Part 2: Electronic Newsletters — Why you should consider using them
December 6, 2010 / Updated: December 6, 2010 / Lena Shore
This is a continuation from the previous article about Newsletters. Read Part 1: Electronic Newsletters.
What advantages are there in sending an electronic newsletter?
Keeping in Touch
Newsletters (electronic or mailed) are to keep in touch with your clients or past customers. Even if they aren’t ready to buy today, they may be ready to buy tomorrow. When they are ready, you want them to remember you and also know that you are still around. This second is increasingly important in today’s business climate. If you don’t keep in touch with your clients they may think you’ve gone out of business or move on to someone who is giving them attention.
Each time I send out my newsletter, I generate business. I get phone calls from people who had me on their to-do list or are reminded of something they need to take care of . If you are having a sale, hosting an event, providing a service, or doing something that might be of interest to a client — you want them to know about it don’t you?
When you can reach out to 700 customers with your sales message and it costs you about $15.00 — you know that’s worth it.
This isn’t to say that other marketing strategies aren’t worth it. The best marketing program is a diversified one. Physical newsletters, direct mail, and brochures are great, but consider adding electronic newsletters to the mix.
What do I put in it?
Just ask yourself, “why would my customer read this?” and you’ll be on your way. Customers (and everyone else) want to know what is in it for them. Do you give great information? Do you offer specials? Do you have a fun event lined up? Are you running a contest? Do you offer free classes? Offer them something that you would want to see.
- Speak the language of your customers. Not the language of your industry. Other people don’t know what RJ14 and CAT5 are. Don’t make your customers feel stupid.
- Try to write the way you speak. Be approachable.
- Did I mention spellcheck?
How do I make the time to do this?
For me, it’s all about scheduling. I have an extensive to-do list that I use for planning my writing time. Then, after I’ve written my articles, I use my automatic scheduler to send out my newsletter at the appropriate time. It’s easy, and low stress for me.
Keep a list
I keep a list of topics whenever I think of something — or someone I know asks me a question I think other people might want to know about too. When you get in the habit of doing this you’ll never run out of things to write about.
Hire a writer
Sometimes you just don’t have time or maybe you don’t feel like your writing is up to snuff. In these cases, hire a good writer. Unless you are formally trained, a writer can really boost your professionalism. Good writers are experienced in listening and learning about your industry. They will help you come up with ideas that will attract your customers. And, when you find a good one you will really learn to rely on them as you get to know each other better. As an added bonus, you can often use the copy they help you write for your blog, or other marketing materials. Let me know if you need any good writer references.
When I started my own newsletter my goal was to keep contact with my clients. I feel like people do business with you because they know you, and I wanted them not only to get to know me, but also to know I was still in business.
Initially I only wanted to write informative articles that might attract new clients. It’s worked out wonderfully and there have been unexpected perks like generating business I didn’t expect from current clients, and getting some extra interaction with people I enjoy. It’s been a great experience for me, and clearly one I’d recommend to others.