Because many organizations produce newsletters, these periodic publications may seem to have lost much of their marketing impact. Even if readers seem to quickly discard your newsletter, you may be able to turn the message into an effective tool by writing a catchy or intriguing introduction.
Make a Big Announcement
If your organization has some major news to announce, alluding to the announcement in the newsletter introduction can pique reader interest. Use phrases like "major breakthrough" or "new development" to convey the significance of the announcement, and provide specific information that points the reader to a full article for further reading. Be careful not to overuse big announcements in newsletters, however, as readers may reach a level of fatigue if every newsletter contains such announcements.
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Make it Personal
Newsletter readers, like many individuals, will likely skim your publication looking for something that is of benefit to them. Generic language can cause the newsletter to seem impersonal. If possible, use a customer's name to personalize the newsletter and help the reader find relevance. If you cannot use personalization tags, or if you publish a printed newsletter, distribute different copies to different markets to achieve a level of personalization. Using the phrase "your child" in newsletters delivered to individuals with children can help the reader establish a personal connection, and you can replace that phrase with the more generic term "children" in newsletters delivered to childless recipients. Exercise caution with personalization, however, as overuse of a recipient's name or identifying characteristics may leave customers feeling like little more than an entry in your mail-merge program.
Emphasize a Benefit
Just as readers like to make a personal connection to newsletter content, they love to receive some benefit in exchange for the time they spend reading your publication. Announcing special offers or negotiated discounts in the newsletter introduction can create this benefit. Point the reader to a specific coupon or instructions for how to redeem the special offer. To maximize effectiveness, use terms like "exclusive offer" or "negotiated discount." These phrases convey a benefit to the reader while implying that the only way to receive this benefit is to read the newsletter.
Make it Interactive
Individuals love to know that their opinions matter, and using a newsletter introduction to invite input can establish a level of confidence that keeps recipients reading. If you distribute an email newsletter, include links to online surveys and polls; if you distribute a print version, point users to websites or invite them to mail a response. Use terms like "ask your opinion" and "need your feedback" to capture reader attention and create an atmosphere in which it becomes apparent that you value the reader's voice.