within the NEA and within state and local Boards of Education. Providing such information will keep everyone in the know and will foster discussion about current events among the teachers. You may also want to publish the public meeting list of your county’s School Board.

A fun idea to help all teachers within one school get to know each other is to feature a regular spotlight column. For each newsletter edition, a different teacher’s biography and picture could appear. In addition, you could feature a short article written by the spotlighted teacher about their favorite lesson plan or about what they have learned about what does and what does not work in the classroom during their teaching career.

Feature a section for each grade level to post about successful class projects, field trips, etc. Everyone enjoys being able to “see” in on the action so be sure to include photos with each section if applicable. You may also want to include quotes from students who enjoyed and benefited from the project and/or trip.

Writing a Newsletter for Your Business

Newsletters can be an excellent marketing tool as they can be used to promote the products and services provided by a business. A good business newsletter can help to increase business and to make a sell. If you’re stumped on how to write an effective newsletter for your business, then consider utilizing the following strategies.

Before you produce the newsletter, you need to determine its purpose. Ask yourself who you’re writing the newsletter for. Since we’re talking about business newsletters, chances are that your readers are customers and potential customers. You want to cater your newsletter specifically to them.

Once you’ve identified the purpose, include information about your business. Include articles that emphasize company accomplishments and success stories of products sold. Articles such as these help lend credibility to your business.

Include people in your newsletter. A strong connection with the reader can be established by showing who your work is done for and who it is done by. Including guest columns about company successes written by employees or customers is a great way to show readers that you are making a difference by producing quality products.

An easy way to impress readers is to include a section listing your business’s most recent statistics. Along with sell statistics, you can include customer satisfaction ratings. Let those you serve vouch for the quality of service your business provides.

Include a “frequently asked questions” section. Identify at least five of the most asked questions about your business and/or the products and services it provides. Then provide both the questions and answers in your newsletter. This is a great way to not only provide information about your business but to solve questions about your business as a whole.

How to Write a PTA Newsletter

Before writing your newsletter, you need to determine its purpose. Chances are that one of your goals is to inform families about the goals and accomplishments of the PTA. We’ve compiled a few guidelines to help you produce an effective and purposeful PTA newsletter.

A good idea to keep families in the know about PTA proceedings is to include a report about recent events from PTA committee chairs. People want to see that goals and being met and progress is being made. By including information about recent events you are demonstrating that the PTA is remaining active. You may also consider including a section where committee chairs can promote upcoming events.

Consider giving parents the option to submit columns for publication in the newsletter. A fun take on this idea would be to feature an advice column where parents can write to a regular PTA advice columnist about any aspect of a child’s education.

Make your newsletter more personal by including photos from previous PTA sponsored events. You can also include blurbs about the success of an event with the pictures. Include pictures of those that attended the event or who benefitted from the fundraiser. It’s always nice to see who your time and energy benefits.

Include a regular message from your PTA President. This message should be short and to the point and should appear in the same place each newsletter. You can also ask the Principal or a teacher to write a guest “welcome” section in your newsletter occasionally.

Your newsletter should include an up-to-date and easy to read calendar of upcoming events along with contact information for each event.

Highlight what’s really going on in the classroom. You could include a section of “highlights” from each grade level, which would give parents a chance to “see” inside the classroom. For example, if the entire 4th grade is hosting a food drive for displaced victims of Hurricane Katrina write a small feature about the project. Don’t forget the pictures!

Writing a Christmas Newsletter

Christmas newsletters are a great way to let everyone know what all has been happening in your family’s life over the past year. However, even a personal newsletter needs a little structure. Below are a few tips to make sure your newsletter stays out of the discarded wrapping paper pile.

Just like with all other types of newsletters, you should write your Christmas newsletter around a theme.

Think about the events of the past year and determine a reoccurring theme. For example, if your teenage son left for college and you moved to a new house all within the past year, you could organize your newsletter around the theme of change and adjustment.

Including fun fillers in your Christmas newsletter is not only acceptable but is typically very enjoyable to read. Filler could be anything from favorite family recipes to holiday themed jokes. You could also scan images of your child’s drawings for inclusion in the newsletter.

At all costs, avoid bragging. In highlighting the achievements and accomplishments of your family, be descriptive but choose your words carefully so you don’t come across as boastful. People want to know the details; they just don’t want to feel unaccomplished.

Select your tone carefully and write in a conversation manner. Try to find a good balance between writing too much and writing too little. For example, instead of writing every detail of your family’s camping trip, write how hiking in the mountains helped to alleviate all of your work-related stress.

A good rule of thumb is to include pictures. People want to see how your family has changed and grown since last year so give them what they want by including lots of pictures. Try to include pictures of events and trips you mention in the newsletter as opposed to only candid photos.

