The ideal company newsletter consists of interesting yet informative articles, all items that customers want to read. Some of these articles may have to do with current company news, products, and services. However, an overwhelming focus on