Thursday, April 09, 2009

Newsletter No. 1

I was reminded the other day of the half-dozen or more times in my career that I have been involved in the creation of a newsletter (print or electronic) that never saw its first anniversary. Most, in fact, lasted but a single issue.

In all cases the newsletter was the brainchild of a marketing manager (or a business owner wearing the marketing manager hat for the moment), perhaps inspired by an article in a trade magazine about what a great idea it is to have a newsletter to keep your company’s name in front of customers and prospects. Well, yes, that’s true, if you can sustain the effort.

And in all cases my role was confined to editing and designing the publication, not managing the flow of new articles. That was the job of the marketing person. So I’m not the one who dropped the ball.

In the end, I don’t know that any of these efforts did damage. I don’t think they were tested fairly to see if they provided a benefit, though. If a company wants to know whether a newsletter brings in more business, they have to stick with it for at least a year or two. Some marketing managers have a short attention span and are ever on to the next thing. They want some new initiative to highlight in their quarterly report to the CEO. And if the CEO doesn’t ask, “Hey, how’s that newsletter going? I haven’t seen a new issue lately,” the newsletter is going to cease to exist.

Which is a shame. Because the first issue is the expensive one.

So if there isn’t going to be a No. 5, you probably shouldn’t go to the effort of a No. 1.

Just saying.

1 comment:

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Point well taken!
The newsletter for my YA series has been going out for eight months now and I haven't missed a beat.

L. Diane Wolfe