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Practical Business Advice Newsletter Mar.-12  

Here is the March Practical Business Advice Newsletter. Hopefully you'll find the information informative and useful!

Please feel free to pass it on to colleagues and friends.


Tips on Creating an Email Newsletter

Creating an email newsletter is an effective, low cost way to reach your customers and prospects on an ongoing basis.  By establishing a regular newsletter, you will build an ongoing relationship and be “top of mind” when your customers or prospects have a need for your products or services. 

Here are some tips on how to put one together:

Have a Creative Newsletter Name
Be creative when choosing a name for your newsletter. Most companies create their newsletter with the same name as their company, but there are ways to improve its marketability. For example: if your company's name is Jack's Tree Nursery. "The Treehouse" makes your newsletter sound fun to read.

Use Subject Lines and Headlines that are Descriptive or Catchy
Headlines are very important in newsletters because the quality of each headline determines whether or not the corresponding article will be read. Your newsletter may have the most interesting, well-written articles, but readers may skip over them if they have non-descriptive headlines.  Bad headline: “A message from our CEO;” Better headline: “CEO expects company to double its size within three years.”

Give Free Information, Tips and Ideas
People love free information and articles on tips. These articles are also easy to write. For example you can easily find 3 tips about any topic and turn it to an article around your industry. Here are some examples:  5 Tips on How to Deal with an Overbearing Co-worker or Top 5 Questions to Ask in an Interview.

The key is to provide relevant, useful information that will assist your customers and prospects as it relates to your industry.  For example, if you’re an event planner and your market is busy corporate professionals who travel a lot, you could include updates on airport security and parking changes.

Have consistent “categories” that you use each month  - things like: one or two industry related articles, event listings, free industry information sources, quotes, etc.  This way you will only need to source content versus deciding each month what the format will be.  This will also create a consistent look and brand.

Stay Away from the Sales Hype
Your newsletter is supposed to be informative, not full of self-promotion. If the articles in your newsletter are well-written, readers won't need to be told your products/services are better. They'll see it for themselves. However, you should include a brief overview of your company (about 10% of the overall content) to continue to build awareness of what your company does.

Write in a Conversational Tone
Talk to your customers, not at them. Don't use big words and avoid technical jargon and abbreviations.

Have a Consistent Design
Use templates - templates help keep elements/content type in the same place from one newsletter issue to the next.

Don’t overload your newsletter with lots of fancy fonts and clip art. Use fonts and artwork only to lead the reader through your newsletter and illustrate your words. Choose fonts for their readability not their “coolness” and use no more than three different fonts.

You also want to ensure there is a consistent look and feel across your newsletter, other marketing materials and online presence (consistent logos, images and colours, etc.).

Your newsletter should also be published regularly.  It's vital to keep your commitment to your readers. If you tell them they'll receive your newsletter every month, make sure you live up to that promise or your company loses credibility with readers.

Provide some Visual Contrast
You need to provide some “contrasts” to catch the attention of your readers.  A headline set in the same font as the body text has no contrast. Make it bold, a larger size than of the body text and change the font so you have contrast. Then it looks like a headline and grabs your attention.

You can achieve contrast through size, font, alignment, color, shape and white space, for example.

Proofread, Proofread, Proofread
Your newsletter is a reflection of your company - its quality, service and people. Have several people proofread each newsletter so you can have several perspectives and reviews.

As a general guideline, it usually takes a non-professional writer (like me) about eight hours to research, write, edit and proof read the content for an one article newsletter (like mine).  If the writer is also doing the newsletter's design and layout, you can add more hours to the estimate. However, there are many email campaign management systems available that can help minimize time spent formatting (some examples listed in the right column).  If your company can make the time commitment, a newsletter is a relatively low cost, effective way to increase the credibility and awareness of your company by providing ongoing useful information and tips.

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If you have any particular topics you'd like to hear about in upcoming issues, your feedback would be appreciated.

Best Regards,

RoseRight-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet.  
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Rose Kasianiuk
Strategic Business Advisor
RK Business Solutions Inc.
Calgary, AB T2T 4S1
403.802.0018 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 403.802.0018 end_of_the_skype_highlighting
rosek@rkbsi.com

www.rkbsi.com

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Notable Quotes

"Let's choose today to quench our thirst for the 'good life' we think others lead by acknowledging the good that already exists in our lives. We can then offer the universe the gift of our grateful hearts."

Sarah Ban Breathnach
Author of Simple Abundance

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Rose Kasianiuk
Email: Rose Kasianiukrosek@rkbsi.com
Phone: 403.802.0018
Web: RK Business Solutions Inc.www.rkbsi.com
 
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