Newsletter Copy – Every Word Counts
Published on 18 March 2015 | Author Stefan von Lieven0
For the content of newsletters, texts from advertising brochures or other promotional material are often used. This is a big mistake as the medium email follows its own rules and offers new opportunities when it comes to the texting of newsletter copy.
“The best copywriters listen carefully and then articulate a simple message that genuinely touches on interests shared by both the company and its customers”, writes Nick Usborne in his excellent book “Net Words – Creating High-impact Online Copy”. Priority to the writing of newsletters should in fact have the listening. Which “language” does your target group speak? Which terms do they use? With this in mind, have a look at your incoming emails or visit events where you can meet your target group. Reading weblogs, online forums or chats is also recommended as these allow you to follow the conversations within your target group “live”.
Short and Simple
As with websites, emails are often not fully read but only “scanned”. For this reason, you should avoid long and complicated sentences (rule of thumb: approximately 15-25 words per sentence). Be brief and formulate the customer benefit in an understandable and precise way. Longer texts can be divided into several short paragraphs in order to ensure clarity.
Copywriting personal emails starts with a personalised salutation but doesn’t stop with it. As an author, you should not hide behind “officialese” or boring PR-phrases but give the newsletter a personal note. Write “from person to person” and not “from company to company”.
Highlight important sentences or sentence parts in bold or colour. Do not use cursive text as it is difficult to read on the screen. In order to avoid confusion, you should only underline words when they are part of a link. Also pay attention that you highlight important information and not only individual words as the meaning of individual words will not be clear when users scan the text. Use bullet points to highlight the important information.
Added Value Instead of Advertising
Your newsletter should of course promote your products and services – however, it should not look like advertising. Offer your recipients a clear added value in the form of editorial tips, reviews or exclusive voucher.
Place the Customer at the Centre
No one is interested in boring company news – with the exception of your competitors. Instead, put your customer and his requirements at the forefront and avoid sentences starting with “we”.