It’s that time again, the deadline for your upcoming email newsletter is looming and you just can’t find the energy or inspiration to even start.
In fact, you find yourself staring at the screen with eyes slightly out of focus and fingers itching to type ‘w-w-w-dot-f-a-c-e-b-o-o…’ into your web browser.
Sound familiar? Well help is at hand. Instead of procrastinating, shake off the cobwebs by going for a walk (depending on the neighbourhood), bouncing ideas around with a colleague, or drawing a mind map to organise your thoughts.
If that doesn’t work, check out the list of ideas below.
Make some friends
1. Invite other staff members to contribute stories to the newsletter.
2. Find that person who’s always taking photos of team activities and projects and ask if they’ve got anything you can use.
3. See that grad student sitting and staring out the window or that guy whose project has just finished? Go and have a chat and ask them if they would like to help brainstorm or have a go at writing an article.
4. Make friends in high places. Many company directors and team leaders often have messages or news they would like to share with clients but they just don’t have the time. So help them out and ask them if there is anything important they would like you to write about.
5. Introduce the new guy or girl in a staff profile or interview. Or re-introduce an existing team member that your audience really needs to know (or know better).
6. Check in with your friendly local industry association. Nearly every industry from engineering, to hospitality, to advertising has an industry association so find out if they would like to contribute to your newsletter.
Think like a journalist and sniff out a story
7. Find out the news for your industry. Browse industry publications and websites and see what are the latest innovations, trends or scandals.
8. What’s on the radar? What are people talking about around the water cooler? Yes I’m sure there is quite a lot of talk about the latest Biggest Loser episode but what are people really getting passionate about? Ask three to five people this question and see if a pattern emerges. ‘What do you think is the most important thing going on at [company name] at the moment?’
9. Interview someone in the company who is considered (internally at least) an expert on a topic.
10. Talk to clients or other team members who talk to clients. See if you can answer a common question, spot a trend or write a ‘top 5′ list.
11. Know what your clients like? Whether it’s sneakers or coffees, write a review or invite someone else to.
If there’s no news then make some
12. Hold a competition. It could be a staff competition that you take photos of and write an article about or it could be a competition for your readers.
13. Include a survey or poll in your newsletter and use the results in the next one.
14. Write a case study. One of the best ways to demonstrate how great your company is without boasting is to let your successes speak for themselves.
15. Hold an event. Celebrate successes such as when your company wins a new client, completes a project, or organises a team bonding activity. This is not only great for your team culture, but sharing these events with your clients helps them to feel like they know you.
16. Share the love. Clients are the ‘life blood’ of companies and an easy way to make them really happy is to give them a bit of free advertising. Especially if they have something of interest to offer your recipients.
17. Investigate some social media and see if there is something you can get started on. Start by searching for what other people are saying about your company and products and then branch out to other topics relating to your audience.
Be yourself and have some fun with it
18. Tell a personal story or share some company news. Depending on your industry some clients may like to get the ‘inside scoop.’ Knowing what is going on at a company beyond the products and offerings can help your customers get to know and understand you better.
19. Do a bit of research and write an article on the company’s history. All companies have a story. Maybe it was an idea two friends had on holidays or the owner saw a fantastic opportunity?
20. Get creative and instead of writing an article show or teach your recipients something using a presentation, webinar, infographic, photo album or video.
Good luck with your next newsletter! If you have any more great content ideas please share them by commenting below.
– Kristin Huddleston