They may come through your letterbox or through your inbox, we all get them. But the question is, do you like them?
Today I sat in the office designing a client newsletter that is emailed to their customers and posted on their website. With this issue they’ve decided to also produce a short print run, allowing them to leave a copy with potential clients following a sales visit – working for them in more ways than one.
In a very bright envelope (which the postman accidently delivered to our neighbour!) came a company newsletter. Nothing unusual about that, you may think, but you didn’t open the envelope!
I pulled out a corporate communication that was so cheap and nasty that the paper actually squeaked (it was a bit like someone running their nails down a chalk board!).
It looked like someone had produced it on their home computer and printed on their desktop printer. Everything from the day glow colours to the feel (and noise) of the paper was unimpressive.
The cover of the newsletter had no indication of who had sent this to me. A generic piece started the content about Start-Up Britain followed by a piece about hot desking. I do get the connection, but I was still none the wiser of the purpose of this communication.
This was followed by a piece about your USP which stated ‘hide your logo and replace it with your closest competitor. If it still makes sense with their logo on the top, your marketing needs a shake up and fast!’ This is fair advice, but the tipping point for me was that they actually failed to put their own logo on the whole newsletter!
Another article in the newsletter starts the opening paragraph with a lower case letter, believe me these people are just not doing themselves any favours. By now this communication is telling me, they have little attention to detail and do not want anyone to know who sent this awful thing out! In all fairness they did have their contact details on the back, but not their logo.
Don’t be put off, these communications can work really well. To start with, have a targeted mailing list, unlike this one – I had never heard of this company before! Do not send unsolicited mail, rarely is it well received.
Start with a welcome or introduction. Why are you sending this out? Does it contain offers, news, information or tips? If you want people to read it, it must be useful and well written.
Next comes the design. While some smaller companies seem to think they have the skills to design a newsletter, this is NOT the case. People study for many years to become designers, it’s not something that everyone has a talent for. I would suggest you hire a professional to ensure you end up making the right impression and having the right impact on your audience.
If you are printing it, think about the type of paper you are going to use. A decent paper stock will align your brand with quality, while cheaper, thinner paper stock won’t. Do not print it on your ink jet, there are many digital print companies out there who could print you off just a few copies that won’t cost the earth.
So what do you think? Love them or hate them?
Personally I quite like them, they keep me up to date with the latest news, but occasionally I will receive one that sets me off on a rant!
Written by Sharon Charteress