With all our communications online, are physical newsletters now obsolete? In reality, a print newsletter still helps nonprofits boost their fundraising efforts. In addition, it also increases customer engagement with the business.

An email is easy to ignore and can go straight to the spam folder. Offering a tangible piece of paper increases the likelihood people will read it. It’s a physical memento that can create conversations and is more likely to be viewed multiple times.

Provide a Call to Action

The print newsletter should ideally include some call to action. For example, fundraisers and other events provide an excellent opportunity for businesses to bring people with common interests together. Presumably, each reader of your newsletter has a vested interest in your business, whether they work for you or pay for your goods or services. Organize events to build camaraderie and get people engaged and excited. Creating a food drive is one option.

Try to describe an event or goal in each newsletter. Doing so will give your readers a feeling of anticipation, knowing they will feel prompted to join some activity each time they pick up a newsletter. The call to action will make readers feel appreciated, and also give a sense of purpose to your business as a driver of action.

Use Consistent Branding

Readers should be able to instantly recognize your newsletter as a publication connected with your business. Use the same colors that are in your brand logo or any other branding materials you use. Having a streamlined template can help you accomplish this task, as well as make it much more efficient to create a newsletter each month. Instead of a new design every month, just switch out the text and photos from last month’s edition.

Pick one font for your text and a complementary font for your logo and headers — that’s it! Nothing looks more amateur than a newsletter with 12 different fonts and 10 different colors. A jumbled design also makes for a harder read.

Mail your print newsletter on the same day each month, or at least the same week. When your customers know when to expect a new drop, it will create anticipation and buzz. Once a month is a good sweet spot for a company newsletter, helping keep current without being overwhelming.

Personalize Your Copy and Messaging

Similar to giving your readers a sense of purpose through a call to action, personalize your newsletter with client and employee information.

For example, a pet shelter can have a spotlight in each newsletter of a newly adopted dog at their new home. The spotlight could include items such as an interview with the dog’s new owners on how their new puppy is adjusting to life outside the shelter and photos of the happy new family. On the employee side of this example, you could feature interviews with staff on how to help your adoptee transition to a new home.

Keep business jargon out of this section. Make it conversational so readers can have an emotional connection with your business.

Use Design Software

Your newsletter does not need to look like a text document straight out of Microsoft Word. There are several affordable and easy-to-use newsletter templates and software programs available.

If you have a designer on staff, or the budget to contract one, they likely are already capable of creating your newsletter in a design suite like Adobe, and will not need additional software. However, having a designer on retainer can be expensive, and for smaller businesses, just not in the budget.

In these instances, it makes sense to invest in newsletter-specific software. The templates will be easier for you to follow after a few hours of practice, much quicker than the years it takes to master a program like Adobe InDesign. The only downside is less design personalization.

Keep Information Current

One of the most significant reasons to use a newsletter template is that it allows you to edit text quickly, which makes it simple to keep your information current.

Did your company have a festive holiday party? If you’d like to include media detailing an event’s location, date and details in a print newsletter, make sure it gets out no later than your January issue.

Similarly, not sure about all the details for the upcoming Earth Day cleanup? Are you still working with varying schedules and are not sure if the event will start at 2 p.m. or 3 p.m.? Use lorem ipsum text as a filler until you can hammer out the details.

Provide Companion Materials

We’ve discussed the advantages of giving away a hard copy, but you don’t need to rely on only one form of communication. Are you waiting on all those RSVPs for the steak dinner fundraiser? Send out a companion email once the date gets closer to ensure an accurate headcount and also to keep the enthusiasm for the event alive. Hang a poster from past fundraisers so those entering can get excited about being part of a tradition. Newsletters are a strong tool, but they are only one piece of your branding puzzle.

 

Creating your print newsletter can be one of the most rewarding tasks to look forward to each month. You have the opportunity to highlight employee accomplishments or coordinating interests and generate the same excitement you have for your business in your readers. Your tone, your design, the level of effort you put in and the content you choose will be the deciding factors in how much influence your newsletter can generate. Good luck and happy crafting!

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About the author

Lexie Lu

Hello! My name is Lexie and I have a fervor for design, writing, and coffee. I graduated with a dual major in Creative Writing and Commercial Design, and through those grueling study hours (facilitated by coffee, of course) I always found time to write for myself.

My posts feature design trends throughout all industries and show how the field is always changing. There’s never a dull moment in the design world!

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