A good newsletter will increase customer retention and communicate company news, but GREAT newsletters help you interact and truly connect with your audience.
Many successful newsletters include QR Codes or unique URLs that push the prospect from the physical newsletter to find out more information online. Think of them as a teaser to a bigger prize--your business! Some newsletters offer survey questions or an "Ask the Expert" column to help increase communication between the client, customer or prospect and the company. The key is regular interaction of value with your most important asset: your customers.
Newsletter Marketing - Why Your Business Needs It
Company newsletters are a powerful tool in your marketing arsenal. Don't have one? Get one. Pronto.
A company newsletter is the perfect instrument to boost sales, cultivate loyalty and increase brand and company awareness. True customer loyalty can only be achieved through showing your customers that you are a credible source of information and have expertise in your field. Laying this kind of groundwork sets the stage for current and future sales by building a strong rapport with your customers and showing you have something to offer beyond your products or services.
A newsletter really is about staying in touch with your customers, keeping your business top of mind, and providing "news they can use." An insightful and targeted newsletter adds value, showcases your expertise and alerts them to new products, services or offers.
Marketing Your Newsletter - Where Do You Start?
Let's start at the top:
- Give your newsletter a title. This title or name will tie in with you, your company and product or services. If you are an architecture firm, for example, you may want to highlight your specialty or specific skill— "Custom Home Journal," "Green Building and Design Newsletter," or "Urban Home Monthly."
- Decide on frequency: weekly, monthly, quarterly or yearly. The more frequently you produce your newsletter, typically, the shorter or more condensed it will be. Quarterly or yearly newsletters can be content-rich pieces, and monthlies work well as one larger sheet folded in half. Obviously, the higher the frequency, the more often you'll be in front of your audience.
The Nuts and Bolts of Newsletter Content
When you have the structure of your newsletter figured out, the next step is content. As the old saying goes, "content is king", and your newsletter is no different. The body of the newsletter contains the vital "nuts and bolts" which are paramount to its popularity and credibility with your readers. These include:
Tap into the expertise within your company for the content of you newsletter; you might be surprised how diverse, talented and knowledgeable your staff really is. Regardless of what you put into your newsletter, be sure to include an appropriate point about a new product or service that connects with the theme of the newsletter. It's perfectly acceptable to do this in moderation; just don't make it a forum to showcase all of your advertising!
Bored To Tears? Don't Worry, So Are Your Customers
What you write and how you write it is critical; it provides value to your customer, seats you as a subject-matter expert, and is interesting to read. This is dangerous ground-newsletters often have the ominous reputation of being tedious, fact-filled fish-wrap, created only to promote the company. Dorothy in Accounting went on a cruise to Jamaica? You just updated your credit card system? No one cares. Tell me something useful about your company that will help me in my daily life or business. Take the time to look at your content critically, and through the eyes of your customers. Does it read well? Does it make sense? Is it content that they can take away and use?
Follow-Through Is Not Just For Your Golf Swing
Earlier, we mentioned the frequency of your newsletter delivery. Whether weekly, monthly or quarterly, stick to the program. This is a two-fold benefit: First, it gets your customers used to the routine, and they will come to expect it. Second, it keeps you constantly on your toes, looking for suitable content to include in the next newsletter, while being critical of what should and should not "make the cut."
Gain and Retain Newsletter Readers
Consistent delivery through a targeted mailing list and sign-ups will cement your schedule, and the content, look and feel of the newsletter will keep your customers coming back for more. Encourage your recipients to pass their copies along to friends and explain how to sign up on the newsletter. Or invite your readers to submit articles or ideas to keep interest high in reading each issue.
Additionally, responses to special newsletter marketing campaigns within the piece, such as specific coupons, not only offers your customers an extra reason to read your newsletter, they also give you valuable information about what newsletter marketing offers work.
Newsletter marketing can seem a bit menacing at first, but your business cannot afford to overlook the power of this strategic marketing tool. Get started today and start connecting with your customers in a whole new way.