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.

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