Publishing Your Newsletter in 2012 (Part II): Building the Frame

Remodelers, you wouldn’t go into a remodeling project without the blueprints and plan in place for reconstructing the home, would you? Of course not! So why would you consider approaching your newsletter program any differently?

There are many elements that go into a successful newsletter program, and one is the “framework” of your newsletter. You need to figure out what articles should go into every issue.

Here are some sections you should consider including in your newsletter:

  • Your Personal Message –This is your welcome message that helps you connect with your readers.
  • The Main Article – For remodelers and contractors, I usually recommend this be your project spotlight or another idea generated from your Content Ideas Worksheet.
  • Back Page Article – In print newsletters, this is one of the two highest value real estate sections (the other being the front page)! You know why, right? Because when your newsletter is delivered, it is the first section the consumer sees! Don’t gloss over this area – put something important there – such as a case study recap of how you saved one of your customers thousands of dollars by detecting an issue early.
  • The Offer – Don’t miss an opportunity to ask your readers to contact you by giving them a reason to do so. Besides coupons or other discounts, you could also direct them to your website to download a special report or sign up for a free decorating seminar you are hosting next month.
  • Other Stories – Ideas could include: home tips (always a popular choice in this industry), safety tips, testimonials, “Ask the Expert” articles, word searches and other interactive puzzles (homeowners love these), and comics/humor.
  • Other Content*

*Don’t be afraid to put non-business items in your newsletter to engage and connect with your readers. It doesn’t ALL have to be about remodeling. What other topics are your homeowners (usually the woman/mom of the house) interested in? (Watch an upcoming blog post for more about this topic.)

Finally, when you start your newsletter program, don’t worry if you shift the “frame” slightly from issue to issue. You’ll want to experiment with content options. As long as the look and feel remain consistent (and you aren’t completely overhauling your newsletter month after month), you’ll be fine. Readers will still be able to connect the newsletter to your company.

Similarly, if you have an established newsletter program but want to experiment with a new look or content, you can approach it one of two ways: You can gradually move out content that isn’t working and replace it with a new section, or you can undertake an overhaul of your newsletter – keeping in mind that you can only do this once every so-many years without the potential of negative consequences.

A sample “framework” is located here for downloading.

See Also: Part I: Content Ideas Worksheet

Update: Part III: Your Final Critical Step

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