Four Top Tips for Content Creation
E-newsletters are one of the really great tools for communicating with your clients and prospects, but “communication” implies you’ve got something worthwhile to say. And therein lies the rub. One of the most frequent reasons why e-newsletters fail, never making it past their first or second issue, is their authors quickly tire of struggling to come up with something to write about.
We’ve got some suggestions:
Make content planning an ongoing process. Writers who panic when deadline time rolls around and then scurry to “come up with anything” to fill the e-newsletter miss out on opportunities to utilize more appropriate content which may have occurred to them earlier in the cycle and then slipped their minds. Keep a pad on your desk — and in your car — and jot down ideas as they come to you. Imagine how good you’ll feel when it’s time to write and your notes are overflowing with great ideas.
More is NOT better. This is the opposite side of the coin. In an effort to fill space, many writers are tempted to jam everything but the kitchen sink into their e-newsletters without giving any thought to what interests their readers. Then they can’t understand why their click-thrus are minimal or, even worse, their “unsubscribes” outnumber their open rate. When content isn’t targeted, when it’s way too lengthy, readers lose interest fast.
You need to get inspired. Good content doesn’t come out of thin air. You need to know what your readers are talking about and the direction your industry is headed. Read trade papers, go to trade shows, talk to your salespeople about what your clients are discussing. This will help you keep your thinking — and therefore your writing — fresh. If your content isn’t timely, what’s the point of reading it?
Reach down. It may be your e-newsletter but that doesn’t mean that you need to author every word yourself. Reach down and leverage some of the junior members of your organization, especially the ones who are in constant and close contact with your clients and prospects. They know the hot topics and they can bring fresh thinking to the party. A good manager knows how to delegate … and delegating some of the effort that goes into your e-newsletter can only make it a better read.
Paul Hyman is editor-in-chief of OpenMoves