How to Write a Newsletter for Your Church

Church newsletters serve as a great liaison for church administrators and staff to communicate with a congregation. They are also one of the best tools available to keep the congregation and community informed about church evens. Below are suggestions of what to include in a church newsletter.

Incorporate personal profiles. For every newsletter edition, you could include a column about your oldest church member or you could choose to focus on a family. Not only will this show readers that you care about the members but it will also help the congregation get to know others. Remember to include pictures with the personal profiles.

Include a “new members” section. There’s no better way to welcome new members than to make sure they have a place in your newsletter. Write a brief bio for each member and don’t forget the pictures! You could also include a Q&A section that addresses the most common questions that newcomers have about your church.

Spread the message through wish-lists and fundraiser information. Churches often need a lot of help accomplishing some of their missions. Including a wish list and/or a fundraising section is a great way to bring attention to the current needs of the church. For example, the Women’s Bible Study group may be holding a yard sale to raise money for an upcoming mission trip. The church newsletter would be a great resource in not only getting the word out but it would tell people how, when, and where to donate items.

Kid-friendly, please. Making a section of your newsletter specifically for kids will make them and their parents feel connected and important to the church. The kids section should be colorful (if possible) and have flashy fonts. A good idea is to include crossword puzzles and word scrambles that relate to your church teachings, etc. In addition to a kids section, you could also include a teen section. The teen section could have its own calendar. This would also be a good place to put school news. You could honor teens that have made the grade or highlight the exceptional student athletes in your church. Remember to include a description of the most recent youth activities along with pictures of the festivities.

Include submission guidelines. In addition to putting an attractive, easy-to-read calendar of events in your newsletter, also include information on how to submit items to be included in the newsletter. List the deadline as well as a contact name, number, and e-mail address.

How to Write an Employee Newsletter

Employee newsletters are excellent tools of communication. These newsletters can be used for everything from forums to communicating new company or product ideas to venues for welcoming the newest office assistant. Listed below are a few tips for getting the most out of your employee newsletter.

Include a section that profiles the typical customer. Employees need to establish rapport with customers and the better idea they have of who the customers are, the stronger the employee/customer relationship will be.

Reiterate your company’s objective. Each employee needs to understand the mission of your company so that everyone remains on the same page. You can also include ways employees can help the company achieve its mission.

Highlight the good work of employees. Perhaps choose individuals who have worked for your company for some time. Another idea is to spolight a new employee. Spotlighting a new employee in each newsletter could be a wonderful welcoming tool.

Include a Q&A section. More than likely, there are several questions that employees commonly have. Write down some of the most commonly asked questions and provide both the questions and answers in your newsletter. You could even choose to have employees write in their questions and feature them in a newspaper advice column style.

Consider including surveys in your newsletters. Often employees have creative promotion ideas since they work directly with the company’s product or service. However, it may not always be clear how to share those ideas. Including a survey in your newsletter could serve as a forum for making those ideas known. Make sure to share the answers to the surveys in the following newsletter.

How to Write a Newsletter for Your Club

Club newsletters are an easy way to keep your members up-to-date on not only the latest club news but also upcoming events like fundraisers. There are many tips that you can utilize to make your club newsletter not only fun to read but also informative.

Include a section about your club’s latest accomplishments. Accomplishments can be anything from gaining several new memberships to announcing the results of your latest successful fundraiser. Make sure that you relate the accomplishment to the purpose of the organization. You want members to know that your club is making a difference.

Consider including a wish list. Few clubs are able to afford everything they need to accomplish all of their missions and objectives. Include information about where interested persons can send donations.

Include photos of members and from recent fundraiser and club activities. Readers want to see that their club is making a difference and getting things accomplished. Plus, including pictures of members helps readers to identify with the organization. You can also include a brief bio about members whose pictures you include in your newsletter.

Adding financial statistics to your newsletter is a good way to keep members in the know about club finances. Remember that you want to highlight the positive. Perhaps write a brief section about the revenue most of your fundraisers have generated this year.

5 Sure-Fire Ways To Annoy People With Your Email Newsletter

I read a lot of newsletters. Some are great and some are not so great. I put together this article to highlight the five mistakes I see most often in people’s first newsletter.

- When you’re composing your newsletter in your email browser, put everyone’s email address in the “To” field so that when someone receives your mailing they can see everyone else’s address.

Why You Might Not Want To Do This: With the high prevalence of spam (unwanted email) these days, people are very sensitive about their email addresses getting “out there”. Also, depending on the topic of your newsletter, your readers may not be comfortable being identified.

