Newsletters are everywhere. They come tucked in the envelope with your bank statement, they arrive via email, your kids even bring one home from school. And while they all differ in content, production and budget, they have something important in common. They arrive regularly and address a particular subject of interest to the target audience. In this article we will discuss how to create a newsletter that builds relationships.
While electronic advertising can grab your attention – there isn’t much room for explanation. Print advertising can give you a little more room but still, an immediate sale is often the sole goal. One product or service is all that can be addressed and brevity is key.
A newsletter, on the other hand, while still a sales tool, is much more than that. Its function is to keep its subscribers informed about a subject that is important to them. The newsletter compiles useful information and includes editorial commentary to make sense of it. Because of the timeliness of the information, newsletters are typically simple and styled to read quickly. They are often used as a tool for educating and building long-term customer relationships.
Produce It In-House or Farm It Out?
One of the first decisions you’ll need to make when starting your newsletter is “Can we produce it in-house?” If you have the people to write the articles and edit them for grammar and punctuation, you could be on your way. Capitalize on your staff’s expertise and share it with customers and prospects. Information should be the top priority of any newsletter. Keep the message simple and concise. Design is important too, but most people are accustomed to receiving news in a fairly basic format.
Newsletters are a great place to introduce new products. Include an article from a happy customer, give a detailed description of what makes your new product work, and most of all, give a call to action. Explain just how an order can be placed.
Increase the impact of special events or sales. The local newspaper may not want to write a story or take a photograph of your latest business event, but a newsletter can extend its effectiveness. Include pictures and quotes from some of those who attended.
When Creating Your Newsletter, Consider Frequency
Like a good website, newsletters should be interactive and timely. Consider having a survey or contest. Invite feedback about the newsletter by asking your readers what information they’d like to see. Ask them what additional services you should be offering.
Although a customer newsletter should be aimed at customers, staff may read your newsletter too, even if it isn’t specifically aimed at them. Product knowledge among sales people can improve and a general feeling of community can be enhanced.
Have your sales people prepare prospect lists and mail a copy of your newsletter. It can be an effective first line of communication into new markets. Include a response form that makes it easy to express interest in your organization. It’s a low cost way to initiate contact and possibly generate new business.
If your competitors have a newsletter, get a sample. It’s a great way to keep on eye on where they’re going, what new products or services they are offering, what management changes they have made, even what events or promotions they have planned.
Make sure your newsletter looks different from your competition. Just like the look of your store, the uniforms of your staff and the logo in your ads, your company is different. Your newsletter is a great place to show just how different you are.
How To Create A Newsletter That Achieves Your Goals
A newsletter can be a friendly reminder of who you are, what you have and where you can be found. It can increase sales to existing customers and sales to new customers. (t may be the only thing you need to get an old customer to return.) This is your chance to interact with your target audience. Impress them. Win their trust. Communicate on a regular basis and build a relationship.