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Bulk mail newsletters have many benefits, from helping you stay connected to your customers and branding your business for potential future customers to delivering direct-mail sales pitches and demonstrating your expertise and credibility. Nearly every business, large or small, can put the power of bulk mail newsletters to good use. The following tips, tricks, and traps will help you publish a bulk mail newsletter that's even more effective and avoid pitfalls that can hurt your return on investment:
Get a good list - Use a list of current customers, a mailing list generation tool such as the one at PsPrint, or have a list broker compile a mailing list for you.
Don't just send to customers - Current customers are good candidates for receiving bulk mail newsletters, but you can drum up more business by sending your newsletters to prospects that match your "perfect customer" demographics.
Find out who reads it - To avoid sending your newsletter to those who refuse to read it, ask your recipients to indicate that they would like to continue reading your newsletter. Do a multi-issue countdown and emphasize the benefits of receiving your newsletter (and the fact that it is free). Keep in mind that not everyone will respond, even those who read your newsletter. Try to incorporate a survey to see what your recipients want to read, or even offer something of value for free in return for a response. You can also follow up with direct phone calls.
Entertain and inform - Your newsletter should be entertaining and informative. Write on topics that appeal to, or are important to, your recipients. Offer tips, warnings and humor; and showcase happy customers whenever possible through photos, success stories and case studies. Though several companies sell pre-written newsletter content for many industries, try to localize your content if possible. This will help you connect with your prospects on a more personal level. At the very least, include an original column written by you.
Don't advertise excessively - While it's perfectly OK to advertise your products and services in your newsletter, if you overdo it you'll drown out your content, no matter how good it is. Keep advertising blocks to a minimum, and find creative ways to promote your products and services throughout the content. At the same time, make sure your newsletter content is factual and newsworthy, not just a rolling advertisement of your company. A newsletter is not a sales letter.
Don't do your own design and printing - Unless you're an expert in these fields, it's best to hire a graphic designer to bring fluidity and consistency to your newsletter. A good designer can turn your newsletter into a powerful branding mechanism. Also, newsletters that are professionally printed have a much better chance of earning you credibility and long-term sales. Use the instant price widget tools at PsPrint to compare state-of-the-art online newsletter printing options.
Don't send non-standard sizes - Find out from your printer and/or local post office what the best size is to minimize newsletter mailing costs and maximize your return on investment. Non-standard sizes typically cost more to send.
Don't pre-sort your own newsletters - You can save money by letting your newsletter printer also handle the pre-sorting and mailing of your bulk mail newsletters. You can also use your printer's mailing permit and indicia, likewise saving time and money. Bulk mail newsletters can be a cost-effective way to boost brand recognition and drive sales through the roof. Incorporate these bulk mail newsletter tips and tricks - and avoid these traps - for your next campaign.