Is your newsletter getting the attention you want?

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If you are like most accounting firms, you want to get the most bang for your newsletter buck. A quarterly newsletter often can cost a firm thousands of dollars per year to produce. Follow these tips to make sure your newsletter is read – not tossed.

1. Name your newsletter with the audience in mind. Sure, you want to get company name recognition with your newsletter, but you also want your newsletter to say something to your readers. What is your publication going to do for them? Think benefits to your readers when naming your newsletter.

2. Just the facts ma'am. When you write your newsletter's articles, be sure to keep an objective tone while presenting the facts and the benefits of an issue. Your newsletter is presenting you as an expert, there's no need to blatantly say, “Hey! We can do this for you.” Readers know the rules of the game – don't insult their intelligence with a hard sell.

3. Keep it simple. When writing your newsletter, keep your audience in mind as you communicate and educate your readers. Talk in their language and on their level. Sure, you know all the tax lingo, but do they? If your articles aren't meaningful to your readers, chances are, your newsletter won't be either.

4. Don't leave the details to chance. Proofing your document is critical. Don't solicit the firm's “grammar queen” to proofread your newsletter – it's a very important task that should be handled by a professional. An expert proofreader can handle your newsletter for as little as $50.00 per hour. Mistakes in your newsletter will leave your readers not only questioning your English skills, but possibly your professionalism as well.

5. Sizzle sells. Just like other periodicals, you want to use the front page to draw your readers in. Put something flashy on the front that will grab your audience. Remember, think of your readers. What's in it for them? A message from the president or managing partner may not be the draw you think it is.

6. Is it eye-appealing? We live in a colorful world. Make sure your newsletter is a pleasant site to see. Use graphics that are well-coordinated, not over-the-top. Ensure drop quotes match the article positioning. Use color wisely – if you opt to use three colors, be sure you are getting your money's worth.

7. Get your readers involved. Offer a fax-back form to solicit ideas from your audience. Make sure they feel that your newsletter is for them. Publish readers comments to keep them coming back for more.

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