What should be in your newsletter?
One of the most frequently asked questions from people considering writing a newsletter is, “How do I come up with material for my newsletter?”
A common mistake is treating a newsletter as a sales pitch. A newsletter that reads like a sales letter is going to quickly alienate the reader.
I recommend you have at most one article relating to your products or services in each newsletter. And even then, think about the subject from the customer’s viewpoint. Don’t try to sell to them so much as provide them with suggestions on how they can benefit from your product or service.
Newsletter content breakdown
Here's a breakdown of how to develop the content for your newsletter:
- 40% = things related to your industry or your business.
- 40% = general information that appeals to your customers based on demographics.
- 20% = entertainment, cartoons, jokes, fun stories, trivia, even contests with prizes. This aspect will draw the reader in and keep them interested.
Publishing a newsletter each month will bring name recognition in your industry. I’ll never forget some advice I received at a young age: “There’s no one thing in your life that makes you successful. Success is a result of the steady, consistent efforts you put in, day in and day out.”
A newsletter that’s fun, entertaining, informative, with just a bit of business will get you to that success.
Some things you can include in your newsletter:
- Success stories & testimonials of satisfied clients
- Names of people who have referred others to your business
- How-to tips on utilizing your products or services
- Cartoons, jokes & puzzles that relate to your industry – Something fun to read
- General articles that are timely to the season but still of interest to your audience
- A back-page article, this will be prime real estate and should be thought out carefully
- Names of new customers
- Client profiles to recognize top customers of your business or organization
- Employee spotlight to help your clients get to know your employees
A good newsletter publisher can help you plan your newsletter. Publishers will also have access to generic articles, stories, and appropriate jokes to help improve the readership of your newsletter.
So, in summary, begin by planning in advance what you want your newsletter to accomplish by considering who will read it and addressing their problems. Then consider the frequency of your newsletter and what the content will be in each issue.
If you want to further the relationship with your customers look for ways to stay in touch. Your customers will appreciate the consideration, so by all means add your current customers to your newsletter list.
We all forget things like where we put our keys or phone. Around our house a common request is, “Will you call my phone? I can’t find it.”
People forget. We all have short and selective memories. Knowing this fact, we must work to remind customers about our business so they will come back.
Keeping in touch with your customers is necessary for growing your business. The best way to do that is with a monthly newsletter that comes in the mail. Postcards are also effective, as is email.
Sure, they can Google you but this could also lead them to your competitor. I’ve gone to a competitor of my neighbor for car repair thinking I was going to my neighbor’s business. I spent $3,000 with the wrong place before I found out…all because I forgot the name of his business.
Business owners love to tell me that “word of mouth” is their primary way of getting customers. If this is true, then it makes sense to help them remember you.
There is one simple reason to send a newsletter: to remind people that you exist. And if you send them something useful, they will – over time – know that you are the right person for that job. When they need you, they’ll call.
If there was ever a good argument for using newsletters, being top of mind with your most valuable asset, the customer, is it. There is some effort required in putting together a newsletter, but you can and should do it. For most businesses, the lifetime value of a new customer or the retention of an existing customer is $2500+. Most newsletters cost $1-$2 a person, per month. That’s a great return on investment!