We all need to keep in touch with our customers and clients, so what better way than to send out newsletters via email. A way of introducing new products or services, informing us of upcoming events or offers, or just sharing news and reminders. After a period of being unfashionable, E-newsletters are now thought to be one of the most effective marketing strategies available. It is reported that over 66% of online customers made a purchase as a result of e-newsletter marketing – too good an opportunity to miss!
These newsletters can help you build up relationships with your existing clients (and keep you at the front of their mind), and also potentially introduce you to potential future clients – people will often forward newsletters containing content relevant to their friends, and not just special offers!
Benefits over paper newsletters
In the olden days, newsletters were printed on glossy paper and circulated via snail mail with high associated costs. While some people miss having something to touch, e-newsletters are so much more cost effective and can be circulated more easily to a much wider audience.
There are a variety of online software packages available for writing and distributing e-newsletters. A few examples are MailChimp, Constant Contact and Swiftpage. Many have free options, or for a relatively small monthly fee you can upgrade to remove the provider’s branding and get access to additional features.
Don’t fear finding content for your newsletter?
If you stop and think, a number of ideas are likely to pop into your head. For example;
- It is very unlikely that all of your customers will be aware of all of your products / services. A short article about one of your services benefits with a link to the relevant section of your website, and you never know what thought it may trigger in your customer’s mind resulting in more business for you.
- Could you offer a special discount, perhaps themed to the time of year (Valentine’s, Easter, the opportunities are endless!)? Or gift vouchers that they could purchase as a present? This has the added benefit of reminding you to keep your offers current!
- Your blog; use recent articles (or recycle old articles!).
- Other content on the web – nowadays there is very little content that hasn’t already been written! If you have seen an item that made you stop and read it, then it is likely to have the same effect on others. Include these in your newsletter, correctly identifying the author.
- Humour, reminiscences, true stories (otherwise known as case studies which somehow sound a lot more difficult to write!), welcome new customers and thank yous are all great. Whether we like to admit it, we all like insights into other people’s lives (or more plainly, gossip). You don’t have to go on a Reality show, just let people know what is going on with you, your business and your customers!
- Pictures / images are often a source of worry, but there are plenty of images available for use which are either free or cost a small fee. Of course, if you are a product based business images are easy to find. However, even service based businesses have more possible images available to them than most imagine!
You aren’t writing War & Peace!
Your content should be clear, focussed and not too formal, think of it more like a regular catch up over coffee.
Use short paragraphs rather than one long page of words.
Don’t put in too much content. Your reader’s attention will either wander or be interrupted. Also if people don’t feel they can read it quickly without delaying their own work, then they won’t start looking at it – don’t overface your audience.
If you just keep putting it off, then delegate it.
You don’t have to write it yourself! So if you just keep avoiding this task, delegate it and get on with something that appeals more – running a business is really acknowledging the areas you don’t enjoy and getting support; ‘horses for courses’ and all that!
If you would like to discuss how we can help, please give us a call.