Bright Ideas to Keep Your Newsletter Interesting

Study Time If you struggle to come up with ideas for your newsletter articles, you aren’t alone! Many small business owners aren’t sure what to write about. You want topics that will be interesting to your readers and help them get to “know” you so they learn that you can be a trusted source of the information or products they want.

Let me share some creative ideas with you to help you jump-start your brainstorming.

Note: If one of your challenges is that you’re concerned about online privacy, you can still use these ideas. Just keep things general and not too personal or specific. You never have to include photos or names/ages of your children if you aren’t comfortable with it. Keep things from more of a business point of view and you can still build a professional relationship with your subscribers.

Photographs
Of course you’ll include photographs of your products or virtual images of your products, but how about some photos of your hometown, the wildlife or scenery near you, or your sewing studio or workspace?

Product Reviews
Have you received a positive review from a credible website or publication? Share it in your newsletter along with comments of your own about which of your products or services they reviewed and add what you feel the strong points of that product or service are.

Be Interviewed
Find a mentor, friend, or fellow small business owner and invite them to interview you via email. They write up and send questions, then you answer them and include the Q & A in your next newsletter. You can return the favor by interviewing them.

Profile a Customer or Subscriber
Got a customer who just loves your products? You know, the one who always sends you an email to let you know how much they appreciate you, sends photos of their kids using your products, or raves about your latest ebook on their blog? Ask them if they’re willing to be interviewed for your newsletter. You can include questions such as:
* How did you first hear about my products or services?
* What motivated you to make your first purchase?
* What is your favorite feature of my products or services?
They may also be willing to allow you to publish a photograph of your product in use if you request it.

Do a “Behind the Scenes”
Create a photo tour of your studio or workspace including details about the tools you use and your favorite work tips.

Dear Abby…
Do an advice column. You can make up your own questions for this or invite subscribers to send you their questions.

Resource List
Brainstorm a topic your subscribers would be interested in and then offer a resource list. For example, if you sell cloth diapering products your subscribers most likely have young children, toddlers, or babies. How about a list of links to your favorite websites for fun activities to do with children? If you sell makeup or personal products you could do links to sites with makeup tips or spa day ideas. If you sell plastic food storage products you could do food saving tips lists or great recipe blogs. Brainstorm a bit and you’ll come up with something fun and useful for your subscribers. If you get a large enough list of links, divide it into a part one and part two.

Networking & Social Marketing Fun
Got a blog? LiveJournal? MySpace page? Copy your most recent post into your newsletter then invite your subscribers to visit and leave their comments. It’s important to remember if you use this idea that your blog or page will reflect on your business and if it’s highly controversial, political or might be offensive to some readers you may lose customers. If you have a tightly defined niche market though, this may work in your favor.

Take a Survey
Find out more about your subscribers – set up a survey somewhere like Survey Monkey and then include the results in your next newsletter. You can make it a market research type survey (what products do they use, colors they prefer, sizes, etc), or you could make it more of a fun, personal survey.

Testimonials
Share some of the testimonials and photos you’ve received from happy customers. Be sure to get their permission first.

A Giveaway or Contest
Invite your subscribers to participate in a giveaway or contest. You could do a simple one such as one random subscriber wins a freebie. Or you could do something more creative like hide a little icon on your website somewhere and invite your subscribers to look for it then offer a prize to the first person to find it and a coupon code to everyone else who finds it. This can also be a viral marketing strategy if you give your subscribers permission to invite others to join in on the fun.

A Photo Journal
Make a photo journal of your product process. For example, if you’re a knitter, start with a photo of your yarn. Share where you got it, why you choose the colorway, and what you find inspirational about it. Then share a photo of your pattern and why you’re choosing to create that item from it. Take periodic photos as you work on the project and share some details. Then take a photo of the finished item and share your thoughts. This allows your subscribers to really connect with your processes and appreciate the effort and passion that goes into each of your creations.

There are 12 ideas to get you started. With a monthly newsletter you’ve now got a cool content idea for every issue for an entire year!

Do more than just sell your products, build a relationship with your subscribers, and they’ll be more likely to return to purchase at your website.

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4 Comments

  1. Super helpful ideas Michelle. I am always wondering what else I can include in my newsletter, but don’t have time to spend thinking of ideas!

  2. Hi Karen, thanks for the feedback and I’m glad you found the ideas helpful. It can be challenging to come up with content for a newsletter when you’re getting started but it’s such a great way to connect with your fans and customers.

  3. This is an outstanding list, Michelle! I can see that you’re a creative thinker and you certainly know a lot about marketing and appeal.

    So glad we connected through Twitter (thanks for the follow!) and I just sent you an invitation to Facebook friendship.

    Looking forward to reading more from you,
    Melanie
    .-= Melanie Kissell’s last blog ..“Leading Moms in Business” 2010 Competition =-.

  4. Thanks Melanie, I appreciate the kind words. Looking forward to getting to know you better.

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