For years, CPAs in public accounting have relied on third-party organizations for their newsletters, and in many cases, this arrangement works quite well. The result is a combination of stock stories mixed with some personalization, sent to a firm's clients as part of the overall marketing plan.
Those who prefer to do things on their own may find that creating their own newsletter requires a bit more than spit and polish. One of the nation's gurus in direct mail marketing, Cheryl Woodard, has published her recommendations on what it takes-and doesn't take-to run a newsletter.
Perhaps one of the best recommendations is that a newsletter may not be the proper format for your firm. For example, she says that if you are having trouble coming up with enough topic ideas, then some other sort of one-time direct mail piece, like a brochure or pamphlet, may be the solution.
Also included are a number of Web sites that help beginners get started, including Publist.com, a directory of publications that provide good sources of ideas for newsletters. Also included are the NewslettersOnline site, a service that helps users post content, and even a source for humor, such as the Ron Coleman Cartoon Factory.