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Electronic vs. Print: The Evolution of the Company Newsletter (Part 2 of 2)

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In part 1, we addressed the strategy behind a solid newsletter, its title, and its content. In part 2, we'll examine the importance of creative design, printing and distribution, and which medium is best—electronic or print.

Of the many marketing communications vehicles, few have been embraced more than the newsletter.

What makes a good newsletter engaging is its design and layout. More than anything else, design is what draws in the reader. Do some research and collect as many newsletters as you can. Lay them out on a conference table and separate them into piles of the good, the bad, and the ugly. Get a mixed group of people together to examine what you like and don't like about the designs.

Make a list of the colors that appeal to you, the types of graphic treatment that work well, and the font styles you find easy to read. Keep your demographic audience in mind as you do this evaluation. If your readers include people with visual impairments or aging eyes, for example, your font size and color selection will need to accommodate that audience.

If your organization has existing brand colors, using these throughout your piece will reinforce your look. Placing your logo or name on your front cover and again on the back cover will ensure that your readers always know who sent the newsletter.

Decide whether your print edition should be in two or four colors. With today's print technology, the cost to print in full color is about the same as two colors once you reach a certain quantity. Ask your print supplier for a quote based on your quantities to see where your threshold lies. Nonprofits that worry about perceptions can include a mice-type disclaimer statement that explains the rationale for full color; it should dispel the myth that anything more than one or two colors is frivolous.

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Elaine Fogel is president and CMO of Solutions Marketing & Consulting LLC, and a marketing and branding thought leader, speaker, writer, and MarketingProfs contributor. She is the author of the Beyond Your Logo: 7 Brand Ideas That Matter Most for Small Business Success.

LinkedIn: Elaine Fogel

Twitter: @Elaine_Fogel

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