Newsletter publishing. Not as easy as it seems! Here are a few suggestions to make it easier for you and help you create a successful newsletter of your own.
1. Frequency vs. Content: No contest – content wins. Better to publish less frequently with better information
2. Put your volume number, issue number and date number near the header. It helps people refer to your issues. Carry that forward and post the issues online with the same link names as the issues.
3. Forget fluff. Stay with important information and be direct and to the point. That makes it easy on you AND your readers. Fluff has its place, and its fun, so place that type of information in a specific section of the newsletter.
4. If you are publishing a newsletter that has a finished size of 8-1/2″x11″, consider three hole punching the newsletter so your readers can file them away in a ring binder. If you publish a smaller version, consider punching holes so the reader can place your newsletter inside of a standard Daytimer. Hole punching is very inexpensive and the payoff is worth it.
5. Don’t talk about your building. Readers want to know how you can help them with useful articles.
6. Determine who in your company will be responsible for what. Try not to have too many people involved, especially when it comes to accepting articles and proofreading. You will never complete an issue if there are too many final-decision makers.
7. Decide the purpose of your newsletter before you do anything else. Keep that purpose in mind when you create each issue. Then determine how you will measure the success of your newsletter.
8. Other employees can be a gold mine of information, so use their knowledge and expertise when you can. Make sure to give the authors a byline – people like to see their name in print and they will gladly help you in the future.
9. Need to get some creative design ideas? Key in “newsletter templates” in a search engine and see the results! These are just templates but they will help if you are stuck for layout ideas.
10 NEVER, EVER shoot down ideas. Years ago I worked for a printer who was looking for creative ideas for new markets. We were all to bring in two creative product ideas each week. After seeing an ad in our local newspaper for Personalized Letters from Santa – and what they were charging for each letter – I did the math. Very profitable! I brought it to the table and was shot down, and not tactfully. Needless to say it was the first and last time I mentioned a new creative idea. Two years later the same printer was printing these SAME LETTERS as a vendor for one of the largest greeting card manufacturers in the United States. Instead of marketing the product themselves two years earlier and reaping the rewards, they were simply printing it for someone else who took the risks and were now making the profits.