It has been said that marketing your business with the use of newsletters are a bit ‘old hat’ and are losing their value, but I don’t agree. With other forms of marketing, such as adverts, people will see your advert and look at it if they’re interested in the subject, but it will bypass lots of people. But a newsletter is a powerful tool and goes right to the heart of your business, reaching all your customers. You know they are interested in what you do as they’ve bought your products or services. As well as keeping your customers informed about what’s going on in your business, you can include special offers and highlight some of your products.
Whether you choose to send your newsletter out in print format, or as an online version on e-mail, it’s important to decide the frequency. Most of my clients send out newsletters by email on a monthly basis, so they can be a bit longer than if you are sending out something each week. The most important thing is that the content is timely and relevant, adding some sort of value to your customer. For example, I send out a monthly newsletter for a garden centre – as well as including any news about new stock and special offers, we also include monthly hints and tips on jobs that need doing in the garden that month. We’ve also run a series of articles over a few months on planning the garden for 2014 – this encourages customers to take a good look at their garden, decide what worked well last year and what didn’t, and gives advice on plants and shrubs without doing the ‘hard sell’.
Goals of your newsletter
So you’ve decided you want to send out a newsletter for your business – now you need to think about what you want to achieve. Is the purpose of your newsletter to send traffic to your website; increase engagement to your brand; create a buzz for a new product or service? The type of goals you have will help you create a more effective newsletter. For example, if you want to send more traffic to your website, you could include an excerpt from an article that will generate interest in your products and then direct them to the full article on your website, or you could just send an introductory paragraph from the newsletter, but keep the full newsletter on your website, so customers have to go to your website to read the full article. Similarly, you could give them a taster of a special offer, but point customers to your website for full details.
The content of your newsletter needs to be engaging – if you don’t keep the attention of your customers and make the content relevant to them and add value, they will either hit the ‘delete’ button or will unsubscribe. A good headline will pull your customers in, so try and make it interesting – not just ‘January’s newsletter’. It’s crucial that you use good grammar and that there are no spelling mistakes and that it is easy to read so ensure that, if you do the newsletter yourself, that it is thoroughly proofread.
Of course, a newsletter is only one of the marketing tools you can use and it’s always best to use a variety of tools to engage your customers. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the role of newsletters. Do you use them for your business?