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· What format Should you use?
· Which is best?
· What should you do?
Are questions I get all the time. So I will go over the pro’s & con’s of each format.
Print – People love receiving mail. I have seen our newsletters all over and many prospects & clients keep every issue for reference. Print is on the rebound and is getting a lot of attention. Just what you want! In fact, according to a national Newsletter Readership Study, the average awareness level for a professionally produced printed newsletter is 68%. The highest of any print media. The challenge with a printed newsletter is the cost to have it printed & mailed.
If you are going to print your newsletters follow these proven tips: For Print: after your newsletter is complete, (design, format, content, etc…) to print use a heavy weight paper like 60# - 80# white glossy or beige. You can print in full color or use just one color like reflex blue, forest green, or something that matches your company image. Reflex blue has the highest recall rate for newsletters other than full color. (Recall meaning people remember receiving the newsletter)
I have not seen enough real benefits of using full color to justify the expense. Other than it looking great. One color on quality paper works great. Another great way to keep printing costs down and still have the full color feel is to create a template layout without the articles and have it pre-printed like letterhead or stationary in color. Then just insert the content in each issue. You can use a copier to do this in your office or at a local printer.
If you e-mail your newsletter to a printer, make sure you convert it to a PDF format and not send the word document. Double check the newsletter after you convert it.(Never send a word document to your prospects and clients.)
Always use a first class stamp and address it to a specific person, not General Manager.
Labels are fine…you do not have to hand write the addresses.
Keep in mind that landing one client can pay for years of newsletter service & printing. So be consistent and persistent.
PDF format – great format for posting on your web site. Keeps the look and feel over any ISP and operating systems. Plus you can send it to a printer if you need copies to hand out at a conference or to mail to prospects & clients. You can use this format to e-mail too. Very versatile format.
Cons – people are afraid to open attachments from people they don’t know. If you e-mail an announcement that your newsletter has been posted on your web site, they may not follow the link. So you will need to carefully craft your message to get them to follow your link and read your newsletter.
HTML format – (E-zine or E-Newsletter) This is where the newsletter is in the body of the e-mail and looks like a web page with graphics & pictures. Great format because people don’t have to go anywhere to view your newsletter. Adding links are easy and you can track what people are reading. Increases visitors to your web site.
Cons: you cannot control how others see your newsletter. Many people have their programs set to block images. And some companies may not allow HTML to get through their filters. It takes time to craft your newsletter so it looks good and will get through these filters.
Text format - This format is good because you don’t have to worry about any fancy graphics or formatting. It is text only. Typically this type of format is small in size due to the lack of pictures & graphics.
Cons: This format limits you on the look. You have to watch carefully on the content and wording to get people to read your message. Many people stop reading after the first couple of lines. You may loose people quickly.
MSWord – Great program. You already know how to use this program. You can easily set up a template, add graphics & pictures, and insert your content.
Cons: large file size when saved. When you send over the internet you cannot control the look. Graphics & pictures may move, columns may shift, and it could look horrible.
So don’t use this format for sending. Convert to a PDF format first.
Post on web site – All of your newsletters should be posted on your web site if you have one. Archive each issue too.
E-mail format alternative.
- Full-content format – entire newsletter is in the e-mail body.Pros & Cons- 1500 words or fewer – preferably around 1200.
- Digest format – headlines, links, and summaries of all stories with your newsletter posted on your web site.
- Link-only format – Here you house your newsletter on your web site with all the content in a PDF or html format. You put only the link to the newsletter in your e-mail announcement.
- Preview pane function and format. Survey data indicates that 49 percent of email readers only look at the first few lines in the preview pane to decide if they want to continue.
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In our next Blog post I will discuss "When to send out your newsletter"
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Gary 740-824-4842 ~ Gary@newsletterville.com
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