Expand Your Marketing Outreach with a Newsletter
Every company or organization has an arsenal of marketing tools that
share common characteristics: to introduce the company or organization
to prospective customers; to describe the products and services offered
and how they benefit the prospect; to show how your company or
organization differs from the competition; and to create a favorable
impression. Brochures, direct mail, a web site, press releases and a
newsletter are all examples of common marketing tools; of these, a
newsletter has the added benefit of demonstrating your expertise and
establishing you as an authority
Readers expect marketing newsletters to be informative, easy to read and
to contain useful tips. This is the basis for establishing credibility
in the mind of the reader and inspires trust and understanding that is
the basis of a business relationship. When distributed at trade shows,
networking groups, meetings and seminars, newsletters lend their
credibility to brochures and other marketing materials.
Newsletters are also a great way to establish regular contact with
The same helpful information and useful tips that prospects
appreciate are also valued by customers. In addition, the newsletter
reminds customers about your company or organization and provides a way
to announce coming events, activities or new products and services.
Considering all the benefits of publishing a newsletter, it is
surprising that so few businesses do so. This leads to another benefit:
publishing a newsletter separates you from your competition.
Types of newsletters
In his book Do It Yourself Newsletters, designer Chuck Green delineates three types of newsletters.
- Promotional or marketing newsletters are sent by businesses to
prospects and customers free of charge and is intended to turn prospects
into customers and customers into repeat customers.
- Relationship newsletters are published for members of an organization
(such as a club, a church or an alumni association) or for employees.
Typically sent free of charge, they focus on the shared interests of the
- Expert newsletters are written on a specific topic and offered by subscription to those interested in the topic.
The content of each type of newsletters differs. Since a marketing
is aimed at prospects and customers, it contains information
of interest to businesses - explanations, tips and tricks, "how-to"
articles, relevant industry trends, product and service information that
translates features into benefits and answers the question "What's in
it for me?.
may also contain coupons, special
offers and a call to action. Some mention company milestones (such as a
significant business anniversary or an achievement award) but rarely
include personal information about individuals who work for the company.
In contrast, relationship newsletters
contain information about the
company or organization, its internal environment and its employees or
members. For example: company or organization goals and plans, local,
state or national business developments that have a bearing on the
company or organization, community involvement; department or division
news, financial results, career or job opportunities, benefits and other
HR topics; staff changes and promotions, employee milestones
(birthdays, marriages, anniversaries, births).
Publishing the newsletter: print or e-mail?
While the value of a newsletter is clear, the debate continues over
whether it is best to publish a print version or use e-mail. Both
require a writer, a designer and a mailing list but there the similarity
can be inexpensively produced in full color and
distributed at a fraction of the cost of a printed version - though they
can also be blocked as spam or easily deleted without being opened.
E-mail newsletters can also be configured to capture reader metrics: how
many people have read the newsletter and who they are; which articles
got the most hits, who clicked on links, who forwarded information. Past
issues with key word search capability can be easily archived on a web
site for instant access.
offer portability - they can be read anywhere and
don't require a computer or e-reader. Someone who doesn't have time to read a
printed newsletter when it arrives can set it aside to be read later in
the day or even at home.
A printed newsletter
better accommodates long
articles or articles that contain a lot of information. And unlike an
e-mail newsletter whose display is a function of the recipient's e-mail
program, a printed newsletter looks the same to everyone
palette, typefaces and graphics.
Assembling a mailing list
for a printed newsletter is an easier task
than assembling an e-mail list, particularly if you want to include
prospects. Whereas it is easy to obtain a mailing list of prospects that
conform to a set of demographics, it is much harder to obtain
comparable e-mail addresses.
By convention, e-mail is considered
permission-based marketing, meaning you must have the consent of the
recipient to send the newsletter
. A printed newsletter does not have
The answer: use both
When you evaluate the pros and cons of printed and e-mail newsletters,
neither emerges as a clearly better choice. Each has its unique virtues,
so it is a good idea to publish both
. The e-mail newsletter can be a
shorter derivative of the print version, published more frequently
(perhaps weekly, while the printed version is published monthly). Or it
can be used to alert readers to a special article or offer in the
Post PDFs of past issues
of the print newsletter on the web site for
your company or organization, and include a way to sign up for both the
printed and e-mail version of the newsletter. When you use the power of
both e-mail and print newsletters together, you'll be doubling up on one
of the most powerful ways to build a relationship with your customers
How often to publish
The choices for distribution of a newsletter are daily, weekly,
bi-weekly, monthly and quarterly
. The most popular cycle for a printed
newsletter is monthly
, as this gives sufficient time for writing,
design, printing and mailing.
Remember this rule of thumb when deciding how often to publish: it takes
between 500 and 600 words to fill an 8½ x 11 page unless the page
contains lots of graphics or photographs. Most adults write between 200
and 300 words per hour, so it will take between one and two hours to
write enough copy for one page
. A typical newsletter cycle would be one
week for gathering information and generating copy; one week for design,
layout, proofing and approval; one week for printing and mailing; one
week for mail list maintenance.
In between the printed newsletter, use e-mail or direct mail to send
based on the newsletter, or to generate more customer
and prospect contact during key selling times, for renewal dates,
seasonal activities or holiday.
Just send it
Newsletters are a great way for businesses and
organizations to keep in touch with their customers or members and to
reach out to prospects. Newsletters demonstrate the competence and
expertise of the company or organization and build credibility.
If you want to begin using this powerful marketing tool for your company
or organization, call Express Printing & Graphics
at (408) 400-0223
We have many years of experience and can help you launch an effective