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90 The PCB Magazine • February 2017 "Welcome to Our Newsletter!" How many times have your current or past employers wel- comed customers to the first of what was tout- ed to be a monthly or quarterly issue of your company's premiere digital publication? It's not a trick question, but it does make some of us think, "Oh yeah, whatever happened to it?" You may recall there were promises made with expectations to deliver "news you can use," that would make your customers' lives easier and more profitable. However, just like the optimism and excitement of a first date, the second date often led to dashed hopes and disappointment. If published at all, subsequent issues were deployed whenever time permitted and communicated disappointing drumbeats of sell, sell, sell. To quote the legendary B.B. King, "The thrill is gone." The promise to deliver val- ue was squashed. Opportunity for engagement was one and done—badly. Please don't fret. Most assumed you would fail. Furthermore, they expected your pompos- ity. Your company's gallant attempts to com- municate value were relegated to the dumpster of broken promises, low expectations and "me too" follow-through as witnessed by the many competitive organs that came before yours. Don't be a victim of the dumpster. This column highlights ways to create e-newsletter magic. Blast-off • Set Objectives. Why do you wish to pub- lish an e-newsletter? If the word "competitors" followed by the words "do it" is your reason, please stop reading. Dive into the dumpster now. You will fail. However, if any of your ob- jectives include raising brand awareness, gener- ating qualified leads, communicating expertise, as well as informing and educating on topics relevant to your customers, then read on! • Commit to an Editorial Schedule. Even before you write the first syllable, you need to develop a plan that outlines the edito- rial focus with assigned articles for at least the first three (and preferably six) issues. It's like de- veloping a marketing and sales plan or a tech- nology roadmap. Determine an established fre- quency and resolve to keep to it for at least 18 months. by Barry Lee Cohen LAUNCH COMMUNICATIONS E-Newsletter Magic LAUNCH LETTERS

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