Once you've decided that printing and distributing a newsletter is a good marketing move for your company, you need to develop a workflow for efficient newsletter development. Planning content, design/layout, and newsletter printing can seem like an arduous task for the novice; but in reality creating a newsletter is one of the easiest desktop publishing tasks when you have the right tools. Newsletter design software can help streamline the process so you can create your newsletter in no time.
Here's what you need to know about newsletter software that makes your life easier:
Consider professional tools first
If you're design savvy at all, you might want to consider employing the power of Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, InDesign or QuarkXPress to create your newsletter. These are the programs used by most design professionals, but each has a learning curve. If you have the time to invest to gain a good working knowledge of one or more of these programs, you can create compelling newsletter designs sure to catch your readers' eyes. Some online printing companies such as PsPrint offer free newsletter design layout templates that can be used with this software. In addition, there are a myriad of free and paid newsletter design templates on the market that allow you to simply change the text for a professional, print-ready newsletter.
A quick online search yields several newsletter software solutions tailored to that specific purpose. In most cases, you choose a built-in template and customize colors, text and images to your needs. Such software is probably the easiest solution to creating a newsletter, but also the most limiting - if you don't like the templates, you're stuck with the software anyway. And if you have to pay for the software, you might be better off purchasing a program that lets you create custom newsletters.
Traditional desktop publishing software
Many companies continue to rely on traditional desktop publishing software such as Microsoft Word/Office and MS Publisher to craft newsletters. This type of software is well suited to most newsletter creators, because they combine ease of use with the flexibility needed to lay out custom newsletters. Another great choice is Open Office, an open source software suite that rivals MS Office. Best of all, Open Office is free!
No matter what program you use to develop your newsletter, you need a professional printing solution to project a professional image your readers will respect. Choose the best newsletter paper stocks (80-pound and 100-pound gloss or 70-pound matte that's 50 percent recycled work well) and a newsletter mailing system that's efficient and economical. For instant pricing, you can use the tools available at PsPrint.
Take care to plan, design, and print your newsletter for powerful influence, and you'll enhance your customer relationships and boost profit margin. Contact your newsletter printing company to see what resolution your newsletters should be designed in (at least 300 dpi), what color mode should be used (CMYK, usually), and where your bleed lines, cutlines and safety area should be. Knowing these things from the onset will help you export a print-ready newsletter file that will look as spectacular off the printing press as it does on your computer screen.