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Newsletter Content Readers Can’t Resist

If you want people to read your online or printed newsletter rather than deleting or discarding it, give them irresistible content. The current issue of Better Writing at Work, our free monthly e-newsletter, covers 13 types of content your audience will read and value:

  1. News they can use
  2. Practical tips and techniques
  3. Checklists
  4. Answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs)
  5. Ask the Expert columns
  6. Interviews with important people
  7. Tests and quizzes
  8. How-tos and best practices
  9. Product reviews
  10. Features about people of interest to them
  11. Lists of upcoming events
  12. Opportunities to take action
  13. Contact information–to reach you!

What do you value most from the newsletters you read? What drives you nuts in newsletters? Please share your preferences.

Syntax Training

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By Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston has helped thousands of employees and managers improve their business writing skills and confidence through her company, Syntax Training. In her corporate training career of more than 20 years, she has worked with executives, engineers, scientists, sales staff, and many other professionals, helping them get their messages across with clarity and tact.

A gifted teacher, Lynn has led writing classes at more than 100 companies and organizations such as MasterCard, Microsoft, Boeing, Nintendo, REI, AARP, Ledcor, and Kaiser Permanente. Near her home in Seattle, Washington, she has taught managerial communications in the MBA programs of the University of Washington and UW Bothell. She has created a communications course, Business Writing That Builds Relationships, and provides the curriculum at no cost to college instructors.

A recognized expert in business writing etiquette, Lynn has been quoted in "The Wall Street Journal," "The Atlantic," "Vanity Fair," and other media.

Lynn sharpened her business writing skills at the University of Notre Dame, where she earned a master's degree in communication, and at Bradley University, with a bachelor's degree in English.

3 comments on “Newsletter Content Readers Can’t Resist”

  • Lynn,

    Great list. I have a comment on #10, Features about people of interest to them. In my opinion, too many small companies assume that their own families (kids, pets, spouses) and employees are of interest to customers. A little of that goes a long, long way. It’s less egotistical to offer profiles of customers than of the business owners or their families.

  • Marcia, thanks for your cautionary comment, especially for small companies. In the newsletter article, I elaborated this way:

    “If you write to employees, volunteers, donors, or affiliates (and perhaps customers and clients), features about people in your organization will strengthen your readers’ connections to them. Your readers may want to know about new executives, new team members, longstanding employees, people in unique jobs, directors of programs, interns, vendors, consultants, grantees, clients, and others….”

    I had not even considered kids, pets, and spouses as people of interest to readers!


  • I love a good newsletter that informs and updates the reader on the latest news regarding a specific topic. When it’s done right, it presents the ideal picture of how an organization should represent itself, staff, and constituents.

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