There was a time when the newsletter was the backbone of every communications program, but the advent of the Internet and other, flashier marketing avenues have overshadowed this standby in recent years.

However, the battle-tested newsletter format has advantages that no other medium can match. If you haven't yet adopted a newsletter as part of your marketing strategy, you may be missing out on more than you think.

Eight great reasons why:
1) Newsletters get read. A well-designed and well-executed newsletter program can achieve readership levels as high as 90% or more.

2) Newsletters get remembered. Recall rates for newsletters tend to be higher than those of other media.

3) Newsletters can deliver multiple messages. By mixing educational, informative articles with marketing content, you can ensure your reader stays interested throughout. Your only limitations are determined by how much information you'd like to share with your customers. And newsletters are much more cost-effective than a single-message medium.

4) Newsletters are personal. New breakthroughs have allowed newsletters to become more meaningful than ever before to the person reading them. Personalized content can be as broad as a demographic group, or as narrow as being tailored to a specific individual. Statement information, program information and more can all be delivered in a single format that not only gets your message across, but gives you the opportunity to say more as well.

5) Newsletters are affordable. Because of the way they are printed, packed and mailed, newsletters can be one of the most cost-effective ways you can reach your customers.

6) Newsletters are familiar. The intangibility of the Internet is a drawback that won't be overcome anytime soon. People like things they can hold, keep and share with others.

7) Newsletters give you a voice. Because they arrive on a regular basis, newsletters act as a constant touch point between you and your customers. They help keep your brand, style and message at the top of your customers' minds, without being overbearing.

8) Newsletters motivate readers to act. Once your company has "a face" to your customers, they'll be more inclined to continue to use your products and services. And, by including time-sensitive exclusive offers in your newsletter, you'll see even better results.

Reprinted from Strategies newsletter, 3rd Quarter © June 2003 by First Marketing, 3300 Gateway Drive, Pompano Beach, FL 33069.

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