How you get your newsletter into your readers' hands is a process largely determined by the readers themselves. A newsletter produced to appeal to a mass market will have a different distribution method than one with a specific target audience. For example, a free weekly newsletter that lists current events and contains a large amount of advertising would benefit from being placed in a wide variety of places, in stacks that are easily accessible by anyone walking by. On the other hand, a newsletter being sent to neighbors in a homeowners' association could be delivered by hand to each individual home. A veterinarian might hand a newsletter to each pet owner as they check out or pay their bill.
In addition, many newsletters are mailed out using the U.S. Postal Service. This makes sense when there are a large number of readers, their location is not centralized, and you need to ensure delivery in a consistent and practical manner. There are costs involved, however. We'd like to show you how making a few simple changes can add up in the long run--in both time and money!
Learn the RopesIf you planning on mailing out your newsletter to your readers, you will first need to determine if you are eligible to use the bulk mailing services provided by the U.S. Postal Service. This is called Presorted Standard Mail and you will generally need a minimum of 200 pieces to qualify. If you are a not-for-profit organization, you will also qualify for different mailing rates. Either way, you will save over the cost of mailing your newsletter First Class. There are some upfront costs involved--you will need a permit and must pay an annual fee. So be sure that you will recoup these costs before deciding to sign up to use Standard Mail. To learn more, visit www.usps.com, where you will find information to help you decide if Standard Mail is for you. You are also able calculate rates online. You can also call 1-800-ASK-USPS or visit your local post office to learn more.
Cut Your CostsWhenever you are mailing any publication, choices you make can affect the final cost of sending it out. It makes sense that the heavier your newsletter, the more it will cost to mail. Consider choosing different weights or types of paper on which to print your newsletter. Talk with your printer, or with your paper supplier if you print yourself, to determine which paper can best serve your needs. Use space wisely when laying out your newsletter. Although a cluttered look is always to be avoided, taking advantage of your space available can benefit you in the long run. After all, the more pages you add to your newsletter, the heavier it will be, costing you more to send it to your readers. If you use an envelope to enclose your newsletter, consider changing its layout to a self-mailer. This involves folding and securing your newsletter to be able to go through the mail without an extra envelope. You will also save your own valuable time. Rather than having to stuff each envelope, you only have to have your newsletters folded. And many software programs will allow you to keep a database of your subscribers, which can be printed directly on each individual newsletter, using a mail merge function. No more labeling!
Get Some HelpIf you find that the job of preparing your newsletters for mailing is taking time away from other more important tasks, consider outsourcing this part of your newsletter production. Many printers will, for a fee, fold, label, and sort your publication for Standard Mail. Many will even deliver it to the post office. You may also find that this a job that could be contracted out. Many people are looking for part-time work they can do at home. Find someone who is reliable and you will have this task completed in no time!