You open what you know is a Christmas or Holiday Card. You smile at least inwardly as one thing you know for sure is that it is not a monthly bill! As you take the card from the envelope something drops out. The something is a two-page-small font-single-space update of the sender’s entire year. You grimace. That smile turned into a grimace when you saw the dreaded Christmas newsletter, didn’t it?
It doesn’t have to be that way. Here are the five sins to avoid when crafting your newsletter:
- Too much oversharing- TMI
If you wouldn’t share the information in the aisle at the grocery store, then don’t share it in a newsletter. Perhaps because the writer doesn’t see their audience in the same way that you do in the aisle or having coffee, normal censors seem to go the way of the fax machine. Write your newsletter, put it away for a day or two, and then take another look at it.
- Too much about only good things
Into everyone’s life a little rain must fall. You don’t want to write about only good things and you don’t want to write about only bad or sad things. In order to connect with your audience you need to be authentic. Everyone’s authentic life has both positive and negative events.
- Too much bragging
Yes you are proud of your child, your dog and your husband. Be careful of the extent to which you brag about their accomplishments. Remember, few people liked the smartest kid in the class, the one who bragged nonstop about his grades. Be careful of becoming the person you used to dread.
- Too much sharing sad/tragic news
Your yearly newsletter is probably not the place to tell people that Uncle Tom is in hospice or that Aunt Tilly has stage 4. Remember how horrified we were to hear about Millennials and Gen Y women being broken up with by text? Texting is inappropriate for some communication and so is the holiday newsletter.
- Too much info about kids, work out routines, and what food was eaten during the entire year
If you wouldn’t be interested in hearing about it then you probably don’t want to write about it. We are only so interested in your work-out routine, the outstanding meal you made or ate, or the daily activities of your children, as adorable as they are. Wield your scalpel of clarity carefully but do wield it. Cut out info to get to the information that you believe is most important.