Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Write a Newsletter - Hard Copy or Electronic?

I'm constantly asked whether you should use an electronic newsletter or if you should provide a hard copy.

My suggestion, at least at first, is to provide both.

This way you can test and see what your customers prefer.  Generally speaking, most small businesses who provide a newsletter will have a hard copy.  They will mail it to their general mailing list and then keep additional copies in the store to include inside the purchase bag of any customer who may not be on the mailing list.

This gives you a chance to get contact information for your new customers.  I always ask, as I am ringing up their sale, "Have you received your newsletter this month?  How did you like it?"

If they liked it, we will then discuss one of the articles in the newsletter, and I'll ask if they had any questions about any of the new products mentioned in the newsletter.

If the customer says, "I don't get the newsletter," this is your turn to say, "Shall I sign you up for it?  We do not share our customer information with anyone, it is only for our purposes.  We send out newsletters to our mailing list and would love for you to be notified whenever we have any upcoming special sales or events."

This is a very nice, non-threatening way to get people to sign up for your mailing list.  Whenever possible, get as much information as you can.  Get their email address, street address, and phone number if possible.  This way your records will be much more complete.

Newsletters should be in the form that works best for your company.  Many businesses only reach their customers through the internet, and in that case an electronic copy is just fine.  However, my experience has been that people really do like to hold a hard copy of a newsletter, especially if it is done well.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Write a Newsletter - Stay in Touch With Your Clients and Customers

Distribute a newsletter.

Let's get started.

A newsletter for your customers is one of the very best ways to keep your company name at the top of the minds of your customers and your potential customers. It keeps you in touch.

You can use it to tell people about upcoming specials or events.

Print coupons just for your newsletter clients and run a test.

What is your business?
  • Salon/Spa owner
  • Small restaurant
  • Boutique
  • Gift shop
  • Tea room
  • Accountant
  • Doctor
  • Dentist
  • Chiropractor
  • Vet
  • Massage therapist
I haven't even touched the tip of the iceberg when it comes to talking about writing newsletters for your business, but these are just a few businesses who have newsletters.  I know, because I've written them.

You might include a recipe, especially if you're a small grocery store, or ethnic food shop, or an organic farm. Perhaps you could consider an advice column telling your customers/clients how to or now not to do something.

Keep a list of questions that you typically get during the course of your business and consider answering one or more of them with each issue of your newsletter.

By evaluating your business and the needs of your customers/clients, you will never have a problem finding material that they will find helpful, and will remind them that when they need your goods or services, they'll be calling you.

Best regards,


Monday, October 11, 2010

Is Writing a Newsletter Important to My Small Business?

Yes, friend, a business newsletter is right up there with ezines and blogs as one of the least expensive ways you can reach out to your clients and customers and continue to forge that "personal relationship".

Anyone in a small business knows that competing with the "Big Boys" (as I call them) can be difficult.  They are able to offer better promotions than you do.  They can undercut prices more than you can.  They have a national marketing campaign and you don't.

What you do have is a customer list. This should be made up of anyone who has ever come into your small business.  If they are interested at all in your products/services, it doesn't matter if they didn't buy from you.  A smart business owner will do everything in their power to get that potential customer's contact information.

Once you have that information, you need to keep in touch.

I don't mean sell all the time.

I mean, create a relationship with that person.  If you have a way of discovering what they're interested in, and why they came to you in the first place, you can try to anticipate problems they may be having and then help them with those problems.

Some newsletters can be a FAQ sheet that other customers have asked over the years. Type up those questions and answers and suddenly you have a very quick newsletter that doesn't do a whole lot of selling, but does a whole lot of helping.

Customers like businesses that are interested in helping them.  If they had a choice between your business and the small shop down the street who doesn't bother with forming a relationship, who do you think they'll remember the next time they need your product(s) or service(s)?

That's right.

The one they've been forming a relationship with.  They'll come to you.

That's reason enough to start a newsletter.

But don't worry, I have a lot more reasons coming up.



Sunday, October 10, 2010

I'm Just a Small Business...Do I Need a Newsletter?

If you're not interested in turning a profit, and you don't mind losing your "hard-won" customers to the big boys down the street, then don't bother.

If, however, you're like most of the small biz owners I've talked to, you're pretty connected to your business.  You've invested blood, sweat, and tears into your business, and you're finally looking at a pretty healthy customer list.

Your problem might be that they don't come into your shop as often as you'd like.  This is where learning how to write newsletters can make the difference between thriving and closing your doors to business at some point in the future.

I'm interested to know what types of problems you, my readers, have.

  • Are you afraid to write a newsletter?
  • Are you afraid to write?
  • Do you know what to say to your customers?
  • What will bring them back in?
We're going to cover these and many other questions here in the upcoming weeks.

This time of year is often "make or break" for small biz owners, so let's see if we can help you to MAKE it this year!



Saturday, October 9, 2010

How To Write a Newsletter

Need some help writing a newsletter for your biz?  This blog is a great place to come. We'll be talking about all types of things:

  • How to get started
  • What to write
  • Who you're writing to
  • What Newsletters do for a business
  • Where to find articles
  • Who should write it
...and many, MANY more things related to newsletters.

Feel free to ask questions as we go along and we'll develop ways to turn your newsletter writing chore into an adventure!

Best regards,