Producing Newsletters

7 replies
I am thinking of sending out or delivering newsletters to the businesses in the local area - you know, tips on marketing etc. and getting them back to the website to sign up for a report.

Anyone know a good (free!) way of designing these?

Or is anyone using this strategy to generate business?

#newsletters #producing
  • Profile picture of the author Alex Makarski
    I'd say Microsoft Publisher is you want to go semi-pro and Microsoft Word is you want to keep is simple. However, strictly speaking, those are not free.

    A free one would be Open Office Write.

    Or did you mean a cheap way to print them? There's no way to get that done free but you can sell ads to other professionals (accountants, lawyers, computer screwdriver people, and other b2b folks) and get to run your content for free or even turn a small profit from the newsletter itself.

    "I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand." -Confucius

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  • Profile picture of the author upnorth
    Microsoft Publishers is perfect for this.
    You can also do this in Word but it's not as fancy for newsletters.

    If you do not have these, go to your local library and use their Office Suite.
    Some print shop also offer computer rental by the hour, after they might be able to print on the spot.

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  • Profile picture of the author DrPaul
    Your local print shop always has a typesetter/Graphic designer on duty, their business almost always requires it.

    Bring in your sales copy/newsletter content on a 'jump drive' and let them develop the newsletter format.

    They will ask you to specify size, colors, and make some simple layout instructions, (single column, double, triple... single or double fold, etc.) be sure to have what you want in mind.

    If you are worried about cost, then I wold go with Alex's suggestion and sell ad space. Have the designer print a few 'one-off's with clearly designated ad spaces blanked in, and a written quote on the final delivery price.

    Chances are, you wont be the first person to have asked for this type of product. I first heard of this method of Maarketing from Don Lapre back in the 90's.

    A few things you should have with you before going to the printer, the first time. Map out exactly where you are going to place these newsletters, The number of locations, and how many you will need on the first drop. I would plan to start with 10 at each location, and plan to visit the locations again later with refills, so between 50-200 for each location during the month.

    Try to pick at least 100 locations just in town. depending on traffic at those locations you may want to reach farther afield. In rural areas I would say don't just paper the town, go for the County level, in places where the county is a days drive one side to the other, then start just the eastern or western portion of the county.

    Places to park these newsletters is wide open, think of any business or county/ township office with a waiting room, Dr's offices, Lawyers, Hair dressers, Food Courts at the Mall, Restaurants (yes, even McDonalds, but more along the lines of the Breakfast Bar Cafe that makes those great sandwiches, but takes forever to get service)

    Also figure you are going to need display hardware as well. A folded cardboard display stand is fine and the print shop can manufacture the stands to your specs and even print the name of the newsletter on it (with contact info). You can also purchase plastic stands at your local stationary store, or OfficeMax, but they tend to get very pricey.

    Once you have all of the numbers together, and add in your fuel costs for deliveries, THEN you can start to figure out how much to charge per ad space.

    Take the 'One-Off' from the printer and start collecting ads and verifying your chosen display locations. Make sure to get contracts for each.
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  • Profile picture of the author RRG
    Originally Posted by omurchu View Post

    I am thinking of sending out or delivering newsletters to the businesses in the local area - you know, tips on marketing etc. and getting them back to the website to sign up for a report.

    Anyone know a good (free!) way of designing these?

    Or is anyone using this strategy to generate business?

    I don't really recommend a newsletter for prospecting. It's one of the best (if not the number 1) ways to keep in touch with clients and warm prospects, ie people who know who you are.

    But if you are going to do it, here are a few tips:

    **Don't make it a one-shot deal. Send them one every month.

    **Don't fill it with all stuff about you, your business and your industry. Include some "fluff": jokes, cartoons, broad-interest features, lists. People love lists (. . . and the number one reason you should use my SEO services . . .") Keep in fun.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kevin AKA Hubcap
      I do a variation of this.

      Here's some hopefully helpful lessons learned I picked up along the way.


      I don't know of any "free" way of designing these besides using Open Office. Using a program like Open Office of Word won't get you the design you're looking for IMO.

      Publisher has been mentioned. Definitely a cut above but still lacking. When I started I used Apple Pages which has good templates but didn't have everything I wanted.

      For me the most important step was to get started. Take that step then look at Adobe Indesign. It can be pricey, but it will do everything you need it to and more. You can download a free 30 day trial from Adobe's website (and if you're a teacher or have a kid in school you qualify for the educational price--which is a lot lower).

      You can get great InDesign magazine/newsletter templates at Graphic River. Load these into InDesign, modify as you see fit, and your on your way.

      Graphic River Magazine Templates

      Graphic River Newsletter Templates

      I use MagCloud for printing. They're great because they charge a flat fee per page (.15 for twenty or more pages-- .20 less than twenty pages). In my experience many printers won't take jobs unless you're getting at least 250 pieces.

      Don't make the articles salesy. Provide good information. This is all about positioning you and your company as the expert.

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  • Profile picture of the author Mr. Subtle
    When you mention newsletters just about everyone thinks along the lines of something printed that's about 8.5"x11" in size.

    If you've ever produced a 4-page newsletter you know it's a lot of work.

    Why not think a little bit outside the box and produce a newsletter on a postcard. Here's a sample of a 9"x6" postcard printed 2-sides in full color:

    The advantages to you:

    1. Much quicker and easier to lay out than a "regular" 4 page newsletter.
    2. Cheap to print.
    3. Can also be used as your "business card" when making cold calls.

    The advantage to your potential client:
    1. Since all business owners are short on time most may be able to find the time to read 2 (or 3) short articles quickly. (bathroom break.)

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  • Profile picture of the author LakiPolitis
    Mr. Subtle, excellent idea. One thing I would remember when printing up your newsletter is conversion tracking. You won't know if someone googled a search term on your flyer or entered the url you give them. Make it easy to track conversions.

    Purchase a domain that's very close to yours. So for instance, you may have (off the flyer, Mr. Subtle posted), put the url on your flyer to Then set up a 301 redirect for ...plays... that points to and boom, you can track where people are coming from. Don't publicize the domain, and it won't get listed. Keep track of your flyers and promo materials that way.
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