Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Back in the Day: "Make Your Point with Electronic Newsletters (December, 2000)

"Whether an electronic-based newsletter is in simple-text format, formatted and delivered as an email attachment, or based on the World Wide Web, your business, organization, or denomination stands to benefit in ways that will surprise you."

Fourteen years ago this month those words were penned by me and published in Small Business News, the then-print-only monthly newsletter of Small Business Hawaii. My digital publishing company, Wordtronic, specialized in providing communication solutions for Hawaii-based small businesses and non-profit organizations. I dissolved the company in 2007.

You might be amazed to learn that there were quite a few people who thought that I was crazy. 

E-newsletters? Was I serious? 

"But newsletters have always come in my mailbox, always on printed paper!" 

I correctly predicted at that time that newsletters would change over to digital format. That's something we in 2014 take as commonplace. I knew my skeptics would be wrong -and they were. 

Below is the full text of that article, published as a guest commentary in the December, 2000 edition of Small Business News. 




Make Your Point with Electronic Newsletters
by Jeffrey Bingham Mead, Wordtronic.com
Small Business News. December, 2000. 

Ruthie Chong is one of Hawaii's best known graphicanalysts. "I've been promising an electronic-based newsletter to my clients and prospects for a long time. I realized it was time to stop procrastinating."

Electronic-based newsletters make good business sense. Many businesses, organizations, even religious denominations have embraced this as a 21st-century venue for advertising as well as product and service promotion. "I used to go crazy," says Mrs. Chong. "My direct mail drops that I used to send out periodically cost me a fortune. It was cumbersome, frustrating, and wasteful."

Having an electronic-based newsletter has turned out to be a multifaceted boon. Companies, large and small, report enhanced traffic to their web sites, which in turn promotes loyalty and a forum for instantaneous feedback.

"I sincerely think that my goals in providing a published newsletter we're just the same as a retail store would have in advertising," added Ruthie Chong. 

Her published news letter, The Right Facts: Dialogue with Ruthie Chong. Maximizing the Power of Graphoanalysis in your Personal and Professional Life, has been received very positively by her clientele.

The inescapable cornerstone of an electronic newsletter is interesting and conversational content. 

"Most people today are sophisticated enough to tell the difference between bland copy and interesting, lively, and conversational copy," said Delilah Chang, a contributing editor for AtomicWord Hawaii, published by Wordtronic.com. "Let's face facts; if it's not going to be interesting, your clients and prospects will view you as a junk mailer. That's a recipe for lost business and credibility."

"My clients are very keen on content-quality electronic newsletters," says Angela Mara, marketing director for Boston-based Cohasset Financial Management. "We have found that we have a better probability of getting clients and prospective customers to our site this way."

Her firm generates much of the content internally, and it taps business partners, industry sources, and feedback from customers for free content. Her firm contracts out to Worktronic.com to organize the information, and gives it lively content and style. Electronic publishers like Wordtronic.com offer research time and services as part of its package, especially for those whose time and resources are limited. 

"For us it was a no-brainer. Since we've immersed since were immersed in our work going this route was appropriate and profitable."

Whether an electronic-based newsletter is in simple-text format, formatted and delivered as an email attachment, or based on the World Wide Web, your business, organization, or denomination stands to benefit in ways that will surprise you.


Jeffrey Bingham Mead is the founder and president of The Pacific Learning Consortium



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