Communicate Your Message Effectively
Newsletters, bulletins, journals, pamphlets, or reports are extremely important for communicating to a group of people like your employees, customers, prospects, or even neighborhoods to help inform, educate, and keep them engaged. A newsletter is traditionally distributed on a regular basis (e.g., monthly or semi-annually) to a group of people. Supplying articles and information rich in relevant content to your customers is a great method of establishing loyal customers and even a great way to inform and engage your employees. The key to a great newsletter is consistency — be sure to send out at the same time, every time… and remember the importance of reliability of content, so they know what to expect and count on.
Newsletters are typically from two to eight pages in length. They vary considerably in cost, quality, and content. Newsletters can be done in many different formats, such as the most popular 11” x 17” folded, and in many different colors and papers — all of which depend on the budget and time frame.
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great ideas for making a powerful newsletter:
- Employee or customer of the month
- New products or equipment to brag about
- Technology changes / advancements
- Non-profit support
- New growth announcements
- HR information / announcements
- Favorable articles about your company
- Business changes that impact customers
- A company anniversary or milestone
- Recent award nominations or wins
- A list of open positions for hire
- Monthly business recaps
- Upcoming promotions
- A behind-the-scenes look at your company
- A message from the CEO
- Insight into your company’s history
- Important dates to keep in mind
- Quotes — motivational or just plain funny (if appropriate)
- Fun recipes or DIY’s
- Recent studies or surveys related to your business
- Statistics and data points infographics
- Updates about your social channels
- A guest blog post you’ve written for another company or brand
- Third-party apps and tools your audience would find useful
- Frequently asked questions (FAQs) with answers
- A customer service case and resolution
- Before and after stories
- New training opportunities
- Free resources, like white papers and guides
- Upcoming events and webinars
- Information about an event you’re sponsoring
- Partner events related to your business
- Community service initiatives
WHY SHOULD YOU CREATE A NEWSLETTER?
- To keep your members up-to-date about what's going on
- To keep the public informed
- To educate all readers about issues and ideas that concern your group
- To build cohesion and a sense of pride among your members
- To spark new interest in, and increase recognition of, your agency
- To offer a format for information exchange that doesn't yet exist in the community
- To reduce the amount of time spent on information sharing at your group meetings
- To announce your regular meeting
- To replace meeting minutes by creating a section in the newsletter devoted to meeting summaries
WHEN SHOULD YOU CREATE A NEWSLETTER?
A newsletter may be started at any time during the life of a group or organization (although earlier is usually better!), and especially when:
- You need to get a lot of information to a lot of people on a regular basis
- You want to educate or inform the community on important issues
- You want to attract new members
- You want to build a sense of common purpose or motivation — or both — among members
- You want to get feedback from your members
- You want to increase recognition for your organization or belief in its cause
- You want the public to view you as a credible and significant group
These are all good reasons, but creating a good newsletter, and keeping it going, takes a lot of time and effort.
Also consider how often you'll publish — weekly, monthly, bimonthly, or quarterly. Your choice here will depend on the size of your organization and its available resources.
Hire the professionals, as you should consider the quality and content of the newsletters as part of your branding and messaging. Print & Copy Factory offers many different services to help you get this off the ground and delivered on time. From concepts, marketing, strategies, design services, to printing and direct mail, we have it covered, saying you time and money.
TIPS FOR GETTING STARTED
- What is the primary purpose of the newsletter? Who is the target audience?
- How frequently do you want to deliver the newsletter?
- What is the count that you want printed, mailed, and handed out?
- Involve us, your printer, from the very beginning. Talk to us about every detail of your goals, your dreams, your budget, and your timeline(s). We often can help come up with a better idea or ways to tackle the project more affordably than you would know!
- We can help you pick out paper for the right look and feel! From recycled to offset sheets that fit your budget.
- Type of printing, such as digital full color, to black and white printing on colored paper, as well as considering pre-printed full color masters to come back and black and white imprint onto is a great cost savings as well.
- What is the company budget for providing this?
- Time to put together
- Mailing services & postage
- Design/Look and Feel of the newsletter / template
- Who will write the articles? Guest contributors?
- Where will you get the images from?
- Decide what will be in the issue and how much of each will be included — for example, articles, features, news notes, and opinion pieces.
- Proofread — who will check your work? Check the final copy one last time for any errors in printing or editing. Be extra careful of copyright and source reference of articles.
- What is your expectation on the return of the investment?
We can also help you with creating a newsletter via email. We have had many people think that it is possible to email a bunch of people at one time. Well, it is against the law. Did you know that even if you are part of an organization, and you email more than one person, without their approval, it is considered spamming? You can find the guidelines for a well-operated newsletter at the Bureau of Consumer Protection's website.
We tend to use a service called Mailchimp for email newsletters, as it helps automate the process of subscriptions and message delivery. We offer services to help perform newsletter creation and delivery for you at a minimal charge; we can create a template, integrate the software with your website, Facebook, and other mediums to collect data to build your anti-spam compliant list.