The Function of a Newsletter
August 29, 2011
by Justine Parsons
As a Virtual Assistant I use my monthly newsletter to keep in contact with existing customers, while sign up forms on my site and Facebook page encourages prospective customers to learn more about me while also receiving free information on how to improve their business administration and management. I send my newsletter electronically using www.mailchimp.com as this gives me valuable statistics on which customers are opening my newsletter, and which content they are most interested in.
Whether newsletters are delivered in the traditional leaflet format or electronically by email, they perform the same basic functions. A newsletter is a brief publication with current events and news, usually slanted toward a specific organization or a group of people with a common interest. Due to its targeted market, a newsletter can be a valuable marketing tool. The most effective newsletters are interactive, allowing readers to participate with contests, surveys and question and answer sections. As readers become involved with the newsletter’s content, they begin to anticipate the newsletter and are more open to the message.
A newsletter is an opportunity to build credibility with the target audience. A professionally designed that does not change with each issue projects a positive image. Distributing the newsletter the same day every week or month demonstrates consistency and reliability. The longer the newsletter is published, the more the audience receives the secondary message the organization is permanent. All these characteristics create credibility.
The newsletter also spotlights the company or organization. By announcing social events, goals, accomplishments and benchmarks, the focus on the company demonstrates the benefit of doing business with the organization. When the newsletter is tailored to a specific purpose, the publication’s focus on the organization’s work is more effective at creating interest in the organization. If the goal is happy employees, or increased sales, the spotlight connects the target audience to the purpose.
An important function of a newsletter is to educate readers. The idea is to teach something new that enlightens and causes action.Provide examples of or offer tips on doing something specific, announce new services with an explanation of their benefits or teach to reinforce a new skill. While educating the audience the writer takes on the position of a business adviser. As an expert, the organization’s commitment to serve the customer is communicated. Educating the audience builds trust and makes a call to action more effective.
A successful newsletter also markets, whether the marketing is subtle or blatant. Once the framework is laid showing the company’s credibility, industry standing and expertise, the marketing action is requested. Readers may be asked to sign up, call, buy now or donate. The final function of a newsletter is for all the elements to come together, creating the preferred response and adding value to the organization.