Marketing professionals often think of newsletters in terms of old-fashioned things like handwritten letter or mimeograph machine. Although marketing can be influenced by fads and trends, newsletters will always be a popular choice. You can’t have direct communication with your customers if it isn’t good. It’s a great way to make your customers happy!
Newsletters are so in demand because no one is doing it. It’s possible that some marketers think newsletters are old school. Others might have tried, but failed, to put it another way. Yet others are so overwhelmed with daily emergencies that even sending out a newsletter can seem almost futiledubious analogies.
Newsletters are powerful. Take a moment and think about the benefits of newsletters. The majority of marketing communications efforts are sporadic. Your ad is not only seen by those who might be interested but also by many people who won’t want it. Brochures can reach many people, even disinterested ones.
A newsletter connects you to your true customers. Your customers’ mailing lists are gold. These are people that know your company and know what you sell. They also have the potential to give you the impression of liking what you do. This isn’t preaching to everyone, it’s fish in the barrel.
A newsletter can be considered permission to meet with your customers or have them get together at regular times.
Newsletter writing is different than writing copy to persuade. If you want to sell your product or service to non-customers, it is necessary to convince them. That level of persuasion with customers is unnecessary. You can share details about your products and services, vision, as well as your plans.
Market research of customers has shown that it is more profitable for businesses and medical practices to keep current customers than to attract new ones. These highly valued contacts are the focus of newsletters. These are your most valued contacts. Treat them with respect and the best.
A newsletter format can be confusing. Email newsletters gain popularity. They can be either sent as emails (in the body of the email), or as attachments (in the attachments a file is attached). The advantages of an electronic newsletter include the fact that it is very affordable to produce (no printing), as well as being easy to distribute (no posting).
There are several things you should consider when creating an electronic Newsletter. First, color is important when creating an electronic newsletter. Although color is expensive in the print world, it isn’t as costly as in the electronic. You can send images and charts, as well a block of text, as well. You should also not make your files complex. Emails that are large and complex can block inboxes (marketing rule number 1, it is not a good idea to irritate customers) and be slow to download. Some people regularly block popups or use firewalls to filter their mail. If an image-packed email is sent, it can be deleted from the junk file and the recipient may not have the ability to open it. Keep in mind, however, that certain handheld devices work best with some text emails and not the more complex ones.
Print newsletters are typically more expensive due to the time required for layout, printing and distribution. However, printed pieces can have a powerful effect, especially if they are targeted precisely. A good newsletter can be compared to a letter. Print newsletters can be made affordable by using digital printing technology. The beauty in a printed piece is that you can take it into your customer’s home, and leave it there to linger on a table or at their desk. It may get read a few times. Your newsletter might be shared with a friend. It is less likely that electronic documents will be shared.
There are new approaches to creating a newsletter. I subscribe to a newsletter that includes several media. Each issue opens like a collection of gifts. It often contains a photocopy or printed report. Sometimes, it also includes audio CDs. This grab-bag magazine can be a huge success if you can produce such quality content on a regular basis.
However, you may also consider other approaches. You can create an audio newsletter simply by recording the audio file and making it easily accessible on a DVD. CDs are very affordable to reproduce. An audio CD is an ideal choice for customers who spend long periods on the road.
I once received a monthly DVD newsletter. That is, I received a regular DVD with news and reports. I thought that was a waste of money, as playing a DVD required quite a bit of time commitment. I unsubscribed from the newsletter whenever the DVD got too boring or I didn’t want to hear the story. It was much harder to pick up the newsletter and “glance” at it. I found it easy to stop watching the DVDs and stopped reading the newsletter.
There are many ways to send newsletters. However, the traditional paper version is still the most practical. While most people can understand and “work” newsletters, it is still the best option. Furthermore, your newsletter has no competition from other businesses right now because they don’t seem to be doing them.
So how do you do a newsletter? Layout design can be done by a graphic designer. The layout should not be rigid, but you should make some decisions to ensure that the issues look the same (so people can easily identify what they’re reading), and to prevent you from reinventing each issue.
You can create an editorial schedule, which is basically a listing of the things you’ll publish in the next year. List any stories or topics you may want to cover. It doesn’t matter if your calendar is full; you only want to cover the most important stories. Take into account holidays and any special days in the year, so you can cover appropriate stories from school out to New Year’s resolutions.
How do you get all that material written? A writer is needed. Do not allow your newsletter to be run by volunteers. Your customers deserve the best, so you will need to hire a professional writer.
The most important aspect of your newsletter is its persistence. Every newsletter needs to be maintained, even a quarterly edition. Keep updating your editorial calendar. Keep writing stories. Keep laying out and mailing newsletters. You can’t stop working on one task until the next comes up.
Do not make newsletter a “side-project” that adds on to someone’s already busy life. You should treat it as a full-time project that requires consistent effort. You will see your team make it a priority.
Can you quantify the success of your newsletter? This is a complex question. However, there are some ways that you can measure the effectiveness of your newsletter. Consider your overall sales. With a newsletter in place, you will be able to do better. You should be doing better with a newsletter in place. There are so many factors that can influence sales that it is not always the best way to gauge them. You could try to gauge readership through offering something to those who return a returned card or to those who call a specified number. To illustrate, you might ask three simple questions and offer to send everyone who answers it a Tshirt. You will be surprised at the response rate. It is okay to get a return of 30%. It is a tremendous number. A great marketer would celebrate it. You are less likely to get more than 10%. You might not get enough or nothing from your newsletter.
Another test for a newsletter? Don’t be late or you will miss a single issue. If there are no complaints, you’re in trouble. It is a winner if the newsletter gets asked about.