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Newsletters are a great way to establish a new, more personal relationship with your customers. You can keep them up to date on your products and services, give them a little insight into the lives of your employees, and much more. For example, you can “spotlight” one individual in each issue, talking about their interests, families, etc. I think it’s a nice touch to let your customers know more about the people that they deal with; it has a nice “touchy-feely” quality to it and makes the business experience a little more personal.

Another thing you can do with a newsletter is offer specials, provide information about your operating schedule and any vacations or planned special closures. Are you getting new equipment that your customers might be interested in? Are you adding a new department to better handle such-and-such? What about new products or services, or modifications to existing products and services? All of these things and a lot more make your newsletter interesting for customers.

How should you send your newsletter; U.S. mail or e-mail? There are definite advantages and disadvantages to both. U.S. mail has the advantage of being universal: everyone has a mailing address. The disadvantages are that it is relatively slow, and also expensive because you have to pay for postage and printing, plus the labor to get it in the mail. E-mail has the advantage of being free (no postage or printing) and fast, but not everyone has an e-mail address and some that do are sick of junk mail and may accidentally delete your message because they think it is spam.

But…

Every time you get in front of your customers you are making an impression on them; will your newsletter create a good impression or a bad one? Sure, the information is important to build rapport, confidence, and loyalty, but what if it is poorly written or poorly edited? What kind of image are you creating if your newsletter is full of grammatical, punctuation, and/or spelling errors? I know what kind of impression that type of newsletter leaves on me, and believe me you don’t want to do that to your customers!

There is a wonderful restaurant near my home that my wife and I just love. The food is terrific, the prices reasonable, and the service impeccable. The owner recently came by our table and gave us a newsletter that she had just finished. It was very newsy, explaining the origin of the name of the restaurant, news about menu changes, and other interesting items that we enjoyed because we enjoy the restaurant.

But it was difficult to read, for me anyway, because there were so many grammatical and spelling errors. It was embarrassing, I’m not kidding. You know how uncomfortable you feel when you are watching an entertainer that’s bombing terribly? That’s how I felt reading this newsletter.

Typographical errors are one thing. Ignorance and poor education are quite another. I can certainly understand an occasional misspelled or omitted word, but this newsletter had 40 errors (yes, I counted them) on three pages! The errors were spread among spelling, grammar, and punctuation, and they weren’t simply my style preferences; these were hard errors. Sorry folks, that’s just too many. I enjoyed the content, but it left me with a sad feeling for the writer and a new perspective on the restaurant. Am I being a snob? Maybe, but I don’t think so. After all, I’m a customer too. (In the spirit of helping, I pointed out their errors and they were grateful. I also offered to edit future issues in exchange for dinner for two; they’re considering it!)

Don’t be frightened off; a newsletter is a very good way to create a good impression on your customers. It’s also a good way to create a bad one, so make sure that your content and quality properly reflect who you are.

“Make More Money and Have More Fun” with your small business! Dave will show you how with his FREE newsletter, or his FREE ‘Min-E-Seminar’: “Secrets of an Actual $5 Million Home Business.” Visit http://www.TheStayAtHomeCEO.com/art.htm to sign-up, for information on speaking services, or for copies of past articles and newsletters. Comments and/or questions are always welcome at 1-800-366-2347 or Dave@DaveBalch.com. (c) Copyright 2002-2003, Dave Balch. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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About Dave Balch
"Make More Money and Have More Fun" with your small business! Dave will show you how with his FREE newsletter, or his FREE 'Min-E-Seminar': "Secrets of an Actual $5 Million Home Business." Visit http://www.TheStayAtHomeCEO.com/art.htm to sign-up, for information on speaking services, or for copies of past articles and newsletters. Comments and/or questions are always welcome at 1-800-366-2347 or Dave@DaveBalch.com. (c) Copyright 2002-2003, Dave Balch. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. WebProNews Writer
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