A business newsletter can be a powerful tool
I firmly believe in newsletters sent in the postal mail – and was gratified to read that marketing guru Dan Kennedy agrees. He says that when your prospects open their mailbox and find something from you they can hold in their hands, it has much more impact than an email – or a link in an email to go read a newsletter online.
When that something also gives them good information or entertainment, it’s that much better.
For one thing, you can take your cup of coffee and go sit on the deck to relax and read a newsletter. A computer screen doesn’t offer that opportunity for comfort. And if you’ve included good information, your newsletter will hang around to be passed to friends or family. That means they’ll see it and think of you a few more times before it hits the round file.
However… if you’re trying to promote your business on a non-existent budget, sending your newsletter via e-mail is better than not sending it at all.
Why should you use a newsletter?
Because it is a non-threatening, soft sell method of reminding people that you’re there and that you offer something that they might want or need soon. It helps you maintain “top of mind awareness” with people who might otherwise be lost to a competitor.
What do you put in a newsletter?
It depends upon your business, of course, but here’s a starter list:
- Something personal, but not too personal! News about a class reunion you’ll attend soon or a child going off to college, or that new puppy. Just a little something to remind people about “who you really are.”
- News about your industry. If it’s real estate, give a market update. If you’re a hairdresser tell about a new development in hair care products. If you sell cars, give a sneak preview of features to expect on next year’s models. Just make it something that your readers didn’t already get on the evening news.
- News about a non-profit that you support – perhaps an event coming up or a success story.
- A few good quotes that reflect your own attitude.
- A puzzle – you can get software that lets you build crossword puzzles based on words used in your profession
- Your own thoughts about life. I used to sometimes write a column such as “20 things I love about Autumn” or “The best thing about January.”
- Seasonal tips – like reminders of things to include in your tax deductions or fun things to do on the 4th of July.
Who should receive your newsletter?
Send your news to past customers, present customers, and your sphere of influence. Then, if you serve a particular geographic area, you can expand your list and use it as a prospecting tool.
When you’re just starting out and your list is small, leave room to write a personal note on newsletters you’re sending in the postal mail. It doesn’t have to be long, just something that shows you were thinking of them specifically.
While your sales message should take up only a small part of your newsletter, this is also a good place to include notice of a special sale or a coupon. If you can make it exclusive to your readers, all the better – because it will make them feel special.