What Not to Put in a Newsletter

Ding! Here arrives a new email.

Ooh, a newsletter! I like those!

It’s from a software company – A Letter from the CEO, no less.

And that’s where things start to go wrong.

Let me give you some quotes:

“A New Corporate Strategy”

“We have established a new corporate strategy designed to meet the
continuously evolving needs of the marketplace and enable our customers
to achieve success.”

“Aligning Our Structure to the Strategy”

“We are re-aligning our business units to have their full attention and focus on product development. “

And finally, in closing:

“We believe it is important that our customers and business partners
have a clear picture of where [company name] is headed in the future. We
appreciate your business and look forward to helping you achieve great
success in the world of digital media.

Still with me?

Let’s see where this newsletter is going wrong.

  1. It’s about the company, not the customer. Yes, they believe the changes to their company will benefit the customer, but the content of the message is about us, us, us. Not you, you, you.
  2. It fails the “so what?” test. Do customers really care about the new hires and new corporate structure? Probably not. And certainly not when the newsletter has already failed at point 1.
  3. It’s boring. People are busy. They want to be informed and entertained. They don’t have the time (or desire) to read something that appears dull and not particularly helpful.

You know what it’s like to be cornered at a party by someone who won’t stop talking about their job, their kids or their hobby?

Please, don’t publish newsletters like this. Instead, remember the golden rules.

  • Make it about your customers
  • Provide value – information your customers can use
  • Make it fun and interesting to read

Respect your customers’ time and meet their needs. It’s that simple.