The Basics of Creating a Newsletter

The field of media and communication is not complete without the influence of newsletters. Traditionally, newsletters have helped organizations and companies mainstream their vision and at the same time promote their ideals and aspirations. They are cost-effective means of disseminating relevant and vital information either for selected persons or for the general public.

In a globalized world which fostered greater interconnections and interdependent relationship among nations and institutions, newsletters are useful tools in ensuring the democratization of knowledge and the accessibility of significant information. In line with this, we will help you learn  the fundamentals and basic dynamics of writing and designing newsletters that will surely fit your organization or company’s standard and core values.

What are Newsletters?

Generally, a newsletter is considered as a document that aims to circulate information, announce important events and programs, express personal or official opinions or advises, and promote or market a particular service or product. Moreover, a newsletter is one or more printed sheets of paper that consists of significant information about the dynamics of a certain institution which is sent to its members, as defined by Collins Dictionary. They are used for various occasions, including but not limited to Christmas newsletters, company-related newsletters, and many more.

Gradually changing

In terms of form and delivery, newsletters are subject to gradual changes. Historically, newsletters are printed on paper or usually manifested as a hard copy document. Because of the increasing developments in science and technology specifically in the field of communication, newsletters have established an online presence through the use of emails, computer software, and applications.

The birth of electronic newsletters or E-newsletters and E-mail newsletters definitely changed the landscape of communication, marketing, e-commerce, and business correspondence. Moreover, regardless of the different media and platforms available, we can truly say that newsletters have surpassed the test of times.

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Advantages and Benefits of Using Newsletters

In dealing with newsletters, it is apparent that the pros exceed the cons. Organizations and companies, regardless of their size and nature of activities, reap favorable benefits from the use and application of newsletters. It is indeed a creative and professional means of building networks and maintaining healthy and sound business and professional relationships. Here are some of its concrete advantages:

Increase Accessibility to Information

As a tool used for disseminating information, newsletters make it possible for persons from different background and socio-economic status to be informed of the latest news and updates. A good example for this is the use by non-profit organizations of newsletters to pursue their advocacies for the environment, human rights, and other social and developmental causes. Another examples are the school newsletters created by student organizations and clubs in a certain academic institution. The school administrators consider such activities as a good avenue for students to exercise their freedom, raise their opinions, and let their voices be heard. In this case, every member of the organization, company, or community is given the chance to be informed about important updates and facts that can affect their rights and conduct.

For Marketing Purposes

In the field of business, newsletters are not just mere documents but are also means of gaining more clients and realizing more profits. For entrepreneurs, the use of such medium should not be taken for granted. Investing more on the development of ones marketing and newsletter-generation procedures can help bring about long term profits. For the specifics, here are some reasons why newsletters are important for businesses:

Promotion of Products and Services to a Wider Market

Newsletters are good avenues for businessmen to capture the attention of the public not just for newly launched products and services but also aim to establish customer or client loyalty. Bear in mind that we cannot love something that we don’t know. In line with this, business newsletters must be both creative and informative. It must bring the subject matter or the products closer to the public. It must be engaging and enticing.

Furthermore, using the online platform in transmitting your newsletters is highly suggested because such decision can cover a wider market. Bear in mind that the use of the worldwide web cuts across races, gender, nationality, culture, religious beliefs, and socio-economic status.

Help Businesses Establish Their Brand Name

Another important contribution of newsletters in the field of business is its ability to raise brand awareness with respect to a certain company or business. Since they are disseminated to the company’s clients or customers following a specific frequency such as monthly newsletter, weekly, or annual subscription, they enable the latter to get acquainted with the ins and out of the company.

Build Strong Ties and Contact

In terms of maintaining relationships and networks, newsletters play a pivotal role. In an organizational or company setting, establishing a sound and transparent communication lines can foster harmony and positive relationships. Newsletters are used in disseminating company activities and updates. Because members or employees are well-informed, the possibilities of conflict and miscommunication are mitigated. Such rule also applies when a company deals and transacts with its clients and customers.

Cost-effective Medium

It is undeniable that most marketing initiatives, projects, and programs warrant big amount of investments and resources. To solve this dilemma, newsletters allow you to foster a sound allocation of resources and establish a comprehensive budget scheme. They are low cost compared to the other medium and programs. In using them, the core resources required are high quality content and engaging designs and newspaper layouts.

