Probably you have considered starting a newsletter but you have rejected the idea because you felt you didn’t have what to include in it. On one hand, it is true that a newsletter without great content fed regularly is useless and feeding it with great content is a very resource consuming task. On the other hand, if you know how to do it, it turns out this is not a mission impossible. Here are some suggestions what to include in a WordPress newsletter.
Since it is called a newsletter, one of the obvious choices is news. It could be company news (or news about you and your products, if you are an individual) or news from the niche the newsletter is in. Provided it is current and important, any piece of news has a place in your newsletter. It is also acceptable to include news commentary – i.e. if there is a major event in your niche and everybody is talking about it, you can also give your 2 cents by providing your opinion on the topic.
Snippets from Site Content
Site content is a centerpiece for any newsletter. If your newsletter is of the roundup type, you should include all the important stuff you have published on site since the previous edition of the newsletter. The trick here is to make the reader notice your new stuff and bring him or her to the site. This is why it is recommendable to include snippets from site content. You can include the complete articles, videos, or whatever your content is, but it is better to include only a snippet or a paragraph or two plus a link to the content itself because this way you are pushing your readers to go to the site for more instead of serving it all in the newsletter itself.
Newsletter Exclusive Content
If driving traffic to your site isn’t the primary goal of the newsletter, you can save the best bits for it. I mean, if you want to promote your newsletter per se, you can include in it content you won’t publish on your site or elsewhere. When your readers can find exclusive content in your newsletter, this raises its value and increases your chances to attract new subscribers.
Similarly to exclusive content, special offers also increase the value of your newsletter. However, in some cases these offers are even better than exclusive content because they can make you money. For instance, if you include offers for cool products of yours that are of interest to your audience and offer a discount for them, this makes you money. Since a newsletter is a direct sales channel – i.e. you are not paying affiliate commissions – you can offer the money you would have given to the affiliate as a discount to your newsletter readers. This way both parties are happy – you sell your products, your newsletter subscribers get cheaper deals.
Start a Newsletter Series
If you want to keep your newsletter readers hooked, a series that spans a couple of newsletter volumes is a great trick. Since a newsletter typically has multiple sections, why not reserve one of them for a series? You can prepare the series in advance and publish one piece at a time. If the series is useful to your readers, you won’t have problems with reader retention.
Contact Info, Feedback, and an Unsubscribe Link
Finally, when you wonder what to include in your newsletter, don’t forget some kind of boring but mandatory stuff, which includes your contact info, ways for users to send their feedback, and an Unsubscribe link. If you can’t figure out why you need an Unsubscribe link, here is a quick answer – to be compliant with antispam regulations. It is not only ethical but also legally mandatory to give readers a way to opt-out, provided they want to, so please include a small Unsubscribe link somewhere near the end of the newsletter and you are on the safe side.
For a newbie, it can be challenging to come with ideas about what to include in a newsletter. However, once you get the initial kick, you will soon notice that ideas start to pour in. In some cases your users themselves will give you ideas what to include (this is why you need to provide an easy way for them to leave feedback), in other cases you yourself will come with ideas. Anyway, the most important thing is to start and after that, depending on how your newsletter fares, you can always make the necessary adjustments to better serve your audience.
Ada is the Blogger Relations Manager at WinkPress, which is a web resource about leveraging WordPress, its themes, and plugins to create versatile and unusual websites. Visit the site to learn more about WordPress newsletter plugins.