Tips for writing, designing and producing a good newsletter

Your newsletter is an extension of your organisation, your services or your product. Therefore the design must send that message to the reader both in the information written and the visual presentation.

Here’s a few tips for a great newsletter.

Overall personality

From the moment that newsletter arrives in the hands of the reader, the visual look and feel is making the impression that will be a lasting one. Visual elements and overall layout will encourage readership — will draw the reader in. It is of utmost importance for that initial approach to be fresh, inviting, competent, and most of all, speak to the reader in an appropriate “voice” for your organisation.

Attention-getting approach

The first big challenge is getting your reader to notice. Once you get their attention, and “endear” yourself to them, then you’ll have to drive home your main messages. Understand that today’s reader is overworked, overstressed, and has the attention span of a gnat. So quickly grabbing their attention, and drawing them into the content is a major challenge. Each page needs to have a unified look and a major focal point.

Memorable identity

You will want to establish a name and a masthead that is unmistakable. It doesn’t have to be cute, and it doesn’t have to be a graphical masterpiece! In fact, the more simple, easy to read, and quick to comprehend is always better.

Reader clues and directional devices

While it is difficult to fit everything you need to say into the allotted space you must persevere to present only the important information. The less you write, the easier it will be to read. Readers do want detail. You just have to make it inviting. Effective devices like headlines, subheads, call-outs let the browser get the message. Subheads and call-outs make the information easy to skim.

Research has shown that 72% of adults today don’t actually read all the text

Some will once they are drawn in. Life is just too fast paced for many who want the bottom line, and want it now. So all they are going to read are the captions, the callouts and possibly all the heads and subs heads. Make sure you embody the “message” or “gist” of the story in those devices — and you’ll be taking care of both kinds of readers.