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Why Send Out a Newsletter 

Sending out relevant information to your customers when they require it allows you to
communicate key messages and offers, while entertaining and rewarding your customers
at the same time. They are an opportunity to say what you want to say, in a relaxed,
reader-friendly environment. They are an opportunity to build a customer relationship.

 

 
 
Tags:  newsletters  send out newsletters  sending newsletters 
Views:  246
Published:  November 28, 2010
 
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Slide 1: Why Send Out a Newsletter? Newsletters are a great way of building loyalty with your customers. People like to do business with companies they know, like and trust. Sending out relevant information to your customers when they require it allows you to communicate key messages and offers, while entertaining and rewarding your customers at the same time. They are an opportunity to say what you want to say, in a relaxed, reader-friendly environment. They are an opportunity to build a customer relationship. Your newsletter should entertain, advise, inform and engage your reader. The trick is relevance – it is only of interest to the recipient if it is relevant. Clever manipulation of your database helps here, as you will be able to tailor certain messages to particular audiences (see Echo Plus Database Notes). Feedback – newsletters are a great way of finding out what your customers think and feel. Invite comment - have a ‘contact us’ link on the newsletter. Newsletters can be used for a variety of purposes To communicate special offers and last minute deals, for example, a charter boat company might send out a special offer to fill up ‘last minute’ spots. To keep customers abreast of progress and happenings, for example, an events company might tell people about the most recent wedding it organized. To keep in touch with your customers – invite feedback and ask them what they think. Encourage dialogue. Reward customers – you can send vouchers and money-off coupons and offer exclusive discounts only available to readers of the newsletter. Have some fun with your customers – run a competition. Generate leads. If you are after leads for a specific purpose, for example to target them for a new product, you can ask a specific question about their use of that product in your newsletter that will ‘qualify’ the reader as a lead or not. Newsletter content - some examples of news for small companies New employees, premises, products – the key word here are being new. Anything new is news. If you move to new premises, that should be emblazoned on your newsletter. New products are also newsworthy, as are new staff members. Updates – relevant to your industry. So for example, a real estate agent would keep readers abreast of local developments planned for the area. A restaurant might advise readers about new pavement dining regulations. Awards and other company successes. Everyone loves to share in a good time. Shout about your achievements, whether they be academic (an employee passing an exam), environmental (you have obtained a certain classification) or other industry standard e.g. ISO ratings.
Slide 2: Cutting edge, state-of-the-art groundbreaking – the words might be clichéd but that’s because they have been used so often by journalists. Innovation is interesting! It could be a new way of training or a new burglar alarm not used in this part of the world before. Industry news – if your newsletter is directed at readers with a particular interest in an industry sector, provide them with updates on your industry and industry associations. The test is relevance – are they interested? Research findings – people love figures and statistics. If you have some interesting findings on your industry, company or product – share them with your readers. Point out the connectors – don’t assume knowledge on the part of your readers that you might take for granted yourself. Advice – a newsletter for a garden centre, for example, is a perfect forum to give regular, timely updates on what you should be doing to your garden now. What fruits and vegetables are in season now? Become the ‘expert’ in your industry. Events are news. They don’t have to even be your event! If something is happening that you feel is of interest to your readers – point it out (they will love you for it!). So a restaurant might point out a local Food Festival to readers. Or a hairdressing salon might direct readers to a local Wedding Expo. Company statements on an issue relevant to readers. Take a stance if it’s important to you and your customers. Ask yourself if it’s topical (don’t drag up old issues just for the sake of it). What are people talking about? For example, if local residents are lobbying for a traffic crossing outside your business for safety reasons – and you think it’s the right thing to do – get on board. Structure of the newsletter Short and sweet is best. Customers do not have time to read lengthy newsletters even if they are interesting and relevant. Keep it to two pages at most, unless you can really justify the extra time it would take the reader (e.g. an exceptional offer). A variety of short stories is better than one or two long ones. Readers can always ‘click here’ for more if they are particularly interested in a news item. People are used to scanning nowadays – give your stories a headline so readers can pick out what interests them most. They can come back to the other stories. Make it colorful and engaging but not overloaded and intrusive. You know yourself the kinds of newsletters you would like to receive on your computer. Use short sharp sentences, short paragraphs and ‘ordinary’ language. Do not use acronyms, jargon, industry specific-speak. Remember, your newsletter should inform, advice, engage and entertain. The tone of your newsletter Do not speak down to readers or patronize them. But neither do you want to come across as pompous and lofty. Try to portray your company as friendly and approachable but also knowledgeable and an authority in your field. Who should you send your newsletter to?
Slide 3: The obvious answer to this question is your database. How you create your database is critical to the success of all your e-marketing campaigns and you should read the Echo Plus notes on Database Creation before building your databases. The very fact that you have people on the same database means they must have something in common in terms of your business. The simplest database would be ‘all customers’ regardless of anything else. The beauty of the Echo Plus system is that you can split your database – once you have collected names and details - into as many sub-segments as your data will allow. Be careful of over-complicating however. Sometimes ‘all customers’ is all you need. Stakeholders and employees Stakeholders is a term for anyone with a ‘stake’ – not necessarily financial – in your company. Stakeholders can include suppliers, partner organizations and shareholders. Send your newsletter to these people as a way of keeping them up-to-date and informed of what’s going on. Employees are another very important stakeholder. They have a very important ‘stake’ in your company and are probably your most expensive asset! Send your newsletter to employees – make them feel involved and valued. Also, it’s great for customer service. If they don’t know what’s going on, how can they service customers properly! When should you send your newsletter? The Golden Rule would be - not too often. About once a month seems to be a popular choice. Anymore and you risk losing your customer’s loyalty, not gaining it. Most people are extremely busy and too-frequent contact can annoy customers rather than endear them to you. What day of the week you send your newsletter largely depends on what kind of customers you have. Although people are free to read your newsletter whenever they wish, regardless of when they receive it. The other Golden Rule would be regularity. Don’t send something and then not make contact for months. Once you build peoples’ expectations to receive a newsletter, then you have to deliver that, otherwise they will lose trust. A quarterly newsletter can work well, especially if you have a product that suits seasonal information e.g. ‘winter warmer recipes’ for a restaurant. Send it out at the same time every month i.e. the first of the month. Again, this is to do with habit – people grow to expect it. If you are sending it out quarterly, work out a schedule that suits you. A producer of farm products, for example, might work out a schedule based on the changing agricultural seasons. Need to know about suitable Search Engine Optimization packages for your small and medium business, please visit us @ Echo Digital

   
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