One day your boss comes into your office and announces that he wants to publish an email newsletter about your department, company or organization. And then he gives you the job of actually producing it. He gives you a deadline and says “I look forward to seeing a draft of the first edition next week.” What do you do?
I’ve created and managed a few email newsletters over the years. Just as with a blog, an email newsletter is built around content. Here are 30 content ideas for your email newsletter.
1. Links to and excerpts from your recent blog posts.
2. Links to and excerpts from other web sites or blogs that your readers might find useful or interesting.
3. A short essay or letter that’s not published anywhere else.
4. An exclusive tip of the week/month.
5. Links to your company’s social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook fan pages, etc.).
6. News and announcements about what’s going on in your business or organization.
7. Special offers, discounts and coupons.
8. If your employer is a for-profit business, links to the favorite charity encouraging people to donate and explaining why you support the group. (Like I did with this post.) If you work or a nonprofit, links to businesses that support you in a substantial way.
9. Employee profiles (to put a human face on your business or organization).
10. Customer profiles.
11. Customer testimonials.
12. Links to independent reviews of your products or services (such as on Yelp or Amazon).
13. Invitations for readers to review your products or services on your web site or an independent site.
14. Contact information (seems basic, I know, but it’s important).
15. Polls or trivia questions.
16. The results of the last poll or answers to your last trivia question.
17. Photos of your products.
18. Reader-submitted photos of your products being used.
19. A contest.
20. Listings of upcoming events (sales, meet-ups, open houses or whatever’s appropriate for your organization).
21. A tutorial or lesson. You could do a series of these.
22. A guest column by an outside writer, perhaps a well-known blogger in your industry or even a celebrity.
23. Q&A style interview with a key employee in your organization.
24. Emails from readers, answered by you “Dear Abby” style.
25. Inspiring, compelling stories of about customers of yours who are doing great things (climbing mountains, raising money for charity or maybe training for the Olympics).
26. A funny video produced by your employees.
27. Holiday greetings (during the holidays).
28. An invitation to an event or webinar exclusively for your newsletter readers.
29. New job listings. Hire your customers? Why not. If they buy from you, they could be great advocates for your brand.
30. Sneak peeks or previews of new products or services.
What else have you put in email newsletters? What would you put in a newsletter if you were doing one? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.