Newsletters help small businesses grow!
Extra, Extra, Read All About It: Newsletters Help Businesses To Grow!
Small businesses may discount the idea of a newsletter as too expensive or too time intensive. However, a newsletter can help strengthen existing relationships with your customers, and even bring in new clients! How can a newsletter help your business to expand? Here are five ways, in order from least to most important.
5. A newsletter can keep your customers aware of industry changes in a way that is helpful to you. For instance, a properly worded story can detail how legislation complicates business for the smaller telecommunication companies and favors the larger, while detailing your plan to fight back. They can tell how national disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina, impact a local business or an overall industry (think of the effect on insurance companies and agents, among others). This can help your customers view your company within the big picture.
4. More important than focusing on you, however, the customer wants you to focus on them. Articles about how they are impacted and what changes they need to make will appeal more to our egocentric consumers. Stories based around them will keep them riveted. Highlights of local businesses or specific people within your company will humanize your business and earn their gratitude.
3. You can also use a newsletter format to help you with your follow-up. Ideally, each customer should receive a letter, note, or phone call after each transaction. You can gain further feedback by including surveys or requesting call-ins on customer service issues with your company. You can offer a small gift or discount if they tell you the first three things that come to mind when they think of your company. You can solicit advice on how to improve. All of these will let your customers know that their opinion really does matter.
2. A newsletter helps you maintain constant contact with your clients. Constant contact builds relationships, and relationships build sales. By keeping in touch with them, by putting out the extra effort, your clients know that you are monitoring their needs, albeit on a less personal scale. Every little bit helps.
1. A newsletter can double as free advertising. Let me say that again: FREE ADVERTISING. All by itself, of course, a newsletter is an ad for your company, though granted, not free. However, as the deciding vote, you can put in a tasteful ad (not a two page spread in a four page newsletter) that will stand out because it will be the ONLY ONE. Talk about gaining attention! You can use the space to insert a coupon or discount pass to the reader, a note about a special customer-only sale (imagine if a store had invited you to their Black Friday sale on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving; only a select group could shop those major discounts), or some other form of advertising that will entice them to return to your for their business. Perhaps you could include a limited time referral bonus slip – bring a friend and each of you make a purchase, and receive a small gift/discount/etc. These ads can also be test runs that you can tweak before running them in the more expensive papers; they give you the opportunity to test effectiveness.
A newsletter will help maintain and even improve your customer relationships. These relationships are vital to the success of your business. Anything that you can do to set you apart from your competitors and keep you fresh in their mind will give you an advantage – and a smart business owner will take every advantage possible.