Newsletter Confusion

You know how to build a campaign. It’s Marketing 101, just the basics. A good list, creative design, a great offer. Bingo.

We’re told it’s all about the numbers: reach and repetition. Write a great headline, use the right tools, hire a Flash whiz, get an account at Constant Contact. Hang in there. This strategy works. Eventually. Or at least it gets attention.

How to create a company newsletter: a popular theory

Repurpose our general campaign creative. Extract products from our catalog. Give everyone a heads up on our Spring promotions. People will read it. It’s a NEWSLETTER, after all. True?

Enter the faux newsletter. The domain of marketers who either don’t respect their readers (i.e. customers and clients) enough to provide substantive content, or of marketers who are just confused.

A company newsletter is most successful when it opens and maintains an intimate conversation between real people. It is generous in content and in spirit. It avoids even a hint of self promotion. It is journalistic in style and pointed in its attitude. It’s more about substance than style. It proves that you have a story to tell, or if you have none.

In the Internet Age, reach and repetition have become something of a commodity; real communication remains more elusive.

And by the way, those canned newsletters, and the folksy household tips articles are still being sold to business owners. Don’t even think about it!

About the author

Bill Alpert