Before you begin your e-newsletter, take time to set some goals and to develop an editorial policy and a plan to keep it high quality and published on schedule. Answering these questions is a great place to start.
1. What is your main purpose for sending an e-newsletter? All stations will likely have multiple reasons including drive web traffic, develop more loyalty, increase membership revenue etc… But the look and feel of your newsletter and most important metrics will vary depending on what your primary objective is. For example, the ABC nightly news e-newsletter is designed to encourage tune in not web visits so there aren’t a lot of links in it.
2. Who is your audience & potential audience for your e-newsletter? Be specific. Think about your station demographics. Define all possible segments that may need to be communicated to in different ways i.e. major donors / news enthusiasts vs. music enthusiasts / TV vs. radio / etc… Can you communicate to all your audiences through one newsletter or might you consider multiple e-newsletters?
3. What value do readers get from reading your newsletter? Why will they want to keep reading it week after week and month after month?
4. From what you know about your audience & based on e-newsletter click thru rates so far, what topics are they the most interested in?
5. What questions can your newsletter answer for its readers? As you interact with your listeners in public and on the phone or when you tell people that you work at your station, what questions do people most often ask and how might your e-newsletter help answer some of these?
6. What tone do you want to convey in your e-newsletter? Do you want to be serious and business like or do you want to have an edge? 7. How will you interact with your e-newsletter readers (two way dialogue)? *Solicit feedback on topics and share that feedback with other readers *Regular polling: what types of content can you include that invites interaction (tell us your favorite summer book or travel locals) * How will you manage a larger volume of inbound e-mail as a result of increased interaction?
8. How will you keep building your list?
9. What process do you have in place to determine which content to include? Do you have a cross departmental meeting with your News Director and Music Director?
10. What is your proofreading process to ensure that the quality is of the same high standards as your broadcasts?
E-Newsletter Editorial Planning Tool
Developed for DEI by Betsy Harman, DEI Online Giving Advisor