By Linda Hilliard
Today – there are two types of business newsletters – internal and external. The internal publication is written for a company’s employees with topics ranging from human resources news to company updates and staff features. External newsletters are marketing pieces that are designed to increase business and create an awareness of a company for existing and prospective customers.
An external newsletter can:
- Spotlight an organization’s services and products
- Represent a corporate culture and philosophy
- Personalize the owner(s) and employees
- Feature testimonials/endorsement from satisfied customers
- Highlight community involvements
- Announce new products and programs
- Share business success stories
- Provide contact information
Print versus Electronic
As recently as a decade ago, newsletters were printed. Although printing is perceived as a quality approach, it can be costly. Today, there is the far less expensive option of electronic newsletters. Cost aside, which is preferable? It comes down to your readership. If your customer based is younger, electronic is the way to go. If your clients are older, they often prefer a piece of paper in their hands.
Primary Questions to Ask About Launching a Newsletter:
- Why do you want/need a newsletter?
- Who will receive it?
- What is the goal of the newsletter (e.g., promote products and services, present a corporate culture, get more customers, other?
- How many pages? Generally 2 to 4 pages are preferred.
- How often do you want it to be published?
- Who will provide content concepts and who will write the copy?
- Who will be the point person in reviewing the newsletter?
- Do you want a print or electronic publication (or both)?
If print, how will it be distributed? Who will provide the addresses?
If electronic, how will the e-mail addresses be assembled?
Why hire a professional?
The reputation of your company is reflected by the quality of your publication. Producing newsletters that are poorly written and with grammatical errors or misinformation can negatively impact opinions of your business. Good design is also critical; ugly newsletters reflect badly and will not be read. If you want to publish a newsletter for your business, do it right!