07 November 2013

NOBODY READS NEWSLETTERS ANY MORE RIGHT?

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NOBODY READS NEWSLETTERS ANY MORE RIGHT?

It’s easy to dismiss newsletters as a marketing tool, after all nobody reads them right? Wrong. Nobody reads crappy newsletters that provide little valuable information. A lot of people read great newsletters that arrive in a timely way that contain information that they want and find useful.

We all have newsletters that we simply flick in the bin, but we also receive newsletters that we read on the spot, or keep and read later because we consider the information valuable.

Obviously our objective is to create a newsletter that fits the bill of being one that people look forward to receiving and they do in fact read and even more importantly, they take action from the information provided.

BUT I’VE GOT NOTHING TO SAY TO MY CUSTOMERS?

I have yet to meet a business that wouldn’t benefit from a newsletter of some kind, but one of the biggest objections is often “I’ve got nothing to say to my customers”.

If that is the truth, your business is in serious trouble. It is more about finding out what information your customers actually want.

One of the biggest faults of small businesses in particular is that they are lousy at updating their customers about new products and services. It isn’t up to our customers to figure this out, it’s up to us to tell them and a great newsletter is a very good tool to do exactly that.

SOME EXAMPLES OF WAYS TO USE NEWSLETTERS

CLEANING SUPPLIES – I recently went into a business that sells cleaning products, and lots of them. I had no idea what most of the products did, or how to use them. This business could send a newsletter out on a regular basis explaining how to use cleaning materials and even better, how to solve common problems around the house, like getting rid of certain stains, smells and other yucky stuff.

COMPUTER AND IT SERVICES – I spend my life sitting in front of my computer and often something needs to be fixed or reset. When my IT guy comes over, he spends a few minutes getting everything to work and then we have a chat. He shows me great short cuts to get things done, he tells me about the latest equipment and he shares the latest productivity apps. I keep telling him that this is all stuff that would be great in a newsletter.

RESTAURANTS – update us once a month on what is happening at the restaurant, new meals, new produce, recipe ideas, special functions, new staff members, customer profile and so on.

EVENT COMPANY – give us advice on how to run better events, everything from getting more people to attend to making sure the event runs smoothly.

INSURANCE BROKERS – share some horror stories to motivate us to take better care of our property and ourselves.

ORGANIC DAIRY FARM – tell us about your farming practices, introduce a cow or two, share some recipes and reinforce why organic food is more healthy than non organic.

MARKETING COMPANIES – give marketing tips to help educate your clients and help them to grow their businesses.

HEALTH PROFESSIONAL – give advice on staying healthy, or overcoming sickness, injuries and other health conditions.

BUT AM I GIVING AWAY MY VALUABLE KNOWLEDGE?

Absolutely – and you need to. The number one commodity in the world is information. If you provide great information, you will build a strong relationship with your customers because they see much more value in your relationship. The more you give the more you get – that has been my experience for many, many years.

REACH OUT AND ASK YOUR CUSTOMERS WHAT INFORMATION THEY WANT?

Ask your customers what kind of information they want. Make sure your newsletter is relevant, otherwise it will just get ditched. Check in on a regular basis to make sure it stays relevant.

Don’t bombard them with too much information too often. A good newsletter, in either electronic or paper format, once a month is probably enough.

Have some fun with your newsletter. Write it in the first person, make it personal, and let your customers know more about your business.

Make sure it is visually easy to read and professional.

BUT WHO HAS THE TIME TO PUT TOGETHER A NEWSLETTER?

Last but not least, if you know you are not going to commit to doing your newsletter on a regular basis, pay a few bucks and outsource.

11 thoughts on “NOBODY READS NEWSLETTERS ANY MORE RIGHT?”

  1. Kathy Joyce says:

    Thank you for the inspiration! The Newsletter has been on my to do list for weeks now….in a content driven world sometimes coming up with new material is tricky. However all I really needed to do was look at what the business has been doing; Developing new designs, delivering now into New Zealand and keeping our customers happy. Thank you again.

  2. Thanks Kathy – I think there are a lot of “older” marketing ideas that have kind of been swept aside in the world of online and social media. Newsletters are a victim of this in some ways. As I say the key is to make them GREAT newsletters, with lots of good info that is relevant to your market. Thanks so much for your feedback. Put me on your list!

  3. Dennis Doty says:

    Thanks for that Andrew. Actually I should say thanks for that a few years ago! I took your advice (from your newsletter) and started up my own for siteXcell about three years ago. Its about telco property issues so could be dry but I’ve added some personal stories and tried to make it entertaining as well as informative. I am a big fan of Top Gear and enjoy the way the boys write their stories so have tried to channel some of that, as best I can. I have a newsletter opening rate of around 40% each month and I just secured some business from a large customer that I have been trying to crack for years as a result of them receiving it and passing it around. I also have had some people actually contact me and ask that they be put on the list. Its one of the best things that I have done and I thank you for your advice.

  4. Thanks Dennis – I really appreciate you taking the time to share your feedback. That is a VERY impressive open rate, so clearly what you have to say in your newsletter is really resonating with your clients. Great stuff – glad to have helped played a role in where you are now. Cheers Dennis, Andrew

  5. Richard Olearczyk says:

    Very timely indeed Andrew, just putting an internal newsletter together today when I received this! As a small department within a large organisation your advice is completely relevant in this situation too, and given me inspiration – originally an all “tell” newsletter, now it’ll also “ask”. Cheers

  6. Hello Richard – thanks for the feedback mate. Good luck with the launch of the tell and ask newsletter. Cheers – Andrew

  7. prasad says:

    it is very good and interesting. We have the plans of sending news letters, but did not. It has laid addl. base for us to re-initiating news letters.
    thanks and regards – prasad

  8. Thanks for the feedback – time to get that newsletter out and about!

  9. Vlasta says:

    Hi Andrew, this is truly great article. I was wondering how many articles should be in a newsletter. Also is it ok to sell some of own products or services, or should it be just useful information that should be posted?.

  10. Hi Vlasta,

    I think you want to keep it to about 6 topics, and yes, I think it is OK to sell stuff, but generally put that down the list.

    Cheers,
    Andrew

    PS Great to see you today.

  11. That is a good tip particularly to those fresh to the blogosphere.
    Brief but very precise info… Thanks for sharing this one.
    A must read post!

    My blog –it Support Charlotte

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