8 Steps to Designing a Newsletter for Your Direct Sales Business

One of the many useful communication tools you can provide for your business is a newsletter. With the options of being able to communicate a brand image, connect with your customers and prospects on a different level, and provide value to your readers, you can also communicate any promotions and product deals you may be offering. With a monthly or weekly newsletter, your customers can be kept up to date with all of your business endeavors.
The following steps will help you create a newsletter to build your business presence:
1. Decide on the frequency. How often do you want to publish your newsletter? As each issue will involve a few hours of preparation including creating the content, you will want to make sure you establish a schedule you know you can keep up with. You can always add special editions or increase the frequency at a later date if you find you can afford the time. Most businesses choose between quaterly, weekly or monthly options.
2. Email/print? How are you going to distribute your newsletter? Sending a newsletter by email is cost effective and immediate. Some businesses prefer print due to the fact it allows something tangible for the customers to hold in their hands.
3. If you are going to email your newsletter, you should consider paying a professional service that will manage your list and distribute your email. These companies provide you with a pre-set newsletter template you can design to your own preference. These programs manage your list, provide unsubscribe options, and enable you to create many newsletters at once and schedule them in advance. Although prices vary, many companies base their pricing on the size of the list being emailed.
4. Add a signup form to your website. This is a good way to increase traffic and allows you to build a bigger list of contacts and customers.
5. Let people know about your newsletter. By adding your link to all out going email correspondence, signatures, on your business cards, brochures, and other marketing methods, more people will be able to subscribe as they would like.
6. What is your newsletter going to be about? By reviewing other business newsletters you will be able to decide whether you would like to have a single article and a promotion, or 3-5 articles and an equal amount of promotional content. Consider what kind of content will provide value to your readers. Will you be writing these newsletters or hiring someone else to do it? What types of problems or concerns do your readers have that you could address?
7. Advertising? As a general rule of thumb, you should provide 80% informational content and 20% promotional content. If you would like an additional source of revenue and have a pretty good sized subscriber base, many businesses may be willing to buy advertising space on your newsletter.
8. Graphics. Many readers enjoy reading a newsletter that is visually interesting with logos or a header, photos, and even charts.
Providing a newsletter full of quality content on a regular basis is the key to a successful newsletter campaign. Newsletters are the perfect tool for both marketing and connecting with your customers and prospects on a regular basis.

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