Before You Decide to Publish a Newsletter

August 31, 2011 by  Filed under: Marketing 

If you’re trying to decide whether or not to publish a periodic newsletter, it’s definitely something every small business should consider. Before you make a decision, there are some pretty basic things to consider.

Will you be able to publish on time every period? Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly – which is the right time frame for your business, your industry, and your customers? How will you deliver your newsletter? What will your newsletter be about?

Being able to publish on time, every time is critical. If your customers know that you have a schedule (and they should know, because you should tell them) they will expect you to be on time. This is an indicator of your reliability. It may sound silly, but if you can’t even publish your newsletter as you said you would it may raise questions about how you do business in general.

One factor in your publishing schedule – weekly, monthly, quarterly – is how confident you are in being able to be on time, every time. If you are always pressed for time and find that tasks on your to-do list often get pushed out, you may need to publish less frequently. Another option would be to delegate the newsletter to someone who has more time.

Another factor in how often you should publish will be your product. If there are many facets to your industry or if changes happen often, it may be smart to communicate weekly to your customers. The most common newsletter cycle is monthly and for most products and industries this will work very well. A quarterly newsletter can work, but be sure that your customer base hears from you more often than just at newsletter publishing time!

Mailing a printed copy of your newsletter is the old school way to communicate. It’s still okay to do this and many customers like to get printed copies. It is very expensive to do this, though. Before you decide to start a printed newsletter program, be sure you’ve completely evaluated the printing and mailing costs.

Delivering an electronic newsletter via email is easy and inexpensive. Many customers prefer to get email. This is the way that most businesses do this today and it’s very effective.

Deciding what you will write about in your newsletter can be fun. Giving tips about ways to use your products or your industry is something that customers love. The most important thing is to make sure that what you give your customers is useful. Don’t make your newsletter a sales letter. You should definitely use it as a vehicle to grow your business by using coupons, announcing sales, offering “newsletter only” deals, and other perks for readers but avoid the hard sell at all costs. Share good information and you’ll keep your customers and grow your business.

Kelly Dear works with small businesses to develop and implement individual online marketing strategies. Making sure each of the businesses she represents is found online by potential customers is key. If you are a small business owner who wants an honest and creative approach to online marketing, call Kelly to help develop the right plan for you.

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