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Many companies today like to send their newsletters out via email to their clients. This is not only a good practice it makes perfect sense in today’s digital world. What is important to understand is the difference between sending an email and sending a newsletter via email.

Let’s start with the basics of a newsletter then we can get to the difference between sending an email and a newsletter.

Newsletters should be informative and consistent. You can add advertisements, discounts and specials, but the main focus of a newsletter should be news and information to keep the client interested. It does not need to only contain your own content, but could include industry or product related materials. Consistency is not the same as frequency. A newsletter should be consistent in look, feel and frequency. You do not have to send out a newsletter often, but it should be consistent and not erratic. If you send out a newsletter weekly, monthly, quarterly or even annually, the main point is to be consistent. You want your loyal clients to look forward to it and expect it.

A newsletter should have a specific format that it is used and recognizable by your audience as your newsletter. It should provide obvious branding (logo, header and footer) and most importantly, news. The format should have a template so that you can go in and simply put the photo or video in the place where it is always found, change out the text with the new information, and if you have a promotion for that cycle of newsletter, it should be in the same place in the format for promotions. The best newsletters are easy to read, concise in content and not too long or have too much information.

Do you have new information that you are sure your audience will be interested in every week? If not, then do not feel like you must send out a newsletter weekly. You want your audience to read your newsletter and more importantly, you want them to look forward to receiving it. Find the frequency that fits your business and your intended audience.

Once you have your newsletter formatted for consistency and have a set frequency for sending the newsletter, you must stick to it. Let’s say that you have your newsletter going out quarterly and in the middle of that quarter some very important information comes up that you know your audience will be interested in. At this point, you need to make a decision. Can this information wait for the next scheduled newsletter or is it so important that it needs to go out now? If it can wait, then the solution is simple, put it in the next scheduled newsletter. If it should not wait and you should send it now, then send it as an email. You can have your logo with it of course, but it should not be an out-of-cycle newsletter. Tell your audience in the subject line that this is important or newsworthy and then only put that information in the email.

The main point is that if you start sending newsletters erratically and with no clear consistency, you audience will feel like you are starting to spam them and they will either not open them or unsubscribe. An email should not look like your newsletter, but at the same time, it should like it came from your business so make sure your brand it before sending.

Receiving an email that contains important information is better then messing up the consistency of your newsletter that we want our audience to look forward to receiving, with consistent and expected content.

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