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Getting the Information to the Right People
Using a newsletter to get out information in regard to your organization, club, business, or company is a great way of keeping people up to date, as well as notifying them of events that are taking place. There's a wide variety of ways for newsletters to reach people - either by a first-come, first-serve method (such as a walk-in to an office), mailings, or even receiving them electronically.
In desktop publishing, you may find yourself creating or updating a newsletter either for yourself and your business or for a client or even a friend. Creating one of these bulletins can be easy, if you know what the purpose is for creating one.
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Why Have a Company Newsletter?
As mentioned, having a company newsletter helps to keep people informed. Be it your clients, customers, even your employees, being able to address any issues, answer questions, or just tell people about updates and events can be a helpful tool for businesses. Here are some additional reasons for a newsletter:
- Loyalty - A business or company can build and even maintain loyalty within customers and clients by showing they aren't just a product seller. Keeping these people informed about what's happening, especially when it concerns them, shows that your company cares and appreciates the business that you receive from those customers and clients.
- Appreciation - As noted, customers, clients, and even employees will appreciate having members of the company speak to them on their level, in regard to concerns, questions, and updates.
- Less Threatening - Sometimes, when a client, customer, or employee embarks on a new relationship with another company, there's likely to be some fear and trepidation. A newsletter, especially one that comes with a welcome from upper management, helps to relieve this fear. Why? Because your newsletter can address the fact that, even if the individual is new to your company, you appreciate that they made the switch to you and you're happy to provide for them.
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You can't just start up a newsletter and then send it out. You could, but then you would leave people confused about the message you're sending. Having a strong newsletter with a clear goal not only helps your company and business, but the people to whom you're prompting it. The question you need to ask is, "What do I want the newsletter to be about?"
Do you want to keep people updated on products and events?
Do you want to promote your brand (i.e., your company)?
Do you want to bring in new clients? New customers? New employees?
Do you want your community to get involved in something that your company does?
These types of questions should be the first thing that you ask yourself when considering and creating a newsletter. Usually, the answer to these questions will also help you discover your target audience. For example, if you know that your employees would be helped by knowing about company events or updates, then your newsletter goal should be to make a newsletter that focuses on employees, perhaps even by employees.
Is your company involved in community service? If your company or business is involved in, say, the education system in your area or working with an environmental group to get the community together, then your newsletter should tell what your company does for the community and how the community can help further your goals.
Your next goal is to figure out how large you want your newsletter to be, how you'll create it (that is, using which tools), and how you'll distribute it (by mail or electronically).
- Do you want the newsletter to be one page? Maybe five?
- Will you use Microsoft Word? Or maybe Adobe InDesign or WordPress?
- Will you be mailing out newsletters? Or sending them by email? Or using just a link on the company's website?
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Why Goals Are Important
It may seem that you would spend more time coming up with goals than actually creating a newsletter, but as mentioned, having these goals in place helps to cater to your newsletter. Just think about it--let's say you didn't go through the process of figuring out goals and sent out your newsletter anyway.
Some issues are one page, others are five; some topics include information for consumers, some for clients, and even an article about the employee company picnic next week! Maybe people haven't found your newsletter because they don't have your company's website address or even computers and Internet access; what if someone who is getting the mailed newsletter moves? Or changes their email address?
Setting up your newsletter goals helps to alleviate these issues or, at least, gives you ideas for combating them. This also gives your customers, employees, and clients choices--if they want to receive the newsletter, they have choices of regular mail, email, or using the website's link. This, of course, also means that you will need to create newsletters for each of these mediums.
Setting newsletter goals basically gives you an outline of your plan, which can allow for additions and subtractions as you go along.