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Why I love Newsletters

Newsletters are in my opinion one of the most underrated marketing tools, here’s why:

The Three Marketing Strategies

Marketing can be broken down into three broad areas or strategies;

  • Pro-active / Disruptive / Offensive
  • Reactive / Search
  • Defensive

Let’s look at each in more detail.

Pro-active / Disruptive / Offensive

Here you have something new to say and want to tell the world about it.

  • Inform an audience of new products and services or something revolutionary
  • Raise awareness of your business and presence
  • Educate and inform
  • Generate Leads
  • Opening a new branch
  • Have a special offer to promote (2 for 1 Pizza)
  • Change of name, strategy etc.

The main tools to use are;

  • Email Marketing and Newsletters
  • Sales, Telesales
  • Advertising (Media, Direct Mail, TV, Radio etc.)
  • Social Media (Organic and Advertising/PPC)
  • Networking, Exhibitions, Conferences

Reactive / Search

  • This is marketing in response to a potential customer doing something.
  • Response to an enquiry (search on Google etc.)
  • Reacting to buying signals (E-Commerce)
  • Delivering knowledge and advice (Wikipedia , Maps etc.)
  • Comparison sites

The main tools to use are;

  • Search Engine Optimisations (SEO)
  • Pay per Click, Website (PPC)
  • Trade Directories
  • Professional Groups (Check a Trade etc.)

A useful example to differentiate Pro and Reactive Marketing is the Plumber example. To sell boiler servicing in the quiet Summer months, a proactive approach is needed. For the 24 hour emergency service, a good position on search engines (a reactive approach) is required.

Defensive

Some experts argue that this is the most neglected area and yet for many businesses, the most important. This is about customer retainment, and as it costs 5-10 times more to acquire than keep a customer, you can see why it is important. It can extend to beyond retaining to customers to trying to sell them more, so called greater share of wallet.

The main tools to use are;

  • Keeping them  informed on company news and services using newsletters and websites
  • Customer Visits / Telephone or Email Contact / Hospitality
  • Delivering good service
  • Loyalty Schemes like Necta and Sparks cards
  • Rebates and Volume Discounts

Why Newsletters

Newsletters help to deliver in two of the areas discussed, Proactive and Defensive. The complement Reactive tactics.
In the Proactive area they;

  • Tell who you are, what you do and what you know
  • They demonstrate expertise
  • They raise awareness
  • Deliver industry news
  • Enable you to become familiar (people trade with names they know)

In the Defensive area they;

  • Allow you to maintain contact cost effectively
  • Enable you to keep your audience aware of new products and services
  • Provide a means to promote success with testimonials

Getting Started

A Digital Newsletter campaign is useless if you don’t have a relevant and accurate database to email it to. Ideally, you should have a database of your existing customers and one of prospects. Web-Clubs can help you clean up your own data as well as providing a suitably targeted prospect audience.
Adopt a familiar layout and style. Be consistent in your logo positioning and use of colour and typefaces. Use multiple columns for readability. Standard layouts can be found online or you can use a designer.

Professional copywriters and agencies can be used to provide copy or to “clean up” copy produced in house. Try though to avoid it becoming too clinical, one of the goals is for you to portray your business and its individuality.

Digital Newsletters Tips

Here are some further tips to implementing a succesful campaign;

  • Adopt a regular mailing date, ideally every 4 or 6 weeks
  • Aim for one main topic per issue
  • Enhance with images and diagrams
  • Keep it brief, easy to digest and to the point
  • Be interesting and informative
  • Link to your website for more information
  • Only gently promote your services and products
  • Include company news and other interesting updates
  • Present your business, make it personal / unique to you
  • Summarise what you do in a consistent footer/sidebar

Summary

I’ve been involved in producing newsletters, first printed and now digital for more years than I can remember. It may not be a fashionable marketing tool, but I passionately believe it is still one of the most useful.

 

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