Friday, April 08, 2011

Personal Newsletters - All about Me or Something Good for You?

Just sent another newsletter of the sort I keep telling myself I shouldn't be writing. Or, at least not every time. Yes, it was chock full of me: what I've been doing, what I'm doing next. Once you start writing such missives it is hard to stop. The urge to report back on everything you mentioned before is hard to resist (especially if you asked for prayer). 

Well, some of this is appropriate. One reason I send newsletters at all is to keep people informed of and connected with what I'm doing. I send them to friends and supporters, people who like me and want to know what I'm up to. But I also write to build a bridge to my readers and give them something they can use: resources, links, things to chew on or smile about. 

I think I could do both and still stay in the ballpark of 1000 words. I could make my main article something for you and keep the stuff about me to a bulleted list or two. Or even if the main article was about me, there's room for some smaller items with takeaways for you. 

Perhaps the best newsletters blend the two. They share the writer's thoughts or experiences in a way that invites the reader to relate, engage, and join the conversation. 




gcodon said...

I liked your newsletter this month! (not that I don't usually!) I don't read it to get something for me...I read it to learn what's up with YOU! There's so much available out there as far as devotions or whatever...if we want that, we can find it. But there's only one place we can find YOU! :-)

Marti said...

Thanks for the encouraging word! Well, I do have a mix of people on my mailing list, some of whom don't really know me personally. And there's no anonymous way to get off that list - as there would be if started sending these out through some kind of service. So not everyone who receives them loves me like you do!

And I don't think I'd want each letter to be written like a daily devo, either...

Justin Long said...

One of the things I've done is split my newsletter lists. I have the general one in which I send out my regular articles, but I also have a much smaller "Friends and Family" list to which I send a weekly report. The report is just a few paragraphs long at most, sent by normal email, with minimal formatting.