Create a newsletter to keep in touch with customers

Many marketing experts say that acquiring a new customer costs six to seven times more than retaining an existing customer. Keep in touch with your customers by sending a newsletter, and your customers may think of your business first when they want to make another purchase or offer a friend a recommendation.

By using Microsoft Office Publisher 2007, you can produce exactly the newsletter you want and give your customers the information they need.

In this article


First page of newsletter for business customers

The key to newsletter success

To succeed, newsletters must offer valuable information, and they should be short and to the point. To accomplish that, know your audience, and offer them what they want.

Short, frequent newsletters that contain timely information are preferable to longer, infrequent newsletters, according to Roger C. Parker, author of Looking Good in Print and Design to Sell. Newsletters should provide just enough information to encourage your customers to contact you or visit your place of business to learn more.

Try to provide something for everyone by including a variety of short articles in each issue. The variety increases the chance that at least one article will interest your audience and entice them to contact you. Or, if you know the customer segment that each recipient belongs to, target the content of separate editions of your newsletter to specific customer segments.

Top of Page Top of Page

Plan your newsletter's content

Connect with your customers and establish your credibility and authority by providing information, rather than overtly selling. Write from your customers' point of view. By focusing on what your customers want to know instead of what you want to tell them, you can increase your newsletter's impact.

When you plan each issue of your newsletter, think in terms of categories. Make a list of the types of information that your customer base finds most useful. Then try to include an article from each category in each issue. For example, your list can include:

  • Tips or how-to articles on getting more benefits from your products or services
  • An editorial about a topic of recent interest
  • Reviews of new products or announcements of new services
  • Special promotions
  • Customer news or success stories
  • An employee profile or an interview with an expert

For help with developing the content for your newsletter, see Tips for writing effective marketing publications and Tips for working with images.

Decide how you want to distribute your newsletter

You may decide to send your newsletter in e-mail or to publish it on a Web site. If you plan to print your newsletter, decide how you want to print it before you create and customize it.

If you plan to print a small number of copies of your newsletter, you probably want to print them on your desktop printer. If you plan to print a large quantity of copies, you may want to print your newsletter at a copy shop or a commercial printer. To decide the best way to print your newsletter, see Tips for printing your publication.

If you decide to take your newsletter to a copy shop or a commercial printer, discuss your project in detail with the printer first. Before you start your project, describe your project and goals, and find out your printer's requirements. Doing so prevents you from making design decisions that you later have to change. Continue to consult with your commercial printer during the design process to save time and money later.

For a list of the most important issues to pay attention to, see Tips for preparing your publication for commercial printing. When it is time to prepare your publication for handing off to the printer, see Take your Publisher file to a commercial printer.

Top of Page Top of Page

Create your newsletter

After you decide on the articles and pictures that you want to feature, it is time to produce your newsletter by choosing and refining a design, and then adding the content. Although you can create newsletters (or any other publication) from scratch in Office Publisher 2007 and distribute them in print, in e-mail, or on the Web, this article focuses on using a Publisher newsletter template to create a newsletter that you intend to print.

Choose and customize the newsletter design

  1. Start Publisher.
  2. In the Publication Types list, click Newsletters.
  3. Under Newsletters, click Newer Designs or Classic Designs.
  4. Do one of the following:
    • Click the preview image for the newsletter design that you want.

The Profile newsletter template is the starting point for the newsletter that is shown in this article.

  • Search for additional newsletter template designs on Microsoft Office Online.

ShowHow?

 Important   You must first be connected to the Internet before you search Office Online for templates.

  1. Do one of the following:
    • In the Newsletters catalog, click View templates from Microsoft Office Online.
    • In the Search for templates box, type a keyword. For example, type newsletters. In the list, click On Microsoft Office Online, and then click the green Search button.

 Note   The Search for templates box is above the Newsletters heading.

  1. Click the template that you want.

  1. Choose the options that you want for customizing your design.

 Note   If you use a template that you downloaded from Office Online, you cannot customize the design until you open the publication.

Do any of the following:

  • Under Customize, click the color scheme and font scheme that you want.
  • Under Customize, click the business information set that you want, or create a new one.
  • Under Options, click One-page spread if you plan to print your newsletter one-sided, or click Two-page spread if you want to work with a design that includes facing pages and you plan to print your newsletter two-sided or on tabloid-sized paper.
  • Under Options, select the Include customer address check box if you want the customer address on the newsletter itself for mailing rather than on a separate envelope.
  1. Click Create.

