Does anyone read newsletters anymore? Does the time – and money – spent writing a customer newsletter result in increased sales, happier customers, or new clients?
I haven’t written, printed and mailed a newsletter for clients for a long time – a very long time. But I do write and share e-newsletters for hireCatherine clients.
Pros for Newsletters:
1. Consolidate previous marketing communications: e-letters are a great tool for consolidating previous marketing communications, including
• blogs – you spend a lot of time on blogging, e-letters can summarize your recent blogs
• social media shares you found helpful or relevant
• links to previous e-letters
2. Share industry relevant information
• articles you’ve read
• new sites you find helpful on Facebook or Twitter
• tips and information
3. New Products or Services your business is offering
• paid advertising can be a costly investment to promote and market a small business
4. Talk to current and past customers
• past customers are not necessarily former customers: they may just not have need of your services today
• engage current and potential customers by sharing quality information in a readable format that meets their needs
5. Cost-effective and time-efficient communication tool
• for small mail lists, many newsletter services are free
• posting your newsletter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn is an effective and free way to keep in contact with your audience
• e-letters can be shared, and re-shared by your clients
Cons Against Newsletters:
1. Coming up with fresh content: Your first newsletter is usually your easiest: you have lots of information to share. Quality content that is not just advertising is what separates newsletter that are read from spam.
2. Too frequent distribution: some newsletters should be sent weekly, others bi-annually. It depends. But if you have no new information to share, and even you can’t think of anything interesting to say about your business, then your customers probably don’t need to read another newsletter from you: yet.
3. Getting your customers’ email addresses can be challenging: many people don’t want to receive any more emails that they already receive. But if you provide valuable information to your clients, then they will be asking you why you’re not sending them your newsletter.
Finding a good balance between quality content and distribution frequency are key to a successful newsletter: and you control both!
What Do I Do?
I use both Constant Contact and MailChimp for my clients – I let them choose. Both are easy to use and have varying price plans based on the needed services and size of your mailing list.
True Story: One of my clients recently received a call from a contact he has not spoken to or heard from in over 5 years. But he was on the mailing list, and received my client’s quarterly e-newsletter. And when he required the services of a consultant, he called my client. And my client got the contract.
Moral of the Story: Chances are, they’re reading your newsletter. Or, at least they are aware that you’re sending it and know where to find you.