Newsletter Services

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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Newsletter services are designed for companies that take an active role in their customers' interests. Their goal is often to keep those customers abreast of the latest news not only with the company itself, but larger industry or business trends as well. As an example, a homeowners group's newsletter might contain specific news about an apartment building, condo, or co-op, but also reflect changes in the mortgage lending and real estate industries.

By and large, newsletter services have remained "offline" affairs for years; that is, they've required actual printing materials and "snail-mail" distribution. Anyone who's spent even a modicum of time browsing the Web already knows that the future of newsletters is virtual, for reasons that will be further explored. That doesn't mean that type-setters, print shops, and publishers are ready to hang up their hats just yet, though.

The Reason for Newsletter Services

Why exactly might a company or an individual hire newsletter services to work on their behalf? There are two major reasons, namely time and expertise. Busy owners, managers, and entrepreneurs keep a full calendar of appointments, meetings, phone calls, and in-person visits, leaving next to no time in the day to sit down and craft an eloquently worded newsletter. This leads us to reason two: even if these folks did have the time to correspond with their clients, many wouldn't know what to say or how to say it.

Newsletter services can alleviate both burdens at once. Presumably, the company that you've hired to generate your newsletters has some core competency in your chosen field. There's little sense in hiring an entertainment firm to write up news updates for the legal profession and vice versa. They also ought to have the time and resources to dedicate to the job, as it's that care and attention to detail for which you are paying.

Printing Up Newsletters

A few ambitious do-it-yourselfers take up the craft of newsletter writing, reasoning that they are better equipped to deal with their customers than any third party newsletter services ever could. While there's some good sense to this, there are also a few problems. One of these is the so-called ego bias; that is to say, a lone wolf who's handled all his or her company's business planning, accounting, marketing, and sales has no reason to believe that he or she can't also tackle a weekly or monthly newsletter.

The problem with this reasoning is that writing newsletters is typically far more involved and costly than these mavericks ever imagined. Even printing up a modest one- or two-page newsletter in a dual-color format, stuffing envelopes, building mailing lists, producing labels, procuring stamps, and getting it all in the mailbox in a timely fashion can cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars. That says nothing either about the time expended, which to some is even more precious than the money.

The Solution Is Newsletter Services

Newsletter services were intended for this very purpose. Many will offer you a standard monthly letter with articles, letters, cartoons, and editorials. Others will customize newsletters to your particular business, which can cost substantially more. The question then is whether the marginal cost of a hand-tailored newsletter is offset by the added business it brings you.

Consider that there is no greater turn-off to a would-be client than a generic ad targeted at "Valued Customer" or "Friend." If you're such a valued customer, how come the company sending this letter didn't value you enough to put your name on the envelope or in the greeting? There's a price to be paid for negligence in customer care, and it's a price too many upstart business owners simply cannot afford.

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