Tips for creating a SUCCESSFUL newsletter


First off, what’s the purpose of even creating a newsletter?! Well, the main reason is to advertise current events pertaining to the business or organization. The other reasons include advertising new products and services or promotions that would benefit the user. For non-profit organizations, request monies and the purposes for the monies needed are the underlying reason.

1- Have a main theme or direction. Events and the benefit of the event for the user to attend should be listed.
2- A main story. The front page is your first impression. Start it off with a main feature to motivate or impress upon your viewer that there is more inside to review.
3- Table of Contents. Having a list of what’s inside, especially for multi-page newsletters is helpful and gives the viewer to look further into the piece.
4- Masthead. A creative title gives the viewer a way of identifying between the company/organization and other organizations. The title can be straight forward or clever. As long as the title makes sense and set on the front page.
5- Have valuable content. Stories that pertain the events/company/organization that would be of interest. For example, a jewelry store would benefit by advertising new arrival with background about the designer and the benefit of attending the store and buying/viewing this new arrival. Sometime advertising new personnel is great idea especially when it’s a service-based company/organization.
6- Calendar of Events. This is a great way of telling your viewer they are getting exclusive information on sales and promotions.
7- “Jump” your main feature to inside your multi-page newsletter. Meaning, for extensive features from the front page can be continued to inside. This makes the viewer look through your newsletter to find the continuation of the story.
8- If possible, PICTURES, PICTURES & MORE Pictures. Visual images break up large chunk of copy and make for an easier flow for the written material. Make sure create captions underneath the photos, especially if they’re people involved.
9- Date and Issue number below the masthead/title of the newsletter. This allows the viewer a point of reference in case there are time-sensitive offers and events. Example, Spring 2011….Vol. 12/Issue 1.
10- Contact information. Viewers may have questions or comments about the goings on in your establishment. Having this type of information allows your viewer to take the initiative in contacting your company/organization…thus establishing a better customer relationship. You can include this information in every story in the newsletter or establish a section somewhere before the end of the last story on the last page.
11- Check your postal regulations for label area. Money can be wasted on ill-designed address/mailing label area. Also check your permit or acquire a mailing permit to mass mail your newsletter. You may also want to inquire about mailing restrictions when it comes to folds and “tabbing” your newsletter. If they are improperly tabbed, there’s a chance your mailer will be returned thus, wasting money and time.
12- Decide whether you are going to mail monthly, bi-monthly, annually or yearly. This will also effect your design and what content is included. The usual time for most companies is bi-monthly but you can also consider quarterly as a possible option.

N2 Design Services, is a New Jersey based design company who services small businesses in Monmouth County. I am the owner and designer who believes in quality design is a small business best element for success.

Need more information or advice on your next newsletter, feel free to contact me via e-mail,


A “Vogue” approach…Things to consider for magazine advertising

Sorry for the Madonna reference. I couldn’t resist.

Because I work as an art director for a local retailer, I must get hundreds of calls a season, looking for an appointment to discuss their newest magazine publication. I figured this information would be a helpful when considering  your advertising schedule. When you’re deciding to enter the world of magazine advertising, there are a couple of things you have to consider before you submit ad direction or camera-ready layouts.

• The shelf-life.

• The circulation or amount of possible viewers that are going to be exposed to your ad.

• Delivery system – distribution.

• The amount of issues per year.

Unlike newspaper advertising where advertisements could be seen daily, weekly or bi-weekly, magazines are usually a monthly  or bi-monthly publication. When considering your content, consider the time element on your sales offers. Putting coupons into a magazine is a waste of time if the response time is only a week. Chances are, potential readers don’t read the magazine for the first couple of days and the response time is cut short. Coupons have their place but, magazines aren’t it. Your “coupon” market can usually be found search the sunday paper not a magazine unless it’s advertised elsewhere.

Keep your content informative, introducing new product or talking about current happenings occurring for your business. Talk about future events that will be happening in the next 2 months, which touches upon the other element of consideration, shelf-life.

Shelf-life refers to the life of the magazine to remain on the “coffee table”. Some magazines, especially technical magazines, can live on a shelf for years because it serves as a reference to the reader. Other magazines, certain entertainment and current events publications, usually stick around for a couple of months and then, hopefully tossed in recycling bin. Do your research. Look at what and where your competition is advertising. Also, consider you target market’s interests: if your market is 35-45, male stock traders, consider a time sensitive publication because they are the type of individual who need information in the now OR consider the technical publication aimed toward your “stock trader’s” interest such as travel or other “off-job” interests.

The delivery system is another consideration. Some publications are newsstand issues, which is issues available at the store for readers to purchase by choice. Another is subscription readers, which is a publication that readers choose to subscribe to – in some instances, this also affects the response time to offer, just something else to consider. These subscribers are loyal readers who will either hang onto, or collect, the issues longer or are saving money by purchasing the next year’s at a discounted price. These are something you may want to consider and keep in mind when you’re planning your advertising schedule.

Another way to acquire a magazine is direct mail. Some newspapers, food stores and retailers and advertorial-type publishers choose to direct mail their magazines to target markets who spend a certain amount yearly, own homes within a certain price range or even certain zip codes where property values are of a certain price range.  Readers did not choose, in some cases, to receive this publication. This is a risky situation because either the reader will enjoy the magazine and read it cover to cover or will throw it into the recycling bin irritated that junk mail had invaded their home once again. You may want to investigate further when working with these type of publishing companies as to where they are acquiring their mailing lists and what areas are they reaching as well as they’re repeat readership and overall editorial content – does it have any interesting stories or is it other companies just hocking their stuff.

Lastly, you also have to consider what the rate of publishing. Does it come out monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly. This could also affect what your ad rate is and how many people will see your ad. This will also effect what you advertise: No sense advertising Christmas Trees in the winter edition which publishes in January or swimsuits in the summer issue which publishes in July (I usually have my suit picked out by May). Not to say that these publications aren’t valid, they’re great on the shelf life aspect but, just keep in mind what your business advertising needs are when electing to go this route.

When you’re approached to run in a magazine, ask for a sample. Get the rate sheet (price and size information, distribution schedule, distribution map and ask questions. Call some of the advertisers in the magazine sample and get their input. Consider your advertising budget, magazine advertising is expensive so if your budget can’t handle more than one run, wait until you can. Consistency is key to success, usually your ad will be more successful if it is seen more often. I will do a post on designing an effective magazine ad in a future post but you may want to do your research on what was posted here first.

Any questions, comments? Feel free to contact me either by leaving a post below or my company’s fan page: N2 Design Services, on facebook.