with clients, members, donors, prospects and others! This may sound like an obvious statement, and yet for many organizations in the past year or more, there has been a trend to reduce costs by eliminating various marketing tools. One of the most basic has been that of printed newsletters – especially for associations, non-profits and other membership organizations.
In most cases the replacement for the printed newsletter is an e-mail blast – which is a good thing. This alternate form of communication is often more timely and allows for integration with internet in ways that can fully engage the readers. This integration might include links to expanded articles, related web sites, photo albums, and video. On the other hand though, the typical distribution for e-mail broadcasts are somewhat limited and are subject to spam filters.
In contrast, the printed newsletter has proven to still have strong impact with most readers. It is easier to pass along to others and remains in circulation longer. In many cases organizations will also piggyback other materials with the newsletter to help share the distribution costs.
Either format though offers an opportunity to not only stay in contact with your audience, they also allow for helping to reinforce your brand and communicate your value. The content included should be chosen to reinforce why the recipient is part of your organization – what benefits they receive, how they can interact with others in the organization, and who else is involved that they could be connected with.
Almost no other form of communication offers you the “blatant” permission to build your image with members, donors, clients as does a newsletter. If you already are using this medium, look at how to strengthen or renew the publication – whether in print or via e-mail. If you do not currently have an ongoing newsletter, or have canceled it as a way of saving money, look to develop one soon – you will be glad you did!