Newsletters are a long standing tool in the marketing arsenal. In these times of junk mail, spam and dinnertime telemarketing, use newsletters ineffectively and you risk alienating existing or potential customers. Implement a newsletter plan appropriately and you can achieve long term benefits that are reflected in your bottom line.
Leverage the “letter” in newsletter. Newsletters are not flyers, postcards or thirty-second radio spots. Make the most of the communications tool by directly addressing your target market with clear, concise and appropriate content that leaves them better than what they were before reading it. Make it personal, direct and relevant.
Don’t forget the “news”. A well done newsletter is one of a planned series with an established editorial calendar that provides timely information about your product or service and how it applies to the reader. Share new product information, service announcements and upcoming events. Each edition should be a fresh read that doesn’t reiterate previous versions or trump upcoming ones.
Inform, educate, elevate. Use the tool to educate your customers about hot topics or advancements in your industry. Promote your expertise by educating readers and you will earn a position of credibility making your company an invaluable, sought after resource. The goal is not only to be recognized, but to be chosen above competitors.
Give it legs. The more eyes on your newsletter the better; give readers a reason to share. Include striking graphics, local event calendars, incentive offers and bulleted how-to’s. Be it in print or online, one goal of a solid newsletter is to have it forwarded, hung on the office refrigerator or left on the conference room table.
Be mindful. In addition to promoting brand recognition and product information, newsletters also communicate “soft” facts about your business including image and culture, views on customers and the company’s grasp of public information needs. While the design should be in keeping with the company’s branding, boast the logo and include contact information, the overall newsletter must also reflect the customer base with appropriate tone, language, reading level and topic.
Examples of local businesses leveraging newsletters to build a customer base, publicize expertise and share time sensitive announcements:
- State Street Bank’s monthly securities lending publication: Market Perspectives
- The Boston Harbor Hotel Winter 2009 publication
- Habitat for Humanity Greater Boston Fall 2009 publication
Newsletters are advertisements. Successful newsletters are educational tools that capture, persuade and maintain a customer readership.