How to post a newsletter without printing it
With the rising costs of print cutting into company newsletter budgets, many professional communicators have opted to reduce their number of copies or the frequency of their issues. There is another path, however, and not surprisingly, it’s a digital one.
The simple solution is to cut out the printing. Yes, you can still produce an impressive looking newsletter on a regular basis and all your stakeholders will still be reached. The solution is called an email newsletter, or e-newsletter for short.
Upload straight to your website
Design your newsletter the way you normally would – through your graphic design agency – and once you have given the final approval, request that a low res pdf be made of the final draft. This can be uploaded straight to your website. Make sure you ask your agency to activate all hyperlinks so that every website and email address mentioned is clickable. You can create a form on the webpage so that new visitors can subscribe to receive future newsletters.
These pdf e-newsletters are great if you suspect that your stakeholders will want to print pages once downloaded and take it away for further reading. It also means that there is always a repository of previous newsletters on the site, and they are always available, and won’t be lost or sent to junk mail.
Alert your stakeholders
If you wish to alert your stakeholders to your newsletter’s published status, you will need to email them all. Beware: you can be blocked for sending emails to more than 10 recipients at a time (your emails will be regarded as spam), so you’ll have to make use of a bulk emailer programme, e.g. MailChimp. Depending on the programme you use, the first 2 000 recipients are free of charge for each mailing.
Send e-newsletters directly
You could ask your graphic design agency to design an e-newsletter using a bulk emailer programme. These are quite limited in font choice and format, as they use a template. The page normally includes photos of key articles and the first paragraph of each story with a link to the full story on your website. You can ask your graphic design agency to send the emailer to your database or you can do it yourself. You should be able to track successful deliveries, your bounce rate and see how many recipients opened it. These are great because your stakeholders will see the e-newsletter in the body of their email, not as an attached document. You can also control exactly which segment of your database you wish it to be sent to.
If you have only a one-pager in mind (more like an update), your graphic design agency can design an emailer for you, which is a properly designed, hyperlinked jpeg that will be sent via a bulk emailer programme so that it appears in the body of the email. It can either link to a pdf or your website and you will also be able to track these emailers to measure your success.
Shift your mindset to digital
Before you balk at the massive shift in thinking required, consider the many benefits: you won’t have to fork out an ever-growing budget for printing; it is immediate; you cut out production time; you won’t have the headache of dealing with a print job gone horribly wrong (which is more common than you know); and you won’t have to use undelivered newsletters as an office doorstop.
So, you can sigh with relief that the newsletter is not dead, as you may have suspected with the threat of budget cuts. Rather, it has evolved to become more immediate, interactive and available to its intended audience.
If you would like a free quote to design your next e-newsletter, click here.
By Gaylene Jablonkay, Managing Editor
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