Every month, many of my clients send email newsletters. Most organizations that are active have something of interest for their constituents at least monthly (if not, you may have a different problem).

As the story selection process happens, I remind them not to ask the question, “What do we want people to know?” but rather:

“What can we send to our list members that will have value to them?”

The task of your newsletter is to offer something of value to your constituents. That means is has to be relevant to their daily lives, and the relevance needs to be obvious to them, starting with the subject line.

Examples of useful content you can put in your email newsletter:

  1. Are you doing events that will be of interest to people on your list? Trainings to help them do their job better? Parties where they can relax with people they enjoy? Why will any of your events be of interest to them? Make that clear.
  2. Do you have good news, a new report, or insight into your issue? Is it just for other people who work in your field, or is the news actually of interest to your donors or consituents?
  3. Are your allies doing something great and compelling? It’s more important to offer something of value than to talk exclusively about your organization.
  4. Do you have something inspirational or exciting to share? Give people a reason to smile, laugh or cry in the middle of the day.

It might mean fewer stories in your email newsletter, but that’s okay. More stories isn’t necessarily better: more relevant stories are better and more quality interactions are better.

You know who has great advice on email newsletters? Kivi Leroux Miller. And me.

I almost titled this post: If this email is about you, then why is it in my inbox?  Make the recipient of the email newsletter more important than the sender, and you’ll notice that your story selection becomes more clear.