Newsletter pain or pleasure?
Some businesses have an attitude of burdensome obligation about their newsletter. That leads to corner-cutting and a poorly performing newsletter that discredits the business and it’s clients. For other businesses, producing a newsletter is a smooth, rewarding process, yielding a valuable tool that contributes to rising client loyalty, business, and profits. Is a newsletter a waste of time or a goldmine? That largely depends on your attitude. A newsletter’s potential as an investment in a loyal, growing clientele is greater than many imagine. Like other ventures in marketing and customer relationship management, newsletter success begins with positive attitude.
Your attitude in the beginning is essential in shaping the newsletter that ends in your clients’ hands. This article points the way to newsletter success for those who recognize the potential for success and start with a positive attitude. SUCCESS FOR READERS: You must communicate effectively with your clients and demonstrate your relevance to them. A good newsletter focuses on client interests. Recognizing themselves in it, they feel involved.
With intrinsic loyalty, they look forward to each issue, and pass it on with referrals. If they like your newsletter, then it should aid growth and profit. Your newsletter is a reflection of your target-market profile and a barometer of your dedication to your brand. OF BRAND ALIGNMENT: Your brand is how your market perceives your business. So, your newsletter should honestly convey the client experience. A newsletter put together from content gleaned elsewhere cannot be truly yours. Nor is a generic, third-party newsletter with your logo pasted in. If authenticity is important, then either could compromise your brand. As you compete with others who want your niche, the right style for your newsletter depends on the status you need to maintain among loyal, profitable clients. If, for example, your business thrives on a low-key, earthy reputation, then your newsletter should reflect that.
Big-city style might confuse people. Be genuine. Your success should be your own – expressing your attitude, propagating your brand, following your formula. Indeed, your brand should permeate your newsletter formula. DEVELOP AND TEST A FORMULA: Just as you can make endless batches of satisfying cookies by following the right recipe, so you can make a great newsletter by following a good formula. Your newsletter formula consists of: • style (look and feel) • content (articles and graphics) • medium (paper or computer screen) • frequency (issues per year). Your brand is the cookie sheet. Your market is the oven. A good newsletter formula trumps what style appeals to you or fits your budget. Indeed, you should look beyond the style that appeals to you, and beyond your current budget.
From a good formula, appeal and affordability result. START WITH A PROFILE: What clients do you want more of? What interests do they share? In developing your formula, look to your target-market profile to guide your decisions. Develop your target-market profile: age, gender, neighbourhood, occupation, household income, and other characteristics that typify good clients for you. Then, address their interests. ON PAPER OR ON SCREEN? : Since this profile shapes your formula, be careful what you assume. If, for example, you target people who are very technology-oriented, you might assume that they want an e-newsletter. Yet, they might find a printed newsletter refreshing. My research has found that a newsletter distributed by e-mail is: • less likely to be read entirely • more likely to be plagiarized • less likely to be read more than once. • more likely to be deleted without being read at all. Moreover, people like to hold a newsletter in their hands and take it on public transit, to a waiting room, or a coffee table (where others might notice it incidentally).
Each decision about your formula should be rooted in your brand and guided by your target-market profile. WHY BOTHER: There are other ways to attract and retain clients. You can advertise, offer discounts, run incentive programs, and train staff in client relations. Your newsletter need not replace these. Rather, a great newsletter integrates marketing and client-relations economically. It should harmonize them. GOOD FORMULA + GOOD ATTITUDE: No aspect of customer relationship management or marketing should be a burden or obligation. Bear in mind the low cost of intrinsically loyal clients and the high potential of a brand-aligned newsletter. With a winning attitude and a winning formula, you could replace newsletter pain with the pleasure of success.