I play a game called travian, and it is a team game. There are alliances and there are leaders, and there are wars and politics. Because the teams, or the alliances, can be quite heavily populated, it can be difficult to get everyone to communicate, and to inform everyone of the group’s agenda and goals. Most of the daily requirements are mass-messaged out. However, for a regular player who is not actively involved in leadership and diplomacy, it can get very boring just following instructions without knowing what the latest developments are. This is why some of the most successful alliances, and leaders, are the ones that send out interesting and informative newsletters on a regular basis!
Everyone must be familiar with newsletters, and their function. However, writing one that is effective is not something everyone can do. For example, I know a person on the game who writes very interesting newsletters that read like a story and can give the players a great overview of the week. I also know a person who writes newsletters that have a lot of words but don’t actually SAY anything! As a business owner, I would definitely not want the latter to be writing my company’s newsletters.
But What Makes the Former’s Newsletters so Interesting?
Well, the first reason is that the newsletters actually contain news! A good newsletter should have the latest happenings and developments. Why would anyone want to read about something they already know, or is out of date?
The second reason is that the newsletters are interesting reads. The information that is being shared is written according to the audience. If your newsletter is for members of the public who may not be specialised scientists or technical people, you would not want the language to be very technical, even if the news you want to share is. However, if your newsletter caters to a group of people who are technical, trying to simplify the language would make your newsletter seem ignorant.
The third reason for this person’s newsletter-writing success is because he sticks to a theme. He focuses on an event and wraps the entire story around it. This is a very important point since a lot of writers tend to forget what the focus of the story is. Too much information that is scattered tends to make people confused. On the other hand, doling out the information in a structured manner, in the form of a story, makes people read the information and remember it.
There is a fourth reason which a lot of people overlook, and this is consistency. This consistency is three-fold: consistency in language, consistency in format, and consistency in publishing times. Like I said earlier, the language of the newsletter should be compatible with the people who are going to read it. There should not be major changes in the kind of language that is used in your newsletter.
Most people who regularly read newsletters also get used to a certain format in which the newsletter is published. Just like You would know where to find the important news, the crossword, and the comic strips in your daily newspaper, your audience should know where to look for categories of information in your newsletters.
And most importantly, your readers should know exactly when the latest newsletter will be published! It does not matter whether you publish once a month, once a week, or every day. There should be a consistency in the time of publishing. This is very important because you want your readers to become habituated to reading your newsletters, and make them look forward to them!