Curse Of The No-Name Newsletter

I received a paper newsletter in the mail yesterday from a local financial services firm.

It wasn’t a complete disaster (as my grandmother would say, “better than a stick in the eye”), although there were many opportunities for improvement, not the least of which was the timing of its arrival. The lead story was entitled, “Last Minute Tax Tips,” and the newsletter arrived on January 2nd (maybe it’s just really, really early for year end 2002?).

In any case, what jumped out at me the most was the title of this quarterly publication. It was called. . . (get ready to yawn). . . “Financial Report.”

Ugh. I frankly don’t know why so many companies overlook the opportunity to give their newsletters — electronic or otherwise — interesting names. Although this may seem like a trivial piece of nonbusiness fluff, I assure you it’s not. It’s all part of creating something that people will read and remember.

Imagine if Stephen King called his next book, Book #8 by Stephen King. Somehow, calling it Misery is a lot more compelling.

The purpose of a newsletter title is to create a brand, a buzz, a theme for what the publication is all about. It’s intended to give your readers (and prospective readers) a sense of its contents.

When you give it a name like “Financial Report,” or “Community Bank’s Monthly Newsletter,” or something else plain vanilla and generic, you do nothing to differentiate yourself from your competitors, who are all selling essentially the same services as you.

Bottom Line: Don’t be shy when you name your newsletter. Come up with something catchy and clever that people will think about, tell their friends about, and remember. Small business marketing is largely about standing out from the crowd, and your newsletter title is a key piece to making that happen.

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