Make design changes to the layout

  1. In the Page Options task pane, under Columns, click the number of columns that you want on each page.

Changing number of columns

On the inside pages (for example, pages 2 and 3 of a 4-page newsletter), the Select a page to modify list appears. Click Left inside page or Right inside page, and then, for each page, click one of the following formats: 3 stories, Calendar, Order form, Response form, or Sign-up form.

To learn more about about working with columns, see Set up text columns by using layout guides.

  1. Under Suggested objects, click an option to insert it on the page.

Work with the text

If you already created a business information set, your business contact information and logo will automatically replace some of the placeholder text.

 Note   Business information does not automatically replace the placeholder text in templates that you download from Office Online. To replace the placeholder names, addresses, and logos with your business information, click the smart tag button Button image for a business information item, such as the company name or address, and then click Update from Business Information Set. (The smart tag button appears when you point to text or a logo.)

  1. For each block of placeholder text, do one of the following:
    • Select the placeholder text, and then type.
    • Right-click to select the placeholder text, point to Change Text on the shortcut menu, click Text File, click the file that contains the text that you want to use, and then click OK.Inserting text from file

 Note    In most cases, the text resizes automatically to fit within the text box. For example, if an article title is long, the text is automatically reduced in size so that it will fit.

  1. Adjust the text size. Do one of the following:
    • To prevent the text from resizing automatically to fit in a text box that is not connected to other text boxes, click the text box, point to AutoFit Text on the Format menu, and then click Do Not AutoFit.
    • To change the font size manually, select the text, and then click a new font size in the Font Size list on the Formatting toolbar.

For more information about fitting text in text boxes, see Turn on and off automatic copyfitting.

Office Publisher 2007 makes it easy to personalize your newsletters for each recipient — for example, with the customer's name and address, a personal greeting, or information about the customer's most recent visit to your business. For more information about how to personalize your newsletters, see Create a mail merge and Tips for personalizing your publication.

For more information about working with text, see Get text on the page in Publisher and Import text from another file into a publication.

Work with the pictures

  1. Right-click the placeholder picture, and then point to Change Picture on the shortcut menu, and then click the picture source.

Changing placeholder picture

 Tip   If you don't see Change Picture when you right-click, click the placeholder picture once until you see white circles surrounding the picture's frame. Click the picture again until you see gray circles with x's in them surrounding the picture itself, and then right-click the picture.

  1. Choose the new picture, and then click Insert.
  2. Repeat, as needed, for other pictures in your publication.
  3. When your newsletter looks the way that you want, click Save on the File menu.

For more information about working with pictures, see Tips for working with images.

Top of Page Top of Page

Prepare to distribute your newsletter and track responses to it

No matter how informative your newsletter is, it will have the most impact when you send it to the right people. By carefully qualifying the customer names on your mailing list and targeting your mailing to customers who are interested in your business, you can maximize the success of your marketing effort.

After you qualify the names on your mailing list, Office Publisher 2007 can help you create, manage, and store a single customer list by combining and editing customer lists from multiple sources. For more information about preparing and refining your mailing list, see Tips for mailing lists.

By keeping track of the responses that you get to your newsletter and understanding what prompted those responses, you can identify which stories, offers, and tactics succeeded and which did not. For more information about how to effectively track responses to your direct mail campaigns, see Tips for tracking effectiveness.

Top of Page Top of Page

Distribute your newsletter

After you create a publication in Office Publisher 2007, you have many options for distributing it:

  • You can send the newsletter in an e-mail message, either displayed in the body of the message or included as an attachment, such as a PDF file or XPS file.
  • You can publish the newsletter on a Web site.
  • You can print it on a desktop printer.
  • You can package all its component files to send to a commercial printer.

Send the newsletter in e-mail

By using e-mail, you can target an audience segment that may be difficult to reach through other methods, such as visitors to a Web site or store who provide their e-mail addresses. By using e-mail merge, you can send a more personalized e-mail message to each recipient. Or you can convert your newsletter into an e-mail message for a more unified marketing campaign. Or you can even publish your newsletter as a PDF file or XPS file and attach it to an e-mail message.

To learn more about sending e-mail publications, see Create and send e-mail publications by using Publisher. To see how a newsletter publication that was created for print can be converted for distribution by using e-mail merge, watch the demo Personalize newsletters with E-mail Merge in Publisher 2007.

To find out how to save your newsletter as a PDF or XPS file, see Save Publisher files in formats that others can view. For more information about using e-mail as part of your marketing campaign, see Tips on e-mail marketing.

Put the newsletter on the Web

If you used a Publisher newsletter template to create your newsletter, you can convert your newsletter into a Web site. To find out how, see Convert a print newsletter for use on the Web.

If you want to avoid adding the individual pages of multiple newsletter editions to your Web site, you can publish each newsletter edition as a PDF file or XPS file and link to your newsletters from a page on your Web site. For information about saving a publication as a PDF file or XPS file, see Save Publisher files in formats that others can view.

Print the newsletter

If you are printing only a few copies, you can print your newsletter on your desktop printer. If your printer supports printing on 11-by-17-inch (or tabloid) paper, you can create a folded newsletter that has 8.5-by-11-inch pages. You can use this technique with any publication size that is half that of the paper size.

Set up the newsletter to print on a desktop printer

  1. Open the newsletter publication that you want to print as a folded booklet.
  2. In the Format Publication task pane, under Newsletter Options, click Change Page Size.
  3. In the Page Setup dialog box, under Blank Page Sizes, click Booklets, and then click Letter Booklet 8.5 x 11".
  4. Click OK.
  5. On the File menu, click Print Setup, and then click the Publication and Paper Settings tab.
  6. In the Printer name list, select a printer that can print on 11-by-17-inch or tabloid paper.
  7. Under Paper, verify that the 11-by-17-inch or tabloid paper size is selected.
  8. Under Orientation, verify that Landscape is selected.
  9. Under Printing options, click Booklet, side-fold.

If Booklet, side-fold is not an available option, the selected paper size may be too small for the pages. Make sure that the paper size is twice the page size.

Under Preview, you can see how two of the pages will appear when they are printed on one tabloid sheet.

Booklet Print Setup preview

  1. Click OK.

Print the newsletter on a desktop printer

  1. On the File menu, click Print Preview to review your work, and then click Close.
  2. On the File menu, click Print, and then click the Publication and Paper Settings tab.
  3. If your printer supports two-sided printing (or duplex printing), verify that Two-sided or Two-sided, flip short side is selected under 2-sided printing options.
  4. Under Copies, enter the number of copies that you want to print.

 Note   If you are printing multiple copies of a newsletter that requires multiple sheets of paper, select the Collate check box to keep the pages in order in each copy of your printed publication.

  1. Under Print range, click All pages.
  2. Select any other options that you want, and then click Print to print the publication.

If you are printing on tabloid-sized paper, Office Publisher 2007 prints the first and last pages on one side of the sheet of paper, the second and next-to-last pages on the other side of the sheet, and so on, as shown here.

Print order

If your computer doesn't support two-sided printing, the Publisher Printer Setup Wizard starts and guides you through printing a copy of your publication in the right order so that the first and last pages are printed on one sheet of paper, the second and next-to-last pages on another sheet, and so on. When you photocopy the pages back to back, fold them, and then staple or bind them together, they will be in the right order.

Top of Page Top of Page

Build your brand with your own newsletter template

After you complete your first newsletter, you may want to save it as a template that you can use again. By creating a template, you can speed up the creation of future issues of your newsletter, and you can maintain a consistent format from issue to issue.

A template retains all of your previous formatting decisions. The template file can be opened and edited, but the new publication must be saved under a different file name to avoid inadvertently changing your original newsletter template.

Create a newsletter template from an existing publication

  1. In Publisher, open the newsletter publication that you want to use as the basis for a template.
  2. On the File menu, click Save As.
  3. In the Save as type box, click Publisher Template.
  4. In the File name box, type a name for the template.
  5. Click Save.

To see the template that you just created, exit and start Publisher again, and then click My Templates.

 Notes 

  • In Windows Vista, the default folder location for Microsoft Office Publisher templates is C:\Users\user name\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates. If you save your template to a different location, Publisher may not be able to find it.
  • In Microsoft Windows XP, the default folder location for Microsoft Office Publisher templates is C:\Documents and Settings\user name\Application Data\Microsoft\Templates. If you save your template to a different location, Publisher may not be able to find it.

Create the next issue of your newsletter from your template

  1. Start Publisher.
  2. Above the Publication Types list, click My Templates and then double-click the name of the template that you want.

If you do not see your template listed, you may not have saved it in the default template location folder.

If you saved a template to a location other than the default template location, you need to browse to the location where you saved it and open the template or move it to the default template location on your computer.

  1. Add new content by following the steps in the Create your newsletter section of this article.

 Notes 

  • In Windows Vista, the default folder location for Microsoft Office Publisher templates is C:\Users\user name\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates. If you save your template to a different location, Publisher may not be able to find it.
  • In Microsoft Windows XP, the default folder location for Microsoft Office Publisher templates is C:\Documents and Settings\user name\Application Data\Microsoft\Templates. If you save your template to a different location, Publisher may not be able to find it.

Top of Page Top of Page

 
 
Applies to:
Publisher 2007