I can recommend this smart, thoughtful post (and not just because she added me as a recommended newsletter–although really, that does show what a brainy and perceptive person she is, doesn’t it?) about creating bulletproof newsletters.
The takeaway for me is to give even more goodies as links in my e-newsletter. All of your communication needs to be about the reader, not the writer, but it’s especially important in newsletters. (Doubly so for e-newsletters, which are so very easy to trash without reading.)
A newsletter, like a personal letter, is a gift to the sender. Whenever you can, enrich your gift by adding in lots of links and other resources that benefit your readers.
It’s also helpful to remember that your readers don’t care too much what’s new with you. They want to know what’s new for them. If you’re a business, wrap your product up in an interesting new bundle that makes customers feel good about buying it. If you’re a nonprofit, show your readers how incredibly hard their donation dollars are working.
Human beings are wired to be self-centered, and you will be amazed at how hard it is to get into your readers’ shoes. It isn’t natural and it isn’t comfortable.
Keep working on it. Keep being ruthless with yourself. Keep showing your stuff to your annoying hypercritical friends and asking for critiques. Find the folks who will call you on your BS, and ask them to do so regularly.
In business, communication, and life, it’s when you push yourself outside the tiny limits of your own self-interest that you start to find genuine success.