All posts by Rlcardo55

Creating Newsletters

creating newsletters as pictured

H&H newsletter front page

           
           
creating newsletters sample page 2

Page two of newsletter

Creating Newsletters is easy. As a marketing person, you are already a great talker. Here are seven concepts I keep in mind when creating newsletters.

If you have been in business for a while, you understand what information clients need (insurance professionals, property managers, Realtors, business of all types, consumers, etc.). You know your subject matter. So what do you do next? This is how I do it. You may find a way that works better for you and I would love it if you would share your insights with me at Richard@brcconsultants.net.

(View or download your copy of H & H Mailing Services’ January 2016 Newsletter.)

Creating Newsletters

    1. Create a format. You can see what mine looks like. I use Microsoft Publisher but there are other programs like Front page, MS Word, etc. Pick a design you like because you can use it again every month by just changing the content in the articles. I just take last month’s newsletter (i.e. Newsletter-May2014), and use the Save As command to create a new file (i.e. Newsletter-June2014). I then delete the unwanted articles so I can see the space I need to fill. Logos, sidebar information, contact information remains the same (though you can change it if you add new services, want a different monthly graphic, promote a sale item, etc.).
    2. Choose a theme. You know a lot information about your industry. Choose something your clients need to know that will help them in their business, new equipment or services, what your company is doing for your community, etc. Say something that you can talk about with confidence. Generally I will write two to four articles using a two sided newsletter, trying to stay within a general theme. Since you know your business, you can probably write a few paragraphs of information that your clients have not thought about yet. Without even breaking a sweat.
    3. Choose some pictures when creating newsletters. I like to take pictures (you can use your cell phone). Be careful of using copyrighted pictures from the internet. Generally equipment pictures from manufacturers may be O.K. to use, but you can always check with them. Crowd pictures and images where you can’t readily identify person are also fine. Pictures of a fire or other disaster are just news photos. However, if you need a photo of a particular house, you should ask the property owner for permission (in writing if you can). Images should be laid out to enhance the article, net overcome it.
    4. Writing your articles. Four important things to remember; 1)Write for your audience, so do not use jargon words that they do not understand. If you are generally formal in speaking to your clients, write that way. In sales letters and blogs I tend to be conversational with the reader. However articles are more for information than for persuasion, so be somewhat formal. I try to avoid slang and contractions (do not instead of don’t). 2) Do not edit while you are writing. It will stifle your creativity. If I cannot think of a particular word, I often put in a place holder like pppppppppppp and get back to it later. 3) Write in the active voice. If you can say the same thing in 8 words instead of 11 or 15, do it. 4) My philosophy about writing a newsletter or anything else is organizing the information so it easily digested by the reader. Which brings to the next step…

Editing

    1. Editing your articles and newsletter. After creating newsletters, there is some polishing needed. Obviously you can use a spell checker, but often the wrong spelling can be a properly spelled word, like to when you mean two. It is a great idea to wait until the next day to edit you newsletter…I sometimes read what I think I wrote instead of what is on the page. Another technique is to read it out loud to catch awkward or long sentences. If a sentence is too long in may need to be cut into smaller segments with commas, semicolons, or periods. Often the best final step in editing is to get someone else to read it for you to see if it makes sense to them. Take criticism in the way it is meant: an opinion to help you communicate better with your readers. By the way, consider adding headings above main paragraphs so people can skim and find what they are looking for easier. Also use (but don’t over-use) bold, italics, colored backgrounds, different-sized fonts, etc. to help organize the information.
    2. Printing your newsletter. Even though I always create them in color, I tend to make black and white copies. Laser looks better, but remember this is a newsletter and not a slick advertisement. If the content is valuable information, you will be forgiven if it is not a flashy piece. Print copies from a computer or USB if you can, or at least from a high quality print. If you are making copies at Office Depot or other retailer, print one copy to see how it looks. Change whatever need to be changed (lighter, darker, photos and text setting, etc.) and print another one. Once it is as good as can be expected, run your 100 or 200 copies.

      If you are in the El Paso, Texas area, have them professionally printed by H & H Mailing Services (AKA H & H Marketing, H & H Mail Marketing, and H & H Dinero Tree Inc..) They can also bulk mail them for you if you have a large customer base, do not have outside sales people, etc. There are rules about mailing labels that will affect your design so just ask H & H. They can also stuff them into the same envelopes as your statements and marketing letters. Just ask for a proposal.

Distributing Newsletters

  1. Presenting the newsletter. Creating newsletters is the hard part. Now you get to pass them out. (Yes you can mail them, put them in a post, etc. But if you are seeing someone anyway, personally hand it to them–like a gift.)Now my clients expect my newsletter and they tell me they appreciate it. Always hand it to them or lay it in front of them on their desk so it is right side up and easy to read. Often I tell them a highlight or two while pointing at specific areas
    (i.e. “65% of clients leave their insurance company after a claim”). Create interest! You need them to be engaged. I often give them the highlights but if they are super busy or want to cover other subjects, just remember: you are there to help them.

H & H hope you enjoy and benefit from creating newsletters for your clients. Notify Ron Harris or Richard Church if you would like a 1 to 2 hour class taught on this subject.
HNH Newsletter-January-revised_Page_1
This article was written by Richard Church and first appeared as a post on BRC Consultants blog page.

Budget advice from USPS

One of the biggest factors in planning a direct mail campaign is how much you decide to spend. Set a budget while you plan the campaign to stay on track and deliver your message cost-effectively.

Keep the following costs in mind when budgeting for your campaign…
•Renting a mailing list
•Hiring a writer, graphic designer, or both
•Printing: compare quotes from different printers
•Alterations, retouching, and proofs of your piece
•Quality control check
•Postage costs

Find other ways to save…
•Use an efficient size and mailing format
•Remove undeliverable addresses from your list
•Use efficient address formats
•Form a tracking strategy to increase effectiveness Continue reading

Education

H & H will offer various 1 to 2 hour courses beginning in early 2014. If you have a subject that you want to know more about, contact Ron Harris by phone or the contact page. Teachers will be made up of people from our staff, associates, and others. If you want to teach a class and share your expertise in your field, please volunteer.

As business continues to evolve, continuing education becomes evermore important. Learning new concepts, techniques, and information gives you more understanding of new trends and markets. Educating yourself can also bring you more revenue as you learn new ways to connect with more people and increase your market share.

Possible Courses may include Continue reading

New Rules for Full Service Intelligent Mail Postponed

News rules for automation discount pricing that were supposed to go into effect on January 26, 2014 have been postponed until later this year. The new rules and fee structure would apply to mass mailings of First-Class postcards, letters, and flats, as well as Standard Mail and flats, Periodical letters and flats, and Bound Printed Matter flats.
After implementation, business services cannot use Basic Service Intelligent Mail, which replaced POSTNET.
visit ribs.usps.gov for more information

Direct Mail Advertising

With countless websites out there, we often depend on other media to direct us to a product we want or information we need. Ask yourself “When was the last time I looked for a website because it was broadcast over the radio, appeared on a business card or billboard, or was presented on a piece of mail?”

Direct Mail Advertising worked for decades in the past, and is still a viable way of telling others about your products and/or services. Contact us today to learn how cost-effective direct mail can be to promote your business and bottom line.