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Tips for your Small Business Newsletter

Updated on October 30, 2012

Is the idea of sending out a newsletter outdated?Maybe but not necessarily. Newsletters can be a very useful method of remindingpeople to keep your name in mind. However it’s important to make sure thatyou’re not wasting a lot of time on creating and sending out your newslettersince it’s also crucial to spend time on other forms of contact like emailblasts and social networking updates. Using the right newsletter software canhelp to make the process of creating and sending your newsletter a lot easier.How do you find the right software and create the right newsletter? You need toknow what you’re looking for and what you want to be putting out there.

Hereare some basic tips to follow when choosing newsletter software and creating thedesign of your newsletter:

·      The main goal of a newsletteris to remind clients that you exist. The more often thatyour customers see your name and associate it with the product or service thatyou have available, the more likely it is that they are going to think of youwhen they need that product or service. A newsletter can definitely help withthat. Always keep this in mind when you are writing the newsletter. It helpsyou avoid being too sales-y because the goal is never to sell specific itemsbut simply to remind people that you’re around to meet their needs.

·      Content matters.Your newsletter should provide interesting content that your customers willcare about. Including a deal is always a good idea but including informationthat is useful to people is even more important. You can repeat some of yourblog content in your newsletter but add to it to make it more valuable to yourcustomers.

·      Design matters.Make sure your newsletter is easy to design by selecting newsletter softwarethat you find easy to understand. Include your logo. Choose a newsletter designthat is simple and easy to read but eye-catching. Ask others for their opinionson your draft to make sure it looks good.

·      Decide if you want ane-newsletter or a mailer. You probably want an emailversion of your newsletter these days since this is the most cost-efficientoption. However, if your service or product is geared towards a part of thepopulation that isn’t active online (such as the elderly) then you may want tostick with the older method of mailing out a newsletter.

·      Determine how often you shouldsend out a newsletter. Since you do contact peoplethrough many different tools today, it really isn’t necessary to have a weeklyor even monthly newsletter. Quarterly newsletters are best for most businessestoday.

·      Features to look for in yournewsletter software include the ability to easily addpictures, links, columns and charts to the newsletter. You also want to makesure that the software is efficient in maintaining contact information so thatsending out the newsletter is always a breeze.

·      Choose newsletter software thatcomes with lots of tutorials and tips for using it in themost efficient manner. You want to make sure that the software that you selectis software that is very simple to use.

Andhere are some tips for filling in the content of the newsletter once you’vechosen the type, style and frequency of newsletter you’re going to produce:

·      Brainstorm a list of articletopics. You don’t want to wait until you’re actually writingto figure out what you’re going to write about. Brainstorm as many potentialtopics as you can so that you have a list to choose from when you go to writeup the newsletter.

·      Learn about writing goodheadlines. These matter as much (or more) in a newsletter asthey do in a blog so start practicing creating eye-catching titles for yournewsletter articles.

·      Start each newsletter with anote from the editor. That’s you. This is where youcan share immediate news and thoughts about what’s happening with yourbusiness.

·      End each newsletter with linksto additional information. This is particularlyimportant if you’re sending out an email newsletter since it will encouragepeople to head to your website right away.

·      Have a column.This will make it easy to create content because there will be one type ofthing that you write about in every single newsletter. Typically a column willshow off your expertise. For example, if you run a heating and cooling companythen you might address common heating and cooling questions in each article forthis column. This increases your own credibility plus it provides usefulinformation for your customers.

·      Include a poll or surveyquestion. Getting your customers to interact with you is agreat addition to your newsletter.

·      Always make sure that youprovide an easy way for people to stop receiving the newsletter.You don’t want your customers to get annoyed with you. If they don’t want to becontacted this way in the future then you should respect that.

Saveyour newsletter content

Finally, make sure that you archive all of yournewsletter content on your website. This is good for search engine purposes. Italso keeps your articles neatly in one place so that you can go back and usethat material when writing other types of articles and longer pieces of work inthe future. If you choose advanced newsletter software then it will likely evenhave a function for automatically archiving all of the newsletters that youcreate using it.

Comments

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  • Organic Thoughts profile image

    Organic Thoughts 8 years ago from North Carolina

    Great article... I totally agree that newsletter should be more focussed on sharing pertinent knowledge than becoming a sales pitch.

  • 2patricias profile image

    2patricias 8 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

    Thanks for sharing this. Most of the advice could also be applied to the Home page of a web site.

    Good Hub.

  • chafiq555 profile image

    chafiq555 8 years ago from Gatlinburg

    Thank you Kathryn for sharing this with us. One of the main mistakes that a lot of people make when sending newsletter is they only use to try to sell products. I don't think that when a person signed up for the newsletter that's what he had in mind. I believe that sharing free and good information will go along way.Now of course you can try to sell some products as long as it is not the main purpose of all the newsletters. Very good topic. Good Work.

  • profile image

    Nan 8 years ago

    Excellent article and it will be useful for me when I start my home business!

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