Newsletters sometimes get a bad rap, but there are so many great things about them. If you're a politician, no matter how small in the ranks you are, you should consider writing an e-newsletter. There are many benefits to them if you're doing it right.
Why You're Not Writing an E-Newsletter
Those people that say that newsletters aren't needed are definitely missing out, or maybe they weren't doing theirs right, and that created their negative view.
To get a better understanding of the extreme importance of an e-newsletter (which is so much easier to get out to people than the fashioned newsletter that had to be sent in the mail), you need to know exactly what it is that a newsletter can do for you. There are many benefits of creating one, and below, we will go over what you need to include in it.
As a politician, you are marketing yourself to many people (whether you're running for or holding a local office or a national one). Newsletters are an excellent source for marketing – so why are so many people reluctant to create them?
Here are some of the silly excuses that people come up with to avoid embracing the benefits of newsletters (you may have used some of these yourself):
These excuses lie mostly around fear and laziness. Newsletters don't take a ton of work, and you only need to do it once a month. People won't read it if you don't write it – so why not give it a shot?
Why You Need to be Writing and E-Newsletter
As a politician, you need to do everything you can to reach the people that voted for you, could vote for you, and the people that didn't vote for you (because they need to know what you're up to even more than everyone else).
Here are the reasons you should be using a newsletter:
Your Little Black Book
You know that social media sites can come and go (look at MySpace), so you could lose connections with people if the only contact you have with them is social media. With newsletter sign-ups, those email addresses are forever yours.
You're Providing Valuable Info to People
Newsletters aren't all about articles and stories, they are also a place to share info about your upcoming events (like speaking engagements and debates) and for things like coupons (if you're offering a deal on campaign merch).
You're Making Another Connection
E-newsletters should only be sent to people that have actually signed up for them. These people could be people that voted for you, people that are considering voting for you, as well as future voters (don't turn away from the power of people too young to vote).
It Shares the Power of the Blog
Just like blogging allows you to show your expertise, in any field or content matter, so too does a newsletter. You get to share your brand (note – you are the “brand”) with people, and you get to remind them when it's time to vote again!
How to Get Started on You E-Newsletter
Before you get started, you need to have an email list. This begins with getting people to sign up for your newsletter. There are sites like MailChimp that help make it easier to get people signed up, and it also helps you with designing your newsletter and shipping it off to your email list each month.
Once you've signed up for MailChimp (it's free) or another site that works with newsletters, you can post a sign-up form on your website and your blog. You can share sign-up links on social media, and you can even email the people you know and see if they'd like to sign up.
Here are some important rules to follow:
Always Ask First
Never send someone your newsletter if they haven't asked for it directly or signed up through your outreach. If you do, you're spamming them – and that's not a good thing to do.
Know Your Reader
You want to make sure that the content you're sending out is speaking to the people that you're sending it to. You also want to make sure that they're getting use out of what you're sending them (if you send coupons two months in a row and no one uses them, fill that space with something else).
It helps to have an idea of the content you intend to send each month. Make it creative – keep a list of topics that you find interesting, inspiring, and useful.
The more ideas you have ahead of time, the better. You may also want to come up with a “content” calendar, just like you would with a blog. Knowing exactly what topics you want to write about ahead of time will help make content flow easier.
Be Open to Feedback
Feedback might come directly from someone opting out of your newsletter after a month or two – don't take it personally. If you hear from readers that some content wasn't useful, consider making changes next month. If you get good feedback – use that to create more content readers will love.
How to Start Crafting Your E-Newsletter
Now that you know why you need a newsletter, it's time to start fashioning your e-newsletter. Of course, you want to make sure you have an email list ready for the words you want to share.
There are some things you want to make sure you're doing when it comes to writing a newsletter. There are also things you shouldn't do. Here are some of those things:
1. Create the Perfect Subject Line
You need to make sure that your subject line is something that makes your email list want to open and read that email. You also want the subject line to be something that isn't going to get that email bumped into the spam folder.
Get creative – don't just title it “December Newsletter.” Create something fun and interesting that opens people's eyes up to what they're going to find in the newsletter. “Happy Holiday! How We're Making Your Holiday's Greener” would be a good title for a December newsletter about sustainable living and sustainable businesses.
2. Share News and Offers
Is it time to run for your office again? Are you running for a bigger office? Is it time to start discussing the important topics in your community because of elections?
As a politician, these are things that you'll be talking about with your voters and email followers. Offer your readers something – whether it's coupons, a contest, or just a fancy banner that gives them something nice to look at.
3. Write in a Personable Manner
Write your newsletter as though you're talking to the people you're communicating with. You don't want it to come off like you hired a technical writer to do it and you don't want use too much technical jargon, leaving your readers confused.
Don't fill the whole newsletter with marketing slogans either. You might have a photo with your campaign slogan, but it doesn't need to be repeated over and over throughout the text. Instead, fill it with info that your readers can actually use.
4. Share What People Are Saying
If your work as a politician is getting good feedback, share that with your readers. Include a section of quotes and testimonials from fans and voters. Your readers want to feel like they are part of your story.
5. Send It
People can't read your e-newsletter if you don't send it – but watch how often you're sending them. Don't spam your email list's inboxes with daily or weekly messages. Two a month, or even once a month, is plenty to share the info you need to share.
Final Thoughts on Your Political E-Newsletter
You're a politician, so your e-newsletter is going to, at least mostly, be about politics. Don't get too off topic, but make sure that you're also thinking about the fact that not all of your readers are politicians (in fact, most of them probably aren't).
Write it and send it – your readers will thank you.