How Your Community Newsletter Appears

November 12, 2012Comments Off

Sign up to the newsletters of other communities.

How do they appear in your inbox? Do they look like this?

Screen shot 2012-10-24 at 22.18.15

Do any of these inspire you to click? I doubt it.

They use the same generic 'from' and 'subject' lines. Newsletters like these are designed to be ignored. How about the below:

Screen shot 2012-10-24 at 22.22.07

Again, does this inspire you to click?

We've covered some principles before.

Change the 'From' line to the name of the community manager (or rotate it, if you have multiple authors). Don't have a constant subject line. Don't use weekly/monthly/updates'. Don't send them out at daily intervals. Your members don't read newsletters like these. 

Instead announce the news that people should be reading. Don't put hundreds of links in the content, just 2 – 3 of the biggest community stories of the week. It can be topical discussions, upcoming events/event reviews, and interesting content (don't use this too often). The goal of the newsletter is to keep people engaged in the community.

Each story should be a short paragraph that mentions the names of community members involves and invites the recipient to participate by clicking a link. 

There is tremendous scope for improving the quality of community newsletters. Experiment, measure, and find what works for you. 


You can now buy my first book, Buzzing Communities: How To Build Bigger, Better, and More Active Online Communities from the links below:

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