Do you want your company publication — newsletter or magazine — to be read cover-to-cover by your customers? Of course, you do. You spent a lot of time putting your messages together. Here are five ways to get your messages across more effectively.
- Make sure the subject is important to your reader. Focus on information that’s different or newsworthy. Make it worth their time to read the article. For example, don’t just tell your propane customers, “it’s time to think about your energy needs.” Talk about the numerous financial advantages of fuel contracts or discounts.
- Include photos – especially people shots. Where do your eyes go when you pick up a newspaper or magazine? The pictures. Whenever possible, include new and interesting photos — with captions that identify the people — in action, if possible. By doing so, your chances increase that people will continue reading the accompanying article.
- Use strong headlines. Like photos, a good headline draws people to your story. Use this exercise to help you get the best headline:
- Write at least 5 different headlines for your article.
- Try a “how to” approach — using numbers, if possible.
- Walk away — and come back in 30 minutes. Look at your headlines again. Your best headline will probably jump out at you. If not, write a few more.
- Mix it up. If your publication looks like gray matter on the page, break it up.
- Use a bulleted list like this one — skimmers are drawn to lists.
- Add infographics (visual interpretations of facts or statistics).
- Include sidebars or small boxed items to highlight bits of information on events, incentives or offers.
- Ask your reader to do something. This is your CALL TO ACTION. What do you want your reader to do after reading your article? Visit our c-store? Call your agronomist? Include phone numbers, email addresses and/or your company website.
Resource: Agri-Insights magazine, Issue #2 – 2017, “. . . Improve Your Content,” pg. 16.