As a longtime reader of GQ magazine, Dylan Boyd subscribed to The Hound—the magazine’s recently launched email newsletter—with high expectations. “So as I opened the email and took a gander,” he writes at The Email Wars, “I was more than greatly disappointed to get what I would associate with a Sunday newspaper ad circular.”

The short publication included five components:

  • A promotion of “suiting events” at several Bloomingdale’s stores.
  • A Gillette-sponsored contest for basketball tickets.
  • A plug for Phaidon Design Classics, a three-volume set of books sold for $110 by
  • A brief Q&A in which Brett—GQ’s style correspondent—advises a reader to use a hair-sculpting paste made (surprise!) by Gillette.
  • An invitation to interact with GQ at Twitter and Facebook.

“What were they thinking?” he asks. “A newsletter is something that shares articles, stories, content, ideas and information that keeps a subscriber in connection with the company that they opted in to.”

To help you ensure your newsletter is a valuable resource for readers, Boyd offers these suggestions:

Don’t treat it like a press release or an offer. “This is a relationship-development channel folks, not a pitch machine,” he says. “Save your targeted offers for another day.”

Create relevant, original content that clearly benefits the customer. “Recycling articles, blog posts and stories,” he notes, “does not deliver on the promise of news.”
Don’t let them down when they open your email up. When developing a cool customer perk like an e-newsletter, make sure it’s packed with relevant info—and not just promos.

Source: The Email Wars