Do Newsletters Help Your Marketing?
Newsletters act as part of your “keep in touch” marketing strategy. They provide a vehicle for keeping in touch with your current customers or clients and providing them with additional value.
The newsletter also is a good vehicle for keeping in touch with prospective customers and clients. Through the use of the newsletter you are continuing to build your relationship with the prospect. They become more and more familiar with you and your services and most importantly the value that you offer. A newsletter can also act as an incentive to build your database, especially if it is a free newsletter. On your website you can offer your “free” newsletter in exchange for the person’s name and email address. This gives you information about who is interested in your service, but not buying right now. It gives you the opportunity to develop a relationship for future work together.
Newsletters come in a variety of formats and each has advantages and disadvantages. Traditionally, companies used printed, snail mail newsletters. The big advantage of print media and snail mail is that it gets to the target. It doesn’t get caught up in spam filters and email blocks. It provides a hard copy of your information and people tend to keep well produced newsletters longer. Your newsletter could have a great coupon or article that the person wants to act on and they put it in the pile on their desk and eventually they find it, pull it out and follow-up with you. The disadvantages of a print newsletter are the costs for development, printing and mailing. It can be labor intensive for the small operation that is doing the mailing themselves. Personally addressing hundreds of newsletters is time-consuming. If you are not good with software programs, you might need assistance putting the newsletter together in a presentable format, adding to your expense, and then there are the ever rising costs of postage. You will also need to print the newsletter, professionally. Bulk mail is less expensive but comes with many rules and regulations and does not get forwarded if the address is wrong.
Email newsletters or e-zines are much less costly but have other disadvantages. The good things about the e-zine–are that they are inexpensive. You can email thousands of people for little cost. You can use an e-zine service to help with formatting your e-zine and managing your database. There are e-zine service companies that will write and produce your e-zine in it’s entirety, but this of course is more costly. Services such as Constant Contact or Aweber or 1shoppingcart, each provide you with the tools to create forms for your website that visitors can fill out and then receive your e-zine. If you create a website with a lot of traffic this is a great way to build your database and potential customer base. These companies also provide you with some great information about who has read your newsletter, how many people clicked on links in your newsletter, how many were blocked and undelivered etc. This becomes valuable information to you in your marketing and knowing who you are hitting and who you are missing. Some of the disadvantages of an e-zine are that many do get blocked by spam filters; email programs and never reaches their target. They also get easily deleted and aren’t saved in piles on the desk. It doesn’t stay in front of people.
There are many resources out there for developing an e-zine or newsletter. You can subscribe to article lists and receive a wealth of useful information that you can include in your e-zine or print newsletter. You don’t have to write each article. I have many articles of value to my readers written by other experts. You can also share your articles with these same services and increase your exposure. This continues to build your reputation, and it also improves your website ratings as you have more and more links to your site from other sites (but, that’s a whole different article).
Whether you choose the email version of a newsletter or the print version or both, you need to provide value to your clients and potential clients. Both are a vehicle for you to build your relationship and do new business or additional business. If there is no value then people will “opt-out” and won’t be interested in receiving your information. Provide valuable information, it builds your reputation as a resource and an expert. Your reputation builds your business.
Newsletters can help you build your business, if they are done well.
Compass Rose Consulting, LLC Copyright 2005, Donna Price
Donna Price, President of Compass Rose Consulting, LLC, provides business coaching to small business owners, business leaders, and work teams; using her experience as a senior level manager & extensive background working with people to achieve their goals. The focus of her work is coaching to build your business or with individuals on launching their dream. www.businessbuildersintensive.com; www.compassroseconsulting.com, firstname.lastname@example.org