Sending out a January newsletter is a yearly ritual for a number of people, including individuals, businesses, teachers and nonprofit organizations. Because it's the start of a new year, you may want to take the opportunity to reflect on the past and set some goals for the future. Whether you're sending the newsletter by post or email, you should pay attention to the design. Think about what your readers want and let that guide you.
If you send out a yearly family newsletter, January may be the ideal time to do so. It allows you to list all of the family news for the past year. Try including information on each of their accomplishments in separate paragraphs. Remember that the accomplishments of older children may seem greater, so play up the feats of your little ones as well. Intersperse pictures of the family throughout the newsletter. If you have a family website or social networking account, you can direct people to visit and "meet" you there, so that they can stay updated throughout the year.
When you sell products and services, January can be a tricky time to do so. On one hand, you have people making New Year's resolutions to help better themselves. On the other, people are just coming off of their holiday spending sprees and are facing shock as they open their bills, so they may be tightening their wallets. Offer discounts to encourage customers to purchase from you. If you sell a product or service that plays into resolutions---such as anti-smoking programs or fitness equipment---it's a good time to advertise those types of products.
Students have been off on a long break, so it's important to ease everyone back into the swing of things. Your newsletter to parents should welcome the students back to school. You should also talk about your plans for teaching that month and ask for any help that you may need. Give parents activities that they can do at home with their children that tie in with the things that students are learning in school.
January is a good time to sum up the accomplishments of your organization from the past year. You should also highlight the work that you still need to do, which helps people understand why their donations continue to be important. Keep in mind, however, that many people may have contributed to several charities over the holidays and may not have the money in their budget to donate to yours right now. To help get over this hurdle, establish a donation option that allows supporters to make a small monthly donation rather than one large one.
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Maggie McCormick is a freelance writer. She lived in Japan for three years teaching preschool to young children and currently lives in Honolulu with her family. She received a B.A. in women's studies from Wellesley College.