Home > Articles

Frank Remarks: Building a Climate of Trust with Newsletters

📄 Contents

  1. Frank Remarks: Building a Climate of Trust with Newsletters
  2. Are You Sharing My Info Without My Permission?
An email newsletter can help your business to form and maintain a strong relationship with consumers - or it can help you to slam the door in your own face. In this article, Frank Fiore points out the crucial steps to building the right kind of newsletter.
Like this article? We recommend

Frank Remarks: Building a Climate of Trust with Newsletters

Mark Twain once said, "Climate is what we expect. Weather is what we get."

This concept also applies to your email promotions. The goal of any email marketing strategy is to create a proper "climate" to sell your services and wares. Unfortunately, in many instances all you get is return for your efforts is stormy weather. The reason is this. If you're still using your electronic newsletter as a cover to sell your wares, not only will you be disappointed with the results, but your subscribers will inform you of their disappointment by using the unsubscribe button. On the other hand, if you use your newsletter to build an ongoing relationship with your subscribers and create a "climate" for selling your product and services, you'll find that subscribers will read it and you'll have a customer retention vehicle par excellence.

This Is Not What I Signed Up For!

When a subscriber signs up for your newsletter, that's what he expects to get—news. Your subscribers asked to be sent news, not offers. Pulling the old switcheroo on them will only show what your attempts at relationship-building really are—a cheap way to promote your wares.

So what's the difference between a promotional email and a newsletter? First, it's in the percentage, and second, in the format.


Let's take percentage first. Your newsletter should have at least 80–90% news consisting of links to third-party information and articles about the product or service you sell and the concerns of your prospects and customers. That is, your newsletter should contain information that your subscribers can use, such as movie, book, or music reviews or upcoming updates to the product they've purchased. You also can enhance your reputation—and get business—through well-written articles in your product or service subject area.

Customers and prospects are always looking for information that can help them either use or purchase the products and services they need. This is where you can shine as a helper and facilitator for your clients. Here's a tip. Think like a soap opera writer and write a series of articles that build on each other. At the end of each one, include a "teaser" promoting what comes next. You also can archive these information-type newsletters on your site, adding more content for shoppers to view when they visit.

The remainder of the newsletter should be about your company and its products or service. In other words, 80–90% of your newsletter should be focused on your subscribers' needs—the rest on yours.

Now on to format.

Format - Content

First, how long should your newsletter be? If you have valuable information to provide in your newsletter, don't be afraid of its length. Give subscribers valuable information on a topic they're passionate about, and they'll read every word. Besides, your newsletter should have as many of these elements as possible:

  • Welcome. Thank your readers for subscribing and give a quick summary of what's contained in the current issue. And remember, you're speaking to one—and only one—person at a time. Write as if you're speaking only to him or her, and keep the tone casual and personal.

  • News to Use. Link to current news items about your product or service and market niche. If you're selling gaming software, for example, give brief news summaries of articles that review the latest games and the gaming industry, then link to them in your newsletter.

  • Customer-focused news. If you're a B2B—businesses to business—why not profile one of your customers in each newsletter? You might even explain how your services or product helped the customer solve a business problem. One-on-one interviews are another way to spotlight your customer and the challenges your industry faces. These interviews could be made with industry experts in your niche. For example, what competitive pressures is your industry facing, or what's the future of your product or service?

  • Feature article or tips. Write a short, useful feature—better yet, supply a series of tips that your customers can use. Think about packaging your message. People like to think in terms of numbers. Package your message in terms of "The 10 Tips for..." or "The Six Secrets of..." or "The Seven Mistakes of...," and so on. Another way to package your content is in the form of "Did You Know...?" or "Frequently Asked Questions."

  • Tell a Friend. Ask subscribers to tell friends about your newsletter. If they like what they read, ask them to forward the newsletter to friends, family, and colleagues, and build in the referral code in your newsletter to do it.

  • Subscribe and unsubscribe instructions. Be sure to supply simple and easy instructions on how to unsubscribe, and—to those who have been forwarded the newsletter by friends, family, or colleagues—how to subscribe.

  • Link to your web site. Finally, be sure to provide a link in your newsletter to your web site. After all, this is a free promotion of your web site. Why not take advantage of it?

Here are some additional tips.

  • Learn from your competition. Subscribe to their newsletters. You'll not only pick up some competitive information, but you can see how they use their newsletters to stay in touch with clients and prospects. Scan their newsletters to pick up ideas on content, writing style, personality, and tone.

  • There's even a revenue-generating opportunity with electronic newsletters. If your newsletter is unique and offers information or support that consumers can't get anywhere else, you can solicit paid subscriptions. Or you can ask the manufacturers of your products to sponsor your newsletter—in effect, selling advertising space.

  • Don't be shy about asking visitors to your site to subscribe to your newsletter. Ask visitors to sign up when they first enter your web site by placing your subscription offer on the home page, and tell them what they'll receive as a subscriber. You also might want to offer an incentive to sign up, such as a discount coupon they can use on their first purchase, or a free sample or demo of your product or service.

Format - Design

Should you send your newsletter as plain text or in HTML? Many of the popular email programs today can read HTML-formatted email. When opened, an HTML-formatted email appears as a web page instead of lines of simple ASCII text. That means that you can display images, photographs, colors, and graphics in your email, which makes for a much richer experience for your reader. If you want to send HTML-formatted email, two good articles at Wilson Internet can help. They'll take you through the steps of how to format an HTML email newsletter or how to format dual text-and-HTML newsletters.

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020