Talk to people!
Quite simply, it’s all about communication! A newsletter, like talking or emailing, is a simple way to stay in touch with your customers. It is all about building relationships with people.
As Seth Godin says in Buy Permission Marketing – it’s about “turning strangers into friends and friends into customers”. A newsletter is a great way for companies to build relationships and begin to turn strangers into friends.
In this super-technical age newsletters might be seen as old-school! And whether it is printed and sent via post (how intriguing!), whether it is digitised and added to your website for people to download or whether it is sent as a emailer, please don’t underestimate the power of a simple well-written news item.
There are many benefits to using newsletters. Its an opportunity to remind your customers that you are still there! It’s a non-salesy way of offering a round-up of news and new products and services. In an ideal world, they will see the news item on your product or service and head to your website to investigate.
Topics which can be included in your newsletter include:
- New Products and Services added
- Sales & special offers
- Your updated Portfolio
Writing your newsletter
Firstly think about what you want to say (see the Topics above). Remember: You’re busy, other people are busy, so get to the point and don’t waffle too much! You make you may feel you have no skills at writing, but there are ways to make it interesting.
- Include a photograph
- Keep sentences short
- If you need to give more explanation don’t feel you have to write it all in the newsletter. Simply point people to your website where you can put up a longer article or snippet, or highlight your product so that people can have more information quickly.
How your newsletter should look
I’ve missed out the bit about the layout and design of your newsletter! This is because it largely depends on whether you get it printed or send out an emailer. With Microsoft Publisher, you can follow the pre-set templates which give pleasing layouts. If you need help or advice in designing and printing a newsletter, then feel free to get in touch, we can give you a price for the design, print and delivery of any printed publications you might need.
Your news as an Emailer
There are various methods of distributing a company newsletter. Nowadays, the most popular, and probably one of the cheapest, is through the use of email. You may decide to create a mailing list and then simply email each person the newsletter. However there are many online platforms which can help with the email process and will help you come across as far more professional. One of the most popular platforms is MailChimp. MailChimp lets you create templates for various emails, send them in bulk and track responses and views and this is currently FREE for up to 2000 email addresses.
Another popular platform is GetResponse, which currently has a free 30 day trial. This platform is similar to MailChimp and allows you to create audience segments to manage lists, it also lets you personalise each email rather than sending everyone a general email. There are many other emailing platforms and this article, even though it is from 2010, provides a really useful breakdown of each.
Beware about emailing your newsletter to people who have not opted in. There are rules in place for this and you must give recipients the option to opt out of receiving them which is why using an online solution makes sure you remain within the email marketing guidelines.
You may, however, choose to embed your newsletter on your website rather than emailing it out, this has the benefit that it is visible to everybody and not just people who have subscribed to receive it. It also has an advantage over emails in that some newsletters may get filtered into the spam folders of recipients so they will not see it, this cannot happen with this method.
The Riverside Foods Company is a great example of a company who effectively use newsletters to engage and inform its audience. Riverside Foods includes a lot of the usual things you would find in a company newsletter such as product announcements, offers and company updates. It also goes further by adding things such as weekly recipe ideas using ingredients stocked by the company. This is a great example of an effective weekly newsletter offering added value to its customer base.
You can sign up HERE (and type ‘newsletter’ into the contact box) to hear about all the latest news and goings on from the We Build Websites HQ.