7 Important Things to Not Put in Your Print Newsletter

7 Important Things to Not Put in Your Print Newsletter

The wrong type of newsletter content can put a bad taste in the mouths of your readers.

It may be tempting to include as much information as you possibly can in your company newsletter. But there are certain types of content that simply end up making a newsletter look bad. In the interest of making a professional print newsletter that’s both high-quality and cost-effective, there are certain things that you’d be better off leaving on the cutting room floor.

  1. Articles for the wrong audience

    Consider who your newsletter is actually targeted to, and think about your content from their perspective. Articles that appeal to employees probably won’t have as much interest for customers, and vice versa. Including technical jargon that only a certain demographic will understand is likely to alienate everyone else.

    If you try too hard to please everyone, you’ll spread yourself too thin and end up pleasing no one. Decide exactly who your target audience is and stick to what they care about most.

  2. Grandstanding

    A common mistake that writers make when creating a newsletter is spending a lot of time talking up their company. After all, what better opportunity to tell people how great you are?

    The problem is that few people have the patience to sift through a long self-congratulatory blurb with no real substance. It’s unlikely that anyone wants to read that long, grandiose letter from your CEO. Even employees of the company you’re lauding will be bored by too much proud posturing.

    It’s alright to include articles in your newsletter that make your company look good. The trick is to do it in such a way that gives actual value to the reader. Talk about positive and interesting things that your company is doing. Provide industry-related tips and pointers that your audience is likely to find useful. If you want people to know that your company has value, it’s best to show, not tell.

  3. Unmoderated content

    Ron Paul

    Ron Paul came under fire for several bigoted newsletters published under his name.

    Perhaps the greatest examples of newsletters gone wrong were published under a very recognizable name: Ron Paul.

    A company owned by the provocative politician in the late 80s and early 90s released several newsletters containing patently racist and homophobic statements. When the offensive newsletters resurfaced during Paul’s presidential bid, he claimed that he didn’t write them and in fact never read them before they were published.

    The Ron Paul newsletter controversy is rather contentious, but one thing is certain: it could have been prevented had the content simply been moderated.

    Much like e-mail, a print newsletter can’t be “deleted” after it’s already been sent, and erroneous or offensive content can cause lasting damage to your reputation. Even if you’re having someone else write your newsletter, you should always review the content before sending it to the printer.

  4. Spelling or grammar mistakes

    As you’ll discover by the time you finish this sentence, a spelling or grammar error is vary distracting to read.

    When a reader discovers one, it takes them out of the experience and lessens your authority. You should vigilantly proofread your newsletter to keep these mistakes from happening. It often helps to have a fresh set of eyes read it as well; they might notice something you overlooked.

  5. Excessively long articles

    It’s true what they say: less is more. If you find that your newsletter is approaching novel-length, it’s probably time to trim some of the fat.

    People tend to have a little more patience for longer content when reading print media as opposed to electronic, but you still shouldn’t go overboard. Keep your articles as clear and concise as possible; don’t rely on fluff or padding to make them look more substantial.

  6. Sales pitches

    Pushy Salesman

    Save the sales pitch for a more appropriate venue.

    When’s the last time that you bought a magazine just so you could read the ads? Or watched TV for the sole purpose of seeing the commercials? (The Super Bowl doesn’t count.)

    Remember that this isn’t the place to push your product. It’s called a newsletter for a reason, and advertising isn’t news. Your goal is to create a newsletter that people actually read; no one wants to subscribe to a newsletter that’s nothing but ads.

    That doesn’t mean you can’t include featured promotions in your newsletter, but they should be treated as an additional benefit rather than the bulk of the content.

  7. Private information

    It goes without saying that a public newsletter shouldn’t have anything in it that you don’t want seen by the public. But this is equally true for internal newsletters meant only for employees.

    Unlike e-mail, print documents don’t require any logins or passwords to read them, which means that there’s little to prevent your newsletter from being seen by unintended readers. Even if the newsletter is strictly internal, you shouldn’t write anything that you wouldn’t be comfortable with the general population reading. This could include embargoed news or any confidential company information.


The wrong type of content can be a dealbreaker for your readers and create complications that put your business in jeopardy. It’s best to be mindful of your newsletter’s content and filter out anything inappropriate, superfluous or unnecessary. Remember, the things you leave out of your newsletter are just as important as those you put into it.

Posted in Copywriting

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Printwand Staff
Author: Printwand Staff

Our marketing, design and printing experts are passionate about sharing their knowledge. We're eager to help make your vision a reality in print. Be sure to explore the rest of the Printwand blog for more reliable, easy-to-understand information.

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