The Making of a Newsletter

We produced our 4th newsletter for the tea-room over the last week. Amy had been writing the content throughout the month of June. She did a rudimentary layout and I cleaned it up early last week. On Wednesday we started printing over 1,100 copies to be mailed to her customer base. I spent all night Wednesday (until 2AM or so) printing the first 700 copies. We wrapped up printing of the initial 1,300 newsletters yesterday afternoon. As of this moment, we still have about 100 or so to print which represent new customers on the mailing list since the last newsletter. Unfortunately we didn’t do a good job of proof-reading so there we some typos that needed to be repaired with pens after the printing… :-)

What really fascinates me about this is the cost/effort involved in making this happen. Besides the time to create content it takes about an hour to print 200 copies. The printing involves a manual duplex of two sheets and the software prints only 10 copies (20 sheets) per “paper flip”. It takes 1 hour to staple, fold, bind and stamp 75 newsletter. Data entry of 100 new entries took about 2 hours with the requisite searching for information that customers didn’t include. Thank goodness for Google Maps which can be used to verify street names and find zip codes. Our printer produces pages for $0.016 per page if I remember correctly. That’s 4 pages per newsletter (2 pieces of paper double sided.) I don’t know how much the ream of paper was, but we got at least 8 of them. The really expensive thing though is the postage. Stamps cost $0.37 and we bought 1,400 of them. Hopefully next time we will try to use the bulk mail but we aren’t quite sure how to make it happen. That should help cut down the costs but it will increase the complexity of printing and sorting.

As much as it costs in time and money, I think the newsletter is still the most cost effective advertising that we have. That, and it’s pretty cool to make it happen though I’m always surprised how much work it really takes.

The newsletter will appear here soon along with the previous editions. Take a look!

UPDATE: The current newsletter is available on the web now that the paper copies have been mailed out.


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