Creating Powerful Newsletter Programs

A company newsletter can be a valuable public relations asset to your overall marketing efforts. A strong newsletter lets you control the exact message and image you want to project to the world. A newsletter program also is a great way to keep your name in front of clients and prospective clients. Here are some sure-fire tips for building an effective newsletter program for your company.

Identify your objective. Decide exactly what you want to accomplish with your newsletter. There are several objectives that can form the core of a strong newsletter program. These are the most common:

• Build a corporate image

• Inform customers about new products

• Stimulate increased product usage

• Promote customer loyalty

• Create good-will with the local community

• Turn prospective customers into active customers

Your newsletter can meet more than one objective. However, it’s good to have one objective that stands above the others. This prevents your newsletter from being a hodge-podge that lacks focus.

Set a regular publication schedule and stick with it. To keep your company name and products fresh in the minds of customers, publish at least every quarter. If you frequently have a lot of new information to share, a monthly may be a better alternative. The key is consistency.

Maintain a consistent structure. Create a logical structure for your newsletter and maintain it from issue to issue. For example, page one may center on industry news, while page two focuses on free tips and information about community events your company is involved in. Page three may feature an informative interview with a client, and page four could offer news and updates about your products and services.

However you decide to structure your newsletter, stick with it. As with a daily newspaper, your readers may enjoy reading specific sections and will look for them as soon as they pick up your newsletter. Maintaining a consistent structure presents a more professional image, and it prevents customers and prospects from having to hunt and peck to find information for which they are looking.

Develop a focus or theme for each edition. Potential areas of focus could be:

• Manufacturing operations

• Public affairs

• Customer service programs

• Marketing services

• Sales force

Not every article must center on your theme; however, your theme should be a common thread that is woven through most of your articles.

Mention activities your company sponsors. If your company sponsors a local play or your employees take part in a walk to raise money for charity, include this in your newsletter. This shows customers your company is comprised of people who care, and not people who just care about money.

Offer free tips to promote good will. A financial institution could offer tips for avoiding credit card fraud in its newsletter. A newsletter for a food store could include the top five things to look for on a food label. Whatever your company’s area of expertise, always offer free tips and information to clients and prospects as a means of telling them you care about their success.

Strike a balance. Consider your overall objective and create a mix of articles that is a comfortable balance between news stories, feature stories, free tips, image building pieces and articles aimed at generating sales.

When beginning a newsletter program, developing ideas for articles can be challenging. The following is a list of potential topics that can be used as a springboard for developing great articles for your company newsletter.

• New product stories

• A message from the president column

• Breaking industry news

• Interviews with industry experts

• How-to articles

• Free-tip articles

• Employee profiles

• Company milestones

• Previews of upcoming events

• Reports on recent conferences

• Research and development news

• Financial news

• Customer service stories

© Copyright 2008 Casey Demchak

Casey Demchak is an independent copywriter and consultant who specializes in writing compelling B2B sales copy. He is also the author of the book, Essential Sales Writing Secrets. He can be reached at casey@caseydemchak.com or at (303) 697-4793. You can visit his web site at http://www.caseydemchak.com

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