What can we do to spice-up our next e-newsletter while improving reader engagement and retention? Try one of these unique e-content ideas (part 2 of 2):
- Responding to Readers’ Posted Comments: We’ve all seen the laundry list of reader comments that often appear following an article. But what happens to these comments? Are the commenters even reading each others’ thoughts, or just spouting off their opinions? If you’ve had a particularly popular article that generated a lot of reader commentary in a previous issue, don’t miss the opportunity to turn that exchange into fresh content. Return to the piece by putting the readers’ comments in dialog and turn your analysis and commentary on their thoughts into a more in-depth look at the previous topic.
- Sharables: Do you have a simple, yet great, tool that might be something your readers could utilize? A checklist? A calendar? A timeline? A budgeting spreadsheet? Quick and handy sharable tools give readers a tangible take-away that will keep them coming back to your e-newsletter in the future.
- Video Critique: You know you’ve got to be utilizing video in your e-newsletter to add depth to your content package and capture your reader’s interest—but, have you tried offering a video critique? This gives your e-newsletter the same lift in interest (who can resist clicking on a video just to see if it might be something wildly interesting?), but it also offers the added depth of your insight and critique of the tips and advice out there on the web. You don’t want to waste your readers’ time with a useless video that is easy to tear apart, but you don’t want to just offer up a segment you are in complete agreement with either. Find something that will be of interest to your audience and that you have a compelling response to, and share both the link to the video (or embed it) and your critique with your readers. (A note on embedding You Tube videos: it’s best to get permission from the video’s producer to embed the clip in your e-newsletter. Most people will welcome the publicity, even if you are critiquing their industry tips and advice. If You Tube videos have the “embed” code enabled, it generally means the person posting the video is giving permission for others to embed the video on their site. Another reason to check in with the video’s producer is to make sure that the spot won’t be taken down without in the near future.)
- Fiction: Yes, I said fiction. Now the bread-and-butter of most e-Newsletters is information. And fiction is the last thing busy people might be looking for when scanning your e-newsletter for practical, usable information. However, on occasion this can be a segment that works if it’s done well. You have to keep it short, clever, and engaging—and most importantly you have to keep it related to your industry’s interests. So, in the end, it might function as an informational piece, just disguised as a (very) short story with a moral or analogy related to your readers’ interests. This can spice up your e-newsletter while simultaneously delivering industry-appropriate information to your readers. All your marketing department knows how to put together is the cold hard facts? Check with your local university’s creative writing department—aspiring writers will always work for free in exchange for a publishing byline.
- Reader Profile: Who is reading your e-newsletter? You and other readers might be surprised. Why not offer up a section that occasionally profiles one of your readers? You can promote this section as a contest to generate quality entries to choose from. The best part is your readers are doing your editorial work for you by submitting their own profiles. In your instructions for the contest, offer a sample profile or a questionnaire to guide their responses and keep them focused on interesting questions about themselves and their relationship to your industry.
Missed Part 1? Find it here! Do you have other fresh content ideas that have worked well for your e-Newsletter? Please send them our way so we can share with our readers and continue to brainstorm together to keep the world of e-Newsletters innovative and exciting! email@example.com
This post is part of our monthly Vitamin E(newsletter) – a newsletter all about e-newsletters. To read more from this month’s e-newsletter: