Friday, December 20, 2013

Print Newsletter Meditations.

While we do not mail out newsletters the way we did in the days of Schwartz, we have continued to send out a holiday newsletter. One of the problems of a very occasional mailing is that it's hard to catch address changes. I signed up for a Pitney Bowes service several years ago that tried to catch address changes, but the service was discontinued.

As the undeliverable mailings continue to pile up, we're trying to think of how to address this problem. It can be expensive, as the newsletter isn't cheap to print, plus we wind up paying double postage. Next year I'm hoping to encourage email newsletter recipients in October to let us know about mailing changes.

So who got the email newsletter anyway? For one thing, you had to sign up for Boswell Benefits. We decided how many to send out, and then worked backwards to determine how much you had to spend to make the cut. This year it was about $65 in the last 12 months. If you signed up, you needed to come back at least one more time past your first purchase, as your initial purchase counts towards your reward coupon but is not part of your sales history. And you have to be within ready commuting distance of the store, about one hour. If you forward delivery for long periods of time, you also likely wind up falling off our delivery list. It's expensive enough to mail out the first time, but forwarding is even moreso.

As incentive, if you jump through all the hoops and actually get the newsletter delivered correctly, there's a decent coupon attached. Remember that for next year. And don't forget to bring in the coupon.

I've had friends who've bundled their newsletters with other mailings or deliveries, or even dropped them off at area retailers. I worry that it's hard to find a medium that has a similar narrowly focused base. The retailer idea is great, and every year I make a vow to do this, but time just slips away.

One day we'll use better desktop publishing software. One day we won't be overwhelmed with all our fall programming and we'll get the newsletter out in November.

But you know something? That's partly just me the worrier. It got out, and plenty of folks came back with it in hand, making holiday purchases. Thank you to Jason and Amie for their buyers' picks, to the Boswellians for selecting their favorites, and especially to Stacie for putting it all together.

1 comment:

john eklund said...

You and your team ran the nicest, happiest, most professional retail experience of the season. Thank you! Now will you please take ONE DAY OFF?