The company newsletter has played the role of ambassador to customers and clients on behalf of businesses for eons. It still runs strong as a viable marketing and communication channel to current and past customers, helping you keep in touch with your loyal customers and encouraging their continued business. To help you keep with your company newsletter tradition, here are 8 tips to make each letter count.
Determine Your Newsletter Frequency
Too many newsletters can be overkill to customers. They don’t want to sort through many messages week after week. But on the flip side, if you contact your customers once in a blue moon, customers may keep your business “out of sight – out of mind.” So what is the proper newsletter frequency?
Marketing experts say that at most, a traditional paper newsletter should be no more frequent than once every three months. eNewsletters have a little more flexibility in frequency and could be sent every month, but choose this only if your business has frequent sales or seasonal product changes.
Include a Recurring Column
In a newsletter, it is wise to include a regular column, just like magazines, to develop rapport and consistently with your customers. This can be written by the business owner, or other expert offering advice, anecdotes, or simply a recap of the business for the last three months.
Highlight a Different Product/Customer/Employee
Include the human element. If you do want to highlight a product or service, show how it has helped or benefitted a customer in a short case study. This is an excellent soft sales approach that can inspire your readers to take action themselves.
Also, including a spotlight on one or two employees in each newsletter helps your customers feel more connected to your company by getting to know you better. The more connected they feel to your company and employees, the more likely they will choose you over the competition.
Choose a Clean Design
Be sure your newsletter, whether print or emailed, has a clean and attractive design that is in line with your company’s branding. When in doubt, consider the formatting and layout of the editorials of your favorite magazine. It should not include so much text that it is difficult to read. Leave lots of “white space” between text columns. Include photos, graphics, and images only if it enhances the newsletter content.
Make a Clear but Easy Sales Pitch
In each newsletter, include a product or set of products you wish to promote. It could be a “mini catalogue” near the close of the newsletter with a short set of products on sale. Or highlight a specific product/service in a brief article. Be sure you emphasize the “sale” aspect, and give a clear call to action on how to take advantage with a deadline included. You want this section to entice the customer to “save money,” rather than give a pushy sales pitch to spend their money on your products or services.
Check Your Metrics
Ultimately, like any marketing strategy, you want to know how your efforts pay off. If you send eNewsletters, you can easily track the clicks and open rates of the electronic forms. Print newsletters are more difficult to track, but there are ways to track print effectiveness by:
- Including a special offer code for your sales pitch. This will help you track how many customers take advantage of a newsletter offer.
- Include a poll in your newsletter. Be sure to include a self-addressed postage-paid envelope as well. This encourages readers to give you feedback, and helps you track response rates.
Use Industry Best Mailing Practices
It is of the utmost importance that your newsletters are viewed as valuable pieces of information, rather than dreaded spam. Make sure that the recipients of your eNewsletters opted into the mailing, both to ensure that your correspondence is well received and that your domain is not blacklisted in the future.
The best industry practice is the “double opt-in” strategy, which ensures that the customer not only wanted to opt into your mailings, but remembers that they wanted to do so too!