Sorry folks, but we gotta say it: In this age of selfies, possibly the most egregious form of marketing material is newsletters. Why? Because, more often than not, newsletters fail to deliver what they seemly promise.
Think about it.
The term ‘newsletter’–made up of the words news and letter–suggests current affairs and/or epistolary correspondence. Instead, most forms of so-called newsletters are crammed with in-your-face grandstanding. (Grandstanding is good for business, when done right. Read on to find out how.)
Strategic newsletters are not only beautifully designed and cleverly branded, they cover a range of topics that go well beyond the belly button. Intelligently constructed newsletters offer readers three things: engaging storytelling, useful information to make readers’ better in life and work, and breaking news to stay current.
Grandstanding is in the mix, of course. The difference is we don’t hit the reader over the head with it. Done right, it’s a between-the-lines kind of thing. This gentle nudging is not limited to copy, by the way. It includes images too. Better yet, we find the sweet spot by marrying words and pictures that work together in harmony.
Another important newsletter must-have, but all too often overlooked, are Editorial Schedules. What we lovingly call, Ed Skeds, ensure timely sendouts and a nice balance of story topics, within and between each newsletter.
If you have a newsletter or plan to have one, do it right.
Case Study: A new SPIN on The Hive Newsletter
Shawna Suckow, founder of U.S.-based associations SPIN Planners and The Hive, is a highly respected leader and published author in the meetings and events industry. Shawna was voted one of the Top 25 Most Influential people three years in a row (Successful Meetings magazine), and over the past 20-plus years has received numerous speaking awards and accolades.
Shortly after founding The Hive, an association for hospitality and destination sales professionals, Shawna and her director of membership, Catherine Jensen, were struggling with the first iteration of their newsletter. They knew the design and copy needed polishing, but weren’t sure exactly how to do it. Rather than reinventing the wheel, we used the existing newsletter layout and colour scheme as a jumping off point, wove in design elements to mirror Shawna’s effervescent personality, and tightened the copy.
Here is the result:
“I had the great pleasure to work with Sherryll and Maureen of Pixels & Prose last year when SPiN:Senior Planners Industry Network went through a re-branding campaign.
Through a series of conversations, they listened and helped us find our “voice.” They provided material for our site that helped communicate our message to current members and future members. They made creative suggestions for the layout of our website, helped us stay focused during this daunting project, and provided deliverables quickly.
Not only are they professional, but they also are fun to work with. I would highly recommend Pixels & Prose to anyone wanting a fresh approach to their marketing.”
~ Shawna Suckow, CMP