A regular newsletter is far easier to produce if you have a content plan. It not only acts as a prompt but also means you can prepare some material ahead of time, knowing what ‘slots’ you have to fill.
Here are a couple of examples:
Client A: an accountancy firm
- Seasonal intro: include a key piece of (relevant) news if possible
- Article teaser: educational/best practice/learning. 100 words with link to rest of article on website, if possible utilising the stock of ‘more info’ articles client already has on site.
- Mini case study: how we helped a client save money – max 100 words with call to action
- Quick poll: Topical question (answers collated and may be used in a future article)
Client B: a kitchenware retailer
- Intro: informal welcome from the owner (with photo)
- What’s New: a new product (photo and chatty description with link to catalogue page on site where they can buy)
- Life at X (name of shop): a behind the scenes piece – could be a member of staff running a charity marathon, a ‘day in the life’ of a member of staff or how a new supplier was sourced
- Rosie Recommends: the head buyer (with photo) gives a care tip (eg how to keep knives sharp, how to extend the life of your coffee machine, etc)
- Offer: a timed offer, exclusive to newsletter subscribers.
- Competition: prize draw. Include winners of last month’s competition.
Not all the elements need to be included every month, for example if there’s nothing new to feature then that piece could be dropped and the Offer moved into that slot.
The content plan sits on top of your design template and in parallel with an agreed style guide. The examples here are outlines – you may want to add more detail such as word counts for each element.
Breaking it down this way should make the prospect of a regular newsletter far less daunting than if you had to start from scratch each month.