What To Do Instead: Put your own email address in the “To” field and use the Bcc. (blind carbon copy) field for everyone else’s addresses. A much cleaner look and you’re not compromising anyone’s privacy.

- Don’t give your reader a way to unsubscribe, or ignore them when they ask that you stop contacting them.

Why You Might Not Want To Do This: With people using more and more time these days to delete unwanted email from their Inbox, their patience is really getting thin when they get email they didn’t ask for. And not responding to an unsubscribe request, well, that’s just bad customer service. Have you ever heard that people will tell more people about a bad customer service experience than they will a good one? Don’t have them talking about you!

What To Do Instead: You can use an email distribution service that will automatically place an unsubscribe link at the bottom of every mailing you send out, plus the system will immediately take the person off your list as soon as they request it. If you’re managing your list yourself, then include specific unsubscribe instructions yourself (i.e. to be removed from this mailing list, please send an email to this address – insert your address - with the subject line “Unsubscribe”). And most importantly, promptly honor these requests!

- When you meet someone new and chat with them about your business (or the weather), or if they contact you about something unrelated to your business, be sure and immediately add them to your mailing list (don’t get explicit permission or let them know you’ve done it).

Why You Might Not Want To Do This: People don’t like it! Just as I mentioned above, people don’t want email they’re not expecting or haven’t asked for. This is especially true if the email is labeled as something that will be sent more than once (like a newsletter).

What To Do Instead: Send your new contact (and your old ones, while you’re at it) a complimentary or sample copy of your newsletter and invite them to subscribe if they liked it. Assure them that they haven’t been added to your list (you’d NEVER add anyone without their explicit permission).

- Be sure not to check your links in your newsletter – that way people will be annoyed AND frustrated when they click and wind up at an error page.

Why You Might Not Want To Do This: You include links in your newsletter because you either want to share valuable information with your readers that you have scoured the Internet for (so they wouldn’t have to), or so that your readers can find out more about your products and services and purchase them and/or recommend them to others. When your links are incomplete, incorrect, or unclickable, it’s frustrating to that person who wanted to find out more. It might even send them away forever.

What To Do Instead: Use full URL addresses (including the “http://” at the beginning), check your links to make sure they’re correct and still active (if it’s not your own website), and avoid putting a “.” period directly after a link (some web browsers can’t distinguish between the end of the link and the “.” character and so the link won’t work). An email distribution service will give you lots more options for using links in your newsletter (HTML, etc.).

- Dress up your promotion as a newsletter

Why You Might Not Want To Do This: People will see through your attempts to hide your promotion, and then they’ll resent that you tried to sneak it past them. People are getting weary of being sold to, especially when they’ve let their guard down because they thought they were going to read an innocent newsletter.

What To Do Instead: You could simply call it a promotion (and let your readers know when they sign-up that they’ll hear from you about products and services). Or you could add value to a promotion by writing or providing an informative article or collection of tips that will be useful to your target audience. Then include your promotional information as a bonus. It’s not to say you can’t promote yourself within your newsletter, it’s just that people want to feel that you care enough about them to offer them something valuable before asking them to buy something!

It’s great that you’re sending out a newsletter. It’s a fantastic way to maintain repeated contact with your customers, prospects and referral sources, increase your visibility and establish your credibility as an expert in your field. So why risk all that with any of the annoying habits I’ve listed here?

Maybe you’re not annoying ALL of your readers when you do these things. But do you really want to take that chance?

How to Write an Inspirational Story

Inspirational articles were once limited to self-help and religious publications, but they are just about everywhere now. (Think about those wildly popular Chicken Soup books or most of the stories in Reader’s Digest, for example.) Inspirational articles can be very useful in newsletters, because they make a human connection between the newsletter publisher and the reader.

Well-written inspirational articles move people emotionally and motivate them to do something or to make a change of some sort. Nonprofit organizations can use these articles to motivate readers to volunteer, write letters of support, or make a donation. Businesses can use inspirational articles to create a positive public image, build brand loyalty, and encourage repeat business.

Good inspirational articles have five characteristics.

- They are personal.

Inspirational articles are all about the power of personal connections. They should include very personal stories about real people’s lives. Don’t shy away from the emotion, as strong and powerful feelings are central to good inspirational articles. You aren’t speaking to your readers’ minds with these articles; you are speaking to their hearts and souls.

- They involve an emotional struggle or challenging decision.

Clearly describe the struggles, obstacles, or difficult choices that the people in your article have faced. How did they recognize the problem, deal with it, and overcome it?

- They paint a scene.

Help your readers visualize what the people in your story went through. Describe the physical locations where the events took place. But don’t stop there. Appeal to your readers’ senses of smell, sound, taste, and touch.

