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Meryl K. Evans

Should Newsletters Take A Vacation? Publishing During The Holiday Season
By Meryl K. Evans

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We have more than enough to do during this time of the year with many holidays happening, cooking, sending cards and letters, shopping, and most importantly, enjoying the company of friends and family. With all this, who has time to publish a newsletter? We also assume no one reads email this time of the year.

Unless your business has compelling reasons not to, holiday season is a great time to publish newsletters. The reasons include:

  • Those who are in the office are likely to have more time to read email.
  • Other publishers don't publish, giving your newsletter less competition for attention.
  • Your organization will retain stability by continuing to publish on schedule.
  • You will avoid falling into the trap, "It won't hurt to miss this one time" as "this one time" could turn into "many times."

More time to read email

My team has to have someone in the office during the five-day work week. Email and work tend to slow down at the end of November and most of December, giving those of us in the office more time to savor newsletters and articles.

Even if someone is gone during the slow periods, he or she'll still get your newsletter after returning. Things don't necessarily pick up the minute you get back from holiday vacation, so people can catch up on their emails. I do.

More attention with less competition

Many publishers take time off from publishing as they have a long list of things to do for the holidays and the newsletter is sacrificed for sanity. This means less competition for your newsletter. Take advantage of this time and make the most of your email campaign.

During this time of the year, inboxes are similar to the emails we get on the weekend: few of quality and tons of the bad emails (spam). When I was sick and didn't check my email for a whole day (this has not happened in many years!), I faced 400 emails the following day. Around 375 emails went into the junk pile.

Perceived as a good ol' reliable newsletter

Personally, I don't pay attention if a newsletter misses a publication date. For instance, if I receive a newsletter on a weekly basis and it skips one week, I don't notice it-most of the time. Some of my favorite newsletters let us know if an issue isn't going to publish or apologize after the fact.

I get a few newsletters from businesses located in Florida. None came in for a couple of weeks during the hurricane craziness. It was understandable, and they all published a note to this effect with the next issue.

Consistency is an excellent newsletter trait, so do what you can to stay that way. I admit eNewsletter Journal missed a date or month, but it isn't intentional. When this happens, I let readers know in the next issue.

Avoiding the "It won't hurt this one time " trap

You've heard this one before, right? It won't hurt if I eat this food this one time. It won't hurt if I skip exercise this one time. It's easy for "this one time" to become "many times" as you fall out of habit and get too comfortable skipping the hard work.

Stick to your schedule to avoid the temptation of getting comfortable with not putting work into a newsletter.

Enjoy the time off

The end-of-the-year holidays are a wonderful and heartwarming time of the year. Try getting your newsletter done ahead of time so you can enjoy them and have one less thing to worry about.

Meryl K. Evans is the Content Maven behind this newsletter. She is working feverishly to get her shopping done by the end of the first week of December. Her annual holiday letter is finished; the tough part is addressing the envelopes.

Ezine-Tips for January 07, 2005

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