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How to Create a Print Newsletter to Promote Your Geo Web Site

December 11, 2009Domain Services, Domaining, Domainnamewire, geo domains, print newsletterComments Off on How to Create a Print Newsletter to Promote Your Geo Web Site

Going offline to promote your city web site.

A couple months ago I sat at a cafe for lunch in Lakeway, Texas. Alone with nothing but myself and a sandwich, I grabbed a couple newsletters off the newsstand. You may have seen similar newsletters before; they’re front and back, filled with mostly useless content and lots of ads.

But I was a captive audience with nothing else to read. So I read the newsletter. Then it hit me: why not create a local newsletter, branded with my Lakeway.com web site and good quality content, and distribute it to local businesses? It would help promote the brand, allow me to sell print advertising to companies that don’t yet understand the internet, and give me the chance to meet local businesses by asking to place the newsletter in their store.

The idea worked. But fumbling through the process was time consuming. So, rather than you spending time figuring out how to produce a print newsletter, getting good content, and getting it printed, I’m going to give you the step-by-step process right here. (You’re welcome).

1. Get a desktop publishing program. I spent a lot of time looking for a program with a quick learning curve and without feature overload. After trying a couple programs, I came upon Serif’s PagePlus X4. It’s cheap, very easy to learn, and comes with lots of pre-made templates. Seriously, don’t waste your time trying out other programs unless you are a desktop publishing pro. And feel free to use my link :)

2. Get someone to write content for you. I asked a local library, which already adds its events to Lakeway.com, to write an article about its book clubs and other programming. Additionally, I did some work myself. I wrote an article on the top things to do in Lakeway with kids when it’s cold outside, and created a list of local businesses using Twitter.

3. After creating the newsletter, get it printed. This is really your only cost in this endeavor. If you print tabloid size front and back newsletters on ivory paper, it’s going to set you back about 40-45 cents per copy at Fedex Kinkos. Instead, use BestValueCopy.com, which will print and fold them for less than 15 cents each.

4. Distribute them. This is a time consuming process, but also a great way to get in front of local businesses. Instead of walking in the door with something to sell, you simply say, “I’m with city.com, and was wondering if I could leave our latest newsletter for your customers”. Out of 50+ businesses I’ve visited so far, not a single one has rejected me. Many have made room on their checkout counter for the newsletter. I was sure to point out to them if they were included in the newsletter some way, such as being listed in the Twitter article. My daughter’s Montessori school offered to distribute them in parent folders. I also left a flyer for the business owner about adding themselves to Lakeway.com. I wasn’t pushy, but mentioned that they should at least take me up on the free listing I offer. Of course, I’d like them to upgrade to a paid listing, too. You can also pay someone to distribute the flyers for you, or have a commissioned salesperson do it.

By the way, here’s a copy of the inaugural Lakeway.com Print Edition (pdf).


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