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April 16, 2009 / jasonpinto

Once a month you love me

I had a great chat with a very dear friend the other day about “work”. Their company, like many others, has fallen upon tough times. They just do not have a lot of jobs coming in the door right now.

Well, my “marketing” antenna shot directly up when I heard this! I started asking about what the company was doing to market itself… who was its target audience… and what sort of data they had already.

After a bit of back and forth, we stumbled on a marketing activity that this company does not do – produce a monthly newsletter.

I think there are a few absolute benefits to sending out a monthly newsletter:

– It allows you to push fresh content, helping to keep your company in people’s minds
– It provides a channel to communicate with previous customers (assuming they’ve signed up)
– It lets you feed information to prospects

But most importantly, I believe that a great newsletter shows people this: that you care.  Yes, by investing time and effort to deliver quality content each month, people will recognize that you offer more than just a product or service.

I’ve once heard it said that people view how you treat them during the sales process as an indicator of how they’ll be treated once they are a customer. So, if you are willing to offer helpful content for free before they are a customer, they can only imagine what type of service they’ll receive once they are a client.

If  you are thinking about starting this type of marketing effort, it can be a bit intimidating.  But, here are a few quick pointers to help you get going:

  • Don’t sweat the design – Okay, you could spend hours and hours trying to design and layout your newsletter… Well, you don’t need to start from scratch. There are plenty of templates available. Or, hopefully you are signed up to other company’s newsletters… Identify the things they do that you enjoy. But do not feel the need to start from scratch when it comes to the look and feel (unless you have a superstar email designer on your hands, of course)
  • Content is King – Newsletters typically have a high rate of being opened and read. So, if you want that to happen with yours, then be sure to focus on delivering appealing content.

Okay, let’s stop right there —- that is a major reason why people do not send out a newsletter.. because they are afraid they cannot come up with the content.

Well, I really believe that appealing content is there for the taking – Here are a few topic ideas that may continually be available to you every month:

  • What’s new in the industry (things are always happening and changing… big businesses, technology, the news… write about how these things affect you and your customers)
  • Case Studies – as you work on individual projects, I guarantee there is a lesson learned that comes out of each one. Maybe it’s a success story, or maybe it’s a failure.  Either way, that lesson can benefit your readers.  (also, you do not have to put the client’s name, project name, etc… You can generalize these, and thus, avoid worrying that you are interfering with someone’s business)
  • General Tips on Growing Business – have you found a resource that has helped you to personally become more productive? Maybe a tool on the web… Or something in your community. Well, regardless of what your reader does for a living, they will thank you if one of these tools also helps them.
  • Company Personality – a newsletter can allow you to show off the quirky things that make your company tick. Maybe you post pictures from the company picnic, or from a booth at a recent trade show. Perhaps you interview your president and CEO.  While you may think that these types of items are “goofy”, I promise you, people will click to look at the pictures and read the q&a. If they find something about your company’s personality engaging, well, that will only increase the chances that they will keep reading what your company can offer.

If you are thinking about doing a monthly newsletter for your business, I would definitely encourage it.  It certainly does take a bit of time and effort to get it done, but it can be well worth your while.


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