The Most Important Part of a Newsletter


Earlier this week, Facebook reminded me of how far I’ve come in two years. Those Facebook memories are pesky like that, right?

Two years ago, I was sitting in the Comfort Inn breakfast area knocking out yet another article for a deadline. The Wi-Fi connection stunk, the coffee was bad, and I was tired. Exhausted actually. I’d spent the previous month as a nomad in our move across the country – staying here and there while we waited for our rental home to be available and our household belongings to arrive in Richmond. The morning I took this photo, I thought I’d be sleeping in our bed that night, as the moving company had assured us countless times that our goods would be delivered that afternoon.


Nope. So off to Walmart we went to purchase an air mattress – because at least we finally had keys to our home. And we also had to buy Jason some business clothes because he was starting his new job the next day (and his business clothes were on the truck).

Silly us for not packing an air mattress and a few business clothes in the vehicle before we drove 2200 miles!

Four days later, the moving company pulled onto our street with half of our belongings. The other half was still in Tucson waiting for another family to be moving in our general direction (east) so they could fill the truck and make a profitable run. The rest of our belongings arrived 11 days after that.

The move wasn’t smooth, but eventually, it worked out — at least enough. It always does.

So, when that picture popped up on Facebook as a memory, I laughed at the irony of it. See, when I took that picture, I was focused on all of the hurdles: poor Wi-Fi connection, bad tasting coffee, runny eggs in my breakfast, a small table and an uncomfortable chair.

When your household goods aren’t delivered on the day you expect, your perspective changes: I was forced to sit on the floor, slept on an air mattress, and had no coffee maker and no way to make any meals. Little did I know that the Comfort Inn breakfast area would be the best place I had to work for the next two weeks. 😊

I share this because it’s a part of my journey — and many of you also have experiences you should be sharing with your readers, too, but often — for whatever reason, you don’t.

  • Perhaps you don’t feel comfortable in sharing.
  • Perhaps you feel that your personal life (even glimpses) aren’t appropriate for business.
  • Perhaps you think people won’t see you as the professional you are.

I recently attended an online marketing conference. One of the sessions, led by Ann Hadley of Marketing Profs, was about email marketing. During her sessions, she asked this question:

What’s the most important part of a newsletter?

Then she dissected the word newsletter: news | letter

  • NEWS: This is the piece that most companies focus on. This is the information they want to share — the feature article, the promotional piece.
  • LETTER: This is the personal portion, the “Welcome Letter” as I call it when I work with clients.

Here’s what we sometimes forget when we create content for our email newsletters. We forget that people do business with people they know, like and trust.

the Most Important part of a Newsletter is the Welcome Message.

It allows you a personal space to connect with your audience, to get to know you, like you and trust you.

A few years ago, I was contacted by a remodeler in Maine (Hi Larry!) who wanted to talk to me about writing copy for his website. When we got on the phone, he told me he felt like he knew me already. He knew I loved hockey and that my husband and I enjoyed going hunting, fishing and hiking with our dogs. He knew this because he’d been reading my newsletter for years.

As you revitalize, remodel or continue with your email newsletter program, I encourage you to make sure you include the Welcome Message. It is the most important part of what you send out.

– Tess

P.S. Remodelers, I’ve opened the doors for the Done-For-You Newsletter Program (DFY), and I am accepting new clients. Unlike other newsletter programs, the DFY product provides the opportunity for 1) a welcome message and 2) customization — to give your newsletter the much-needed personal touch so you better connect with your prospects and customers. 


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