When it comes to marketing, nothing beats good old-fashioned get-in-you-hands, print. At least, nothing beats print when two things are happening. The first is that your audience is having their attention increasingly fought for in repeat attempts across multiple platforms. The second is that an older demographic still responds favorably to print; a younger demographic responds well to visually stimulating content, especially in print.
This is not to say that print replaces digital newsletters or that the two are in any way equal. The statistics for increased mobile usage shows that the opposite is true. However, if you’re wanting to completely saturate the market, you’re going to need to go all the way – and that means including a quarterly newsletter into your content arsenal.
6 Reasons You Need a Quarterly Newsletter
Consultant Michael Stamo delivers a winning blog post on his personal website, titled “6 Reasons Why Print Newsletters Will Help Your Business Prosper.” Sharing only the top 3 here (you’ll have to go to his site for the rest), these reasons offer clear and concise calls to action for any business debating how to grow their business and wondering why print would be a viable option. According to Stamo, print newsletters (1) build stronger relationships with customers, (2) they get a longer lasting marketing moment and (3) they dominate the mailbox in light of the fact that no one’s really sending print marketing materials anymore.
How to Plan Your Quarterly Newsletter
Cost becomes a factor when you’re planning a quarterly newsletter. For starters, it’s expensive to print and there’s a lot more involved logistically and a higher margin for error, which is why a slowly curated quarterly approach is best. You can curate content by looking at what’s already going into your blog content, email campaigns, along with any creative visuals you might be working on like infographics. Choose cream of the crop posts and pair it with a “culture” piece discussing either your company culture, philanthropic achievements, or local information that highlights a collaboration with another organization. You can also take your press releases and redraft them into newsletter articles. And of course, take this opportunity to discuss any upcoming events and give people a clear opportunity to get involved.
Second, you want to have a strategy. Ask yourself why you’re wanting to have this quarterly newsletter; each industry is likely to have its own agenda, and that’s completely acceptable. Understanding that you need an agenda then helps you plan how to organize, design, and distribute your newsletter. Perhaps you want to start with a specific segment, run an A/B test, increase traffic of conversion – whatever it is, your end goal will determine your strategy.
After your content strategy is determined, the next step is going over the newsletter design. The most cost-effective layout is a fold up that readers can open up into one full page. The fold-up can be either in 2, 4 or 6 equal parts; having it in three parts will just make it look like a brochure. Later on, once you’ve established your audience and can guarantee readership, it would be worthwhile to create a thin booklet that offers more in-depth content, with either editorial content, informative articles and/or rich visuals. At this point you’ll also have to shift past curating content and into developing fresh original content for your quarterly newsletter – though, of course, you should always offer a summary and even teaser copy of your best content pieces in the previous quarter.
Once you’ve developed a strategy for planning and creating your print newsletter, the next step is to market it. Market your newsletter through a sign-up landing page, and announce it in a press release, an email blast and on social media. Discuss why you’re branching out into quarterly print newsletters and what this offers your audience. As a final step, cross promote your print newsletter in your existing email strategy. Your email campaigns, for example, should include some verbiage that links to a landing page to sign up for quarterly newsletters.
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