I happen to live in a rural property on the Gold Coast in Australia and each month we receive a newsletter title The Tambourine Times.
It’s an A4 size newsletter (American quarter) and consists of editorial stories about life on and around the Tambourine mountains (which live on the base of).
It got me thinking about the power of good old fashion newsletter – and why every business should consider having a regular one forwarded to their database.
I realise that it’s very tempting to simply have your newsletter “online” these days and there’s nothing wrong with that.
But as we all know, the “open rates” of emails is declining because of the over-use of junk mail and therefore even in this modern day and age, it may be worthwhile for you to go back to the old fashion “print on paper.”
I don’t want even to begin to consider the number of online publications I get every week.
Most of them I possibly subscribed to but nonetheless, never have the time to read them “online.”
Others simply get spammed to me.
On the other hand, almost every newsletter that comes to me the old fashion-way (via my mail box) is read.
I only read a few articles or skim the headlines – but it tends to get more attention than most of my online newsletters.
The power of the printed newsletter.
Although I’m referring to a regular “client-targeted communications tool” as a newsletter, you don’t have to call such a publication that name of course.
You might care to call yours “Landscapers Gazette” or perhaps “Home Cleaning Tribune” – you can come up with any variation of famous newspaper mastheads or even something completely new.
Regardless of what you call your regular monthly or bi-monthly publication, the purpose is to have regular communication to your database and prospects.
I’m not saying for a moment that you wouldn’t duplicate your “newsletter” online and therefore email to your list.
You can do both offline and online to cover all bases.
Keep in mind that printed newsletters have a great “hang time” and more likely to be passed around to other people.
Indeed, some statistics show that “pass-along readership” can be as high as four to one.
What’s special about such a newsletter is that it gives you the means to truly explain what you have to sell – they let you talk to your clients and prospects about why they should use your products or services and not your competitors – and they also give you the opportunity to “entertain” if you choose to do so.
When putting together your newsletter however, you need to always take into consideration:
- What topics interests them.
- What information they may want from you.
- The common links that bond your target audience with your product or services.
- What actions you want them to take.
Similar to the rules of “social media” marketing, newsletters shouldn’t become a sell-fest, but rather an opportunity to build stories and melodrama around your products or services.
So for example, you might care to interview current clients and get them to comment on why they believe your product or services are being so helpful to them.
This gives you a terrific opportunity to go down the “before and after” path.
It might give you the opportunity to highlight the result of surveys or research – pointing out further reasons why your product or services exceed you competitors in terms of value.
Make sure you add “Wow” to your newsletter!
It won’t come as a surprise that I’m suggesting to add “some wow” to your regular newsletter.
In other words, make a special offer or have a competition which gives readers the opportunity to benefit from communication space.
It may be major prize of 6 months’ worth of your products or services or it may be a prize which can be negotiated with one of your suppliers.
Nonetheless, whatever the prize will offer, the idea is to build “anticipation” for your next newsletter, so that when your target audience picks it out of the letterbox, they immediately resonate with the publication because they know there’s going to be a chance to benefit from an offer or a contest entry.
So think about a regular monthly or bi-monthly newsletter for your client base.
Sit down and consider the sorts of stories that you can relate to your database or prospects and then consider how often you can physically put together a newsletter.
You’ll be surprised how inexpensive they are to produce (offline version), with an 8 page x A4 size publication being as low as 15 cents to print if you’re doing quantities of around 5,000 or more.
Think about the benefits that you can gain from interacting with your database and your prospects regularly like this – and I think you’ll determine that there is strong chance of a return of investment.
And if you have a problem with being a “word smith” go to www.elance.com or www.fiber.com and source very inexpensive copywriters who can take your bullet points and turn them into interesting stories.