Is your newsletter just a waste of your time and money?

So many resources go into your publication that you’d better be doing it right, or your target audience will discard your investment for you. Here are five essentials for success.

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Newsletters are junk mail.

Newsletters are items we are quick to pitch or delete. Their value may be that fleeting sense of satisfaction we feel as the trash hits the bin. We’ve eliminated a nuisance, cleared away clutter, crossed off a “to do.”

Why, then, do so many organizations still produce newsletters?

In the past month, at home and at work, I’ve received newsletters from:

alumni associations; community organizations; churches; charitable causes; educators, parent-teacher organizations, schools, and school districts; employers; entertainers and venues; health care and insurance providers; health clubs; retailers and restaurants; service providers like financial advisors, real estate brokers, consultants and home builders; and more.

If not for their intrusion in my inbox, many of these organizations would not connect with me unless I made the effort—and I probably wouldn’t. So, presumably they’ve weighed the options and landed on a newsletter as the best way to reach me.

If your organization has reached the same conclusion, and you’re cranking out newsletters—internal or external, digital or print, frequent or occasional—you’re making an investment. Newsletters cost time and money.

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