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.