Do you ever get the feeling that when you read a newsletter (or, for that matter, a blog post), you get a sense of déjà vu? That you’ve somehow read it before? It’s not uncommon these days, and there are good reasons for it. Here, we’ll look at why it happens and how to make your own newsletters stand out.
Before the internet, it was quite an achievement to get something published. You’d need to do your research from physical sources, build up experience, approach publishers and then have your ideas printed on paper for distribution. News media was altogether quicker, but it still required some expertise in the subject, a willing publication and the trust of an editor, and if all that failed, some old school connections might do nicely.
Nowadays, anyone can publish anything with the minimum of hassle and virtually no hurdles to leap. Whether it’s a blog, a social media post or an email newsletter, it’s child’s play.
But here’s the thing. We’re also told that if you want to make it in marketing your business, you need to publish often. You need never to let your customers forget you’re there, and you also need to keep the search engines crawling and indexing your pages to let them know you’re a going concern.
That puts pressure on organisations to increase the volume of content they put out there. Unfortunately, under such pressure, many of them simply look around for stories and simply rewrite them, often with little understanding of the points, or even basic fact-checking. The result is that the same stuff gets recycled again and again. Contributors get complacent, readers get bored, and if you’ve been a bit liberal with your copying and pasting, Google smells a rat.
There’s a simple solution to your uniqueness quest though, and you’re sitting on the gold mine every time you work. It’s the experiences you have and opinions you form when you’re going about your daily business. You can guarantee that your specific story is unique because it’s the result of a personal set of permutations. Indeed, you might even find two opposing opinions on an experience from within a single department, and you’ve got yourself an interesting piece where a genteel bun fight can be published to show how your business came to a conclusion.
Telling your amazing story might be interesting to some, but for any article to be read and appreciated by customers, it also needs to relate to their own lives somehow. The trick is to avoid self-indulgence and self-congratulation, but to show the reader how your successes feed back into the experiences they can expect if they use you, whether you’re a retailer selling an offering to the public or a specialised B2B business looking to carve out a niche in your sector.
It’s always worthwhile keeping an open shared document that any members of staff can contribute to, where they post experiences they have had in the line of duty, which can be fully written into newsletters in the future.
Don’t forget that uniqueness should never come at the cost of readability and interesting content, and it should always look great by using a professional email template. And most important of all, never stop measuring how your recipients interact with your emails, from unsubscribes right through to conversions. Uniqueness and general levels of interest play big parts in these metrics.