Newsletters For Printers: Eight Things to Consider

There’s no doubt that an informative company newsletter is one of the best ways a printer can help market their services. If you’re thinking about utilizing a print newsletter to market your company, here are some things to consider.

  1. Print or email? My advice is to utilize both. Cross media. But if you just use one, consider the fact that even the best designed email newsletters fall prey to spam filters. On the other hand, if you have limited financial resources, an email newsletter is much less costly to produce and distribute.
  2. 80/20 rule. Your content should be 80% educational and 20% promotional. If your content is relevant to the services you offer, then it’s promotional without being promotional.
  3. It’s about them, not you. Your content should be more focused on providing your audience with useful information and less about the goings-on at your company. However, some company news can be beneficial to your marketing effort. Community service, milestones, new services launches, etc. are great for engagement and branding. Just try to strike the proper balance.
  4. How relevant is your content? Don’t waste your time and money sending out jokes, recipes, and generic content that has no direct relevance to the services your company provides. You just make it easier for your brand to blend in and become part of the noise. People will tune you out. The key is to stand out from your competition by promoting thought leadership, competency and trust. Your content needs to be better than your competitors.
  5. Frequency. How often can you realistically get a newsletter out the door? If it’s only email, it should be monthly. No less than bi-monthly. However, if you opt for print only or print and email, then consider if you can produce a print piece quarterly, bi-monthly, or monthly. Be realistic. At a minimum, you need to touch your audience every 90 days. Strong marketers tighten that to every 30 days.
  6. Word counts. The trend is towards shorter content. Newsletter articles should be under 500 words (maximum, shoot for 400). Email under 375.
  7. Page counts. The newsletters themselves can be single article (2 page) or multiple articles (8 pages). That’s something to consider when you determine your frequency. If you are only engaging your audience 4 times a year, consider a multiple article format with a magazine look and feel so that it sticks around longer. If it were bi-monthly or monthly, a two page format might be more realistic.
  8. Beware of the committee approach. As a print marketer once said, “the act of trying to create the perfect piece often ends up being the reason for doing nothing.”

I’ve been supplying printers and mailers with customizable, area exclusive newsletter solutions for 20 years. I’m happy to discuss your challenges, review your materials, and offer any advice.

About Patrick Whelan

Patrick Whelan is President of Great Reach Communications Inc, the leading provider of high quality customer engagement newsletter programs for the printing industry. Patrick has spent the last 17 years providing marketing programs and advice to over 400 print providers throughout North America.


  1. Hey Patrick, these are good tips, especially liked your point about emails ending up in spam boxes. That’s reason enough for any business to use a printed newsletter.

    Do you think it’s never ok to include jokes or other fun stuff that’s not necessarily business-like? For example, a printing company could use a joke about graphic design or something of that nature as long as it’s a little related to the business.


  1. […] Lead generation, baby- You probably consider sales a top priority. You’d do just about anything to boost those numbers, right? Well, blogging will help you accomplish this goal in several ways. First off, people will be able to find your posts through search and social although they might not be in the mood to purchase a product. At least not right away. These folks won’t land on your catalog printing page because they’re not looking for it yet. Maybe they’re doing research into promotional strategies or hoping to find awesome business card design examples for inspiration. Either way, you already know they’re interested in your products and services. Otherwise they wouldn’t click on your links in search results. In the online marketing world, we call this targeted traffic. The phrase refers to the kind of users you want, those who are most likely to buy something now or in the future. That doesn’t mean you try to hard sell them on your blog, but be sure to include a couple of internal links (in moderation) along with a call to action at the bottom of your article. Your CTA doesn’t have to go the sales route. For instance, your blog is the perfect place to capture emails for your promotional campaigns and company newsletter. […]

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