A very quick guide on how to write effective newsletters and events’ listings

I am a relative active member of the local tech/UX community and sometimes I’m surprised by how hard to read some of the events’ listings are.

In Cambridge there are heaps of things happening all the time, so if you’re like me, you don’t have much time to spend reading in details everything that comes across your twitter feed or email inbox.

That is why I decided to write this short post with some guidelines that are very easy to follow and will considerably improve the experience of the reader, along with the effectiveness of your listings.

I’m no marketing expert, but the guidelines I will provide are based on my expertise on web copywriting/SEO/UX which, I believe, tie in nicely with any marketing strategy these days.

So, without further ado, here they are:

1. Bear your audience in mind

What is their demographics? Are they technical? Are you targeting newbies or experienced professionals?
Keep your target audience in mind when writing, as if you were having a conversation with them.
For example, if you’re not sure of their level of expertise, avoid using jargon. On the other hand, if you’re positive they will be a technical audience, avoid sounding patronising.

2. Keep titles short to medium length. Use key words.

What is it that makes your event unique? A particular research technique? The field of expertise? A famous speaker?
Think of what makes your event most appealing and use those key words in your title, without making it too lengthy.

3. Adopt the pyramid approach to content writing

Write the key facts at the top and add the details below.

4. Be concise

Honestly, use as few words as you need to convey your message.
Remember that users don’t read webpages, they scan.

5. Use formatting, instead of just plain text

Bullet points, bold (within reason), hyperlinks, maps, images. I would avoid italics though.
Especially, highlight the twitter hashtag for the event and link to the speaker’s twitter account or blog, and to your own twitter account.
This will allow people to have these handy before the event and thus keep an active twitter feed on the event.

6. Use Google Analytics on your listings

Whether you’re using your own website or an events listing website such as Eventbrite, you can use GA codes to help you track the most efficient channels for advertising your events.

I suggest that you use a separate code for each channel, for example “utm_medium=twitter”.

This is particularly important if you’re using paid channels, in which case you might wish to know which ones are worth investing more in the future.
By doing this you will be able to see how much traffic are you getting to you event’s listing from each channel, and which ones are turning into sales.


Here’s an example of an easy to ‘scan’, effective event listing that I’ve done in the past:

example

Obviously, writing the ‘perfect’ event listing or newsletters alone, won’t guarantee the success of your event, but it is a great start.

Hope you find this helpful. Feel free to add your thoughts below.

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