These are some of the salient advantages of newsletters across different fields of interests. As long as you used them accordingly and wisely, they will just naturally work their magic.

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Major Classification of Newsletters

Because of the growing diversity of business and personal transactions both in the domestic and global arena, newsletters take various forms to better serve their purposes. According to research, there are three basic types of newsletters namely: expert, promotional, and relationship.

Expert Newsletters

This type of newsletter puts prime emphasis on one concrete and specific topic. They are also referred to as subscription newsletters since they are mostly made upon request or order of a certain individual or company. The party or company that makes or generates the newsletter will receive a remuneration or consideration in return. The common subject matters of this type of newsletter format and layout are product and service promotion and other advertising initiatives.

In terms of coverage, this type of newsletter is longer compared to the others. This is because the contents support one overarching topic. Because the topic is specific and concrete, attention to details is highly required coupled by diligent research and design skills.

In terms of design, you’re limited by the preferred contents and newsletter design espoused by the client. You can make modifications as long as it is still in line with the client’s vision and plan.

Relationship Newsletters

As explained in the preceding discussions, newsletters are tools in building stronger networks and ties. It is an accepted fact that no client or customer will invest in a company or organization that does not show empathy and value to them. Businessmen should go beyond the business portals and try to build a relationship with their clients beyond business terms.

If you’re planning to focus more on this initiative, relationship newsletters are perfect for you. These are some examples of this type of newsletter template:

These are just examples of newsletters that are relationship-based. The thrust followed by them is the foregrounding of ideals, concerns, and interests of certain target audiences belonging in the same group or community.

Moreover, in contrast to expert newsletters, these are generally disseminated free of charge unless otherwise provided by the issuing company.

Promotional Newsletters

When it comes to business transactions, these type of newsletters are widely used because they are profit-driven. Nowadays, competition among businesses is very tough and thus businesses try their very best to come up with the best strategies and effective measures to promote their products and services.

These are usually sent to the respective clients and prospective customers of companies to inform and persuade them to avail their new products and services. Moreover, there are also newsletters that are referred to as “burn the list” which are still promotional in character but focusing more in conveying quick sales.

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Significant Considerations in Making Newsletters

One of the common reasons why individuals shy away from making newsletters is the degree of technicality that they demand. Newsletters are not that easy to make. However, they are not impossible to create. As long as you set reasonable expectations and priorities accompanied by the right amount of resources and support, the task will be easy for you.

For starters, creating a newsletter can be difficult. You may consider the following relevant points:

The Budget

The first thing that you should consider before making a newsletter is the budget. Even if newsletters are relatively inexpensive, writers and designers of such must still consider the budget scheme. You have to ensure that your plans coincide with the budget.

Setting Up Your Objectives

If you want to make a comprehensive, coherent, and substantive newsletter, setting up clear and systematic objectives are a must. Without a set of objectives, it will be difficult for you to put more substance and heart into your content. Those who are assigned to prepare and write the content will have a hard time organizing their thoughts and ideas. Furthermore, your objectives must coincide with the purpose and nature of your newsletter. As an example you may refer to the following:

For example, you’re preparing a school newsletter. You may have the following objectives:

Indeed, objectives are important prerequisites for a successful newsletter.

The Content

This is considered as the heart of your newsletter. Depending on the adopted strategies of your company, newsletters are mostly created by a  creative team commonly consisting of writers, editors, graphic artists, quality analysts, advertisers, and many more. As much as possible, the responsibilities and tasks must be delegated accordingly to foster greater efficiency.

In line with this, familiarity to the basic elements of a newsletter layout is a must. The following are some of the basic inclusions of a newsletter:

Nameplate

This is defined as the banner located in the front cover of the newsletter that creates a distinct identity of the publication. It holds the important elements such as the name of the newsletter, the company name including the company logo or any famous company tagline or motto, and publication details.

Table of Contents

This section is usually added in order to present in a nutshell the set of topics tackled in the newsletter and their specific page numbers. You need to take into account that it is inevitable that your readers are busy and they want to go directly to the topic that interests them the most.

The Body

For the body of the newsletter, you can make use of heads and titles. For the heads, you need to choose an engaging and unique headline. As much as possible, it should be catchy in order to get the attention of your readers. The main heading must summarize the gist of your newsletter.