- They include a universal message.

Inspirational articles usually end with an epiphany. They enlighten us or remind us about the essential nature or meaning of some element of our daily lives. These are often very simple lessons — the importance of family and friends, the joy in giving, the danger in stereotypes, or the value in facing our fears, for example.

- They are true.

Your inspirational articles must always be true. It is OK to change the names or locations; just state that you have done so. Making up stories to play on your readers’ emotions is unacceptable. If you are caught telling lies, you will destroy any trust your readers had in you and your organization.

What would make a good inspirational article for your organization? Think about the stories from work that you tell your friends and family. Consider interviewing a person whose life or work has changed dramatically as a result of your organization. The moments that inspire you to do the work you do will likely inspire your newsletter readers too.

How To Use Newsletters To Build Customer Relationships

We are living today in the Information Age where success and achievement depend on, not who you know, but how much you know. People today don’t want to be sold. They want information that will help achieve success in their personal and business life. People want and need information about their industry, competition, and new products and services.

Studies show that one of main reasons why customers stop buying from a particular business is because of a lack of communication on the part of the business. Communication is a key to building relationships and keeping customers satisfied. It is how you keep your prospects and customers constantly informed about new products and services.

One of the best ways to communicate news and information to your prospects and customers is with a newsletter. Newsletters improve awareness with your target market and help build your relationship with those who read it. It gives you a competitive advantage, which makes it more likely that your readers will buy from you.

Newsletters provide an opportunity to inform your prospects and customers of your opinions, facts, and ideas on a wide variety of matters. Engaging your prospect and customers in this type of dialogue will not only lead to more sales, but more referrals as well.

Newsletters only work when they are distributed to your prospects and customers on a regular and consistent basis. If you are publishing your newsletter offline, mail it monthly or bi-monthly, but no less than six times a year. If you’re publishing an ezine or an online newsletter, distribute it weekly or by-weekly, but no less than monthly.

Your newsletter should be easy to read, contain valuable information, and look nice. Your goal is to have your prospects and customers expect and look forward to receiving every issue of your newsletter before you even publish it.

It is important that your make your newsletter interesting and valuable enough that your prospects and customers read all of it. You want to provide a great return on your reader’s investment of time. In order to do this, you need to know what type of information your prospects and customers need.

When you get new subscribers, ask them why they subscribed to your newsletter. Find out what type of information they need. Do they learn from stories and case studies or step-by-step bulleted lists? Asking them these questions will not only enable you to give them the information they are looking for in each issue, it also shows them that you care.

The name of your newsletter and front page are very important. Make the newsletter’s name memorable and unique. Something that will grab the readers attention and make them remember your identity. The front page needs to be well designed, appealing, and hard-hitting to entice people to keep reading.

You should design your articles to inform, educate, and answer your reader’s most frequently asked questions. Give them free and helpful tips about your products and services. Free tips position you as an expert in the industry and show your willingness to help others. Once your readers are helped by these tips, they are more likely to read more information, and contact you directly for help or to buy from you.

Keep your newsletters short. If you are printing and distributing your newsletter offline then it should be no more than four pages. If you are publishing an ezine or online newsletter you should try to keep it to one page, but no more than two. Use short stories, bulleted information, lists, and other forms of concise information.

Because readers have a short attention span, the information should be presented in a very positive light and humorous fashion. Be careful to keep your humor professional, not amateurish. Stick to the purpose of your newsletter, which is to get prospects and customers to buy from you. Stay focused on the specific interests of your prospects and customers.

If you are going to have advertising in your newsletter make sure the ads pertain to your industry. You want the ads to be for products and services you would recommend for your prospects and customers to use. Any selling should be done subtly, with your reader’s interests at heart. The last thing you want is to have in-your-face selling to your prospects and customers. This defeats the whole purpose of the newsletter.

Graphics always add to the appeal of a newsletter. You should include graphics, such as charts, cartoons, illustrations, and sidebars. Always put your photo in the newsletter because it can really help to start and maintain relationships.

Newsletters are a very powerful marketing tool. Here are just a few of the ways you can use newsletters:

  • Use newsletters as a direct-mail piece to your prospects and customers
  • Have your salespeople hand them out when they make sales calls.
  • Hand them out at trade shows.
  • Include newsletters in your information and media kits.
  • Give them out to prospects and customers who come into your place of business.
  • Post newsletters on your web site.
  • Use “free subscription” to your newsletter on your web site to capture names of prospects.

Newsletters are primarily to give information, but they are also a marketing tool to help you get new customers, make sales, and get referrals. The key to successful newsletter publishing is to always remember to give important news, make them reliable, and have fun.