When I compared different highly successful newsletters in different topics, I found a similar very interesting trait in all of them…
Having a personality.
So what does it mean?
It means the author makes his newsletter unique by letting his personality shine through his every word in his newsletter.
You see, we are humans and it's a proven fact that people are interested in people. We don't like to read a faceless newsletter who we can't feel a connection with – like a robot has written it.
We want to feel there has been a REAL person just like ourselves behind the keyboard typing those words. We want to feel we know that person.
Want an example of a faceless newsletter?
Microsoft Windows online newsletter is a perfect example.
I subscribed to it for a while last year to find out more about when Windows Vista was going to be released.
Well, my experience with them was something not so special. They kept sending impersonalized and corporate-looking newsletters talking about their products.
I didn't feel I knew the author. I didn't feel a personal connection with the newsletter.
I felt they were a big company that didn't care about me – as an individual customer.
So I unsubscribed from their newsletter after a short while.
NOTE: I don't have any personal problem with Microsoft. This is just an example to show you how a really faceless newsletter looks like.
I'm by NO means trying to attack them, OK?
Today's world is going toward the less corporate voice and more personal voice. Keep this in mind when writing for your own newsletter and you will get a lot of loyal subscribers.
Still, don't think having a personality-driven newsletter is for you?
Maybe you're right.
But first, let's take a look at how the world of the Internet is heading...
Do you remember the big effect the creation of blogs has had on the Internet world... and even the real world?
Now many people go to their favorite blogs to hear about the latest news – instead of the traditional way of reading CNN or BBC websites.
I believe blogs have been a real revolution on the Internet.
Also as another example, take a look at how websites like YouTube and MySpace have become so popular... and are growing their reach more and more every passing hour.
So what do all these websites have in common?
Yes, they are driven by real people for REAL people.
There's no longer a place for a corporate voice in a newsletter these days.
That's why you DON'T want your newsletter to look like a big corporate, faceless newsletter.
If you write your newsletter for your company customers, you are still a REAL person with your own unique personality, right?
So let your readers see the personal side of you in your newsletter too.
That's the #1 secret to having a successful newsletter.
So don't hide behind your computer monitor.
Let your personality shine through your newsletter!
Now an important question arises here...
How Can You Give a Personal Voice to Your Newsletter?
That's easy. Here are some ideas...
Include a section at the beginning of your newsletter called "Editor's Notes". It's where you always get a chance to say "hi" and talk to your subscribers on a more personal level.
Here are some other creative names for this section that I've heard...
(For example, the editor's name is Mike)
• Greetings from Mike
• Mike's Friendly Corner
• Coffee Break
• Mike's Ramblings
• On The Personal Note
The list can go on and on.
Another good idea is to include your photo in your newsletter. You can just include a small photo of yourself in the Editor's Notes section.
(Of course, you'll need to have an HTML newsletter to be able to include pictures.)
Also, you can talk about some recent things that are happening in your life.
For example if it's near Christmas, let your readers know what your plans are for the holidays. Maybe you're going to go on vacation in Costa Rica. Maybe your parents are coming over to stay with you during holidays.
In the upcoming weeks before Christmas, tell your readers what you're going to do.
Want another example?
OK, but this time it's YOUR turn to find an example.
Simply ask yourself to name 3 of your very favorite newsletters that you love to read...
Now ask yourself if they are corporate-looking, non-personal newsletters?
... Or do they have a personal voice from the author who you feel you personally know?
I'm not there to hear your answer, but I can guess that at least 2 of these 3 are personality-driven newsletters.
You see the trend here?
OK, now see how the editors of these newsletters usually talk about personal things that make you learn more about their personality?
This will give you good ideas on what to include in your own newsletter.
OK, enough said for the first secret. Now let's see what the second secret is…