Other than the main heading, you may also include additional headings and subtitles in order to create a hierarchy of topics and information in your newsletter outline. Other important elements to consider are the:

Continuation Lines

In cases of lengthy articles, editors may make use of continuation lines to direct the reader’s attention to the location of the article’s continuation. As you may observe, there are various elements in the newsletter that are utilized to ensure that utmost convenience is given to the reader.

The Bylines

For you to properly give credits to the author of a certain article incorporated in the newsletter, a byline is provided. It is mostly situated in the end part of the article.

Images and Other Graphical Elements

Aside from the textual elements of a newsletter, it is highly suggested that you incorporate high quality images, charts, drawings, and other relevant graphical representations. Bear in mind that a newsletter is not purely an informative document. It is used as a medium for advertising and promotion. Images and other graphical elements empower the story that you’re unfolding. In using these type of elements, you also have to consider the following:

The Design

In dealing with newsletters, the quality of the content must be at par with the design aspects. There are several themes and design inspirations that you can use. However, your design layout must empower the overall mood of the newsletter. Here are some points to consider:

Consider your company logo.

In order to foster your brand presence, you can let the design of your company logo dictate your newsletter design. Always adopt a color scheme that is relevant to your organization or company. Every detail and aspect of the design must be in line with your organization’s nature and standards.

Use readable fonts.

Always prioritize legibility. Use a font style that is both formal and legible. Examples of such fonts are the following:

Also, be consistent in applying font styles. According to research, you can use a maximum of two fonts in the course of your newsletter.

Consider using newsletter templates.

If you’re looking for trendy designs or seeking for design inspirations, newsletter templates are your best friend. There are diversified themes that you can choose from family-oriented newsletter templates to business and professional ones.

These are some important considerations that you should take note of. Even if there are innate peculiarities in how you design and structure your newsletter, complying with the standard procedures and rules can further enhance the quality of your work.

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More Effective and Practical Tips

Indeed, it is evident that the process of making a newsletter is both an art and a science. You need to strike a balance between your formal and creative elements. The finish product must be a representation of who you are as a company or organization. To further enhance and enrich the quality of your newsletters, you may learn from the following tips and strategies:

Be informative.

Be meticulous and critical during the selection and outlining of topic. Don’t just include words just to suffice the word count. Give priority to the quality of your work rather than the quantity. Avoid boring topic outlines. Prioritize more compelling stories. In incorporating topics, you should conduct a holistic assessment and consider all important factors. Examples of informative contents are:

Let your personality shine.

It is an accepted fact that nothing can go wrong with a simplified newsletter. However, don’t hesitate from putting your own twists in it. Customize and personalized it. Be generous in telling your company’s story. Your organization or company’s ideals, core values, and standards must be evident in the newsletter.

Keep it short and sweet.

As much as possible, write a short and brief newsletter. Don’t bombard your audience with too much information. Only include those information that are relevant and timely. One way of simplifying your newsletter is by using simple and straightforward language. Avoid using words and terminologies that are difficult to understand or are too technical for an ordinary prudent person.

Consider the preferences and interests of your target audience.

Put yourself on the shoes of your readers. Consider their preferences and interests because in the end of the day, the success and failure of the newsletter depends on how the target audiences accept and respond to them. Bear in mind that the more targeted the content is, the greater the possibility that the readers will engage and continue their subscription.

Cite reliable sources.

Like any other write-ups, it is mandatory and necessary that you cite your sources accordingly. Always verify and validate the information you’re about to add. Bear in mind that plagiarism is a crime and it can bring about unfavorable consequences to your company or organization.

Encourage feedback and evaluation.

In order to test the efficacy of your newsletter, you can conduct preliminary tests to figure out if it has an appeal to the targeted audience. Always be open to feedback. You can even include a feedback portion in the newsletter itself to further improve the overall quality of it.

 

How is a Newsletter Distributed?

After extensively preparing and making your newsletter, it is about time that you come up with ways to circulate them. Use strategic plans and initiatives so that the objectives of such document will be met. Here are various ways that you can avail of in disseminating your newsletter.

Personal Delivery

In this case, you will be disseminating the hard copies of such documents to the targeted readers themselves. These are mostly done in academic institutions, religious organizations, and government entities for easy reference.

Making use of E-Newsletters

If you’re planning to go paperless, this option is perfect for you. Electronic newsletters or E-newsletters are now becoming a trend and a favorite among companies because they are more flexible and accessible compared to the other types of newsletters.

In the end of the day, the choice is yours to make. Bear in mind that the quality of your newsletter says something about your overall character as an organization or company.