One key piece of advice to aspiring writers is read read read. Read more than you write.
I think that holds true for newsletters too.
Reading more newsletters than you write can be a great way to improve your style.
In some cases, you might be paying more attention reading the newsletter than the author did writing it. And that’s a good thing!
Here’s a simple exercise I do every now and again to sharpen my skills.
You can steal this too!
- I take three email newsletters from different people (or any three newsletters) in my inbox.
- I pick 3 things I like about each.
- Then 3 three things I don’t like about each.
Here’s an example of one I did earlier (I’m not telling you whose newsletters they are), but you can see the process.
So what are some things I look for when reading other people’s newsletters?
- Tone. Do I like it? Why or why not?
- Call to action – What’s the main thing they want me to do?
- Can I skim it? Does it also stand up to close reading?
- Does the format complement the contents?
Simple, hey? If you try the exercise, I’d love to know if you had any epiphanies on how to improve your own newsletters.