The Business of Writing Newsletters


As we continue our series on different types of business writing, we're looking at a popular form that many businesses use: the business newsletter.

Newsletters are an effective way to keep individuals and other businesses informed about an enterprise. Newsletters are typically monthly, although some are weekly or even quarterly. They provide specialized information to those with an interest in a company and all they offer.

Newsletters contain mini-articles and short bits of information. They may go out in the regular mail or, more increasingly, via email. Many use vibrant colour and graphics, whether hard copy or online. Newsletters highlight the people in organizations as well as their products and services.

Nowadays, major corporations are not the only kinds of business that send out newsletters. Many small and medium sized businesses do as well. In fact, a one-person operation, maybe someone who runs a business from their home, can put out a newsletter to inform others about their business.

A newsletter allows a business entity of any size to communicate with their regular customers as well as prospective customers. The primary thing to consider when writing a newsletter is to offer timely, relevant, and useful information to your readers. Readers of business newsletters don't want the "hard sell." In other words, they don't want to feel they're reading a "commercial." Consumers are bombarded these days with hyped advertising messages.

Within a newsletter, you want good information presented clearly. It's significant that the word "news" is the key component of the word "newsletter." You need to give your readers quality information that helps them understand you and your business better. In addition, it should delve into topics related to your business.

For example, a business that sells accounting software may have an article on how to streamline payroll operations in their newsletter. This article will offer useful advice, tips, and facts concerning making the payroll aspect of a business run smoothly. Of course, the newsletter piece relates to the business and the accounting software they sell. However, the short article stands alone as an information piece designed to assist the reader.

A typical business newsletter is relatively short. They normally range from one to four pages in length. Think of a newsletter as a condensed version of a newspaper, as it presents vital information to the reader. Articles in newsletters are most often short, usually in the 200 to 400--word range. However, each paragraph in a good newsletter offers lots of significant info to the reader.

It's important that a newsletter is easy to read, concise and clear. Readers don't want tedious exposition akin to reading an academic treatise on a subject. Therefore, a quality newsletter article is one with shorter sentences and shorter paragraphs.

An average of fifteen words per sentence and three or four sentences per paragraph is a good standard to adhere to in a newsletter article. This makes for brisk reading. Information presented in short chunks helps readers digest important information better. In addition, one can read an entire newsletter in one sitting and get information on several topics through various short articles.

A newsletter doesn't only have to contain short articles. In a typical four-page newsletter, one can include a short case study. It presents significant information, and allows the reader to make up their mind as to whether the product or service will benefit them. It will go into some detail on how to use a business's product or service. Written objectively, this case study can highlight a product or service and how it helped an individual or organization.

A business newsletter can also contain a profile or interview of a company employee. The employee may be one whom clients of the business have contact with regularly. A profile highlight's the efforts of this individual in the company and lets the company's customers learn more about the people they deal with regularly.

A newsletter can also contain short interviews with experts in the field within which a business operates. Considering our accounting software example, that business may include an interview with a professional accountant in their newsletter. The interview relates to the company's products and offers quality information from an accounting expert.

When creating a business newsletter consider the following:

· Use headlines, sub headlines, sidebars, and bullet points (this breaks up the text and makes for easier reading and makes it easy to do a quick scan of the newsletter for key points).

· Understand your audience and their needs. When you understand your audience, you gear your newsletter content to them and the solutions they require. Don't write what you think they want; write what you know they need.

· Make your newsletter content "newsworthy" and make your newsletter attractive looking. Don't be afraid to include crisp, vibrant photos and graphics. Include charts and colorful graphs as needed.

Let a newsletter highlight your business appropriately. A business newsletter is truly a specialized form of communication. With it, you're presenting useful information to your readers. At the same time, you're presenting your business as a professional entity dedicated to serving your clients and potential clients well.

Readability
Words: 858
Paragraphs: 18
Sentences: 60
Average sentences per paragraph: 3.33
Average words per sentence: 14.30
Average characters per word: 5.33
Flesch Reading Ease: 46.69
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level: 10.00
Automated Readability Index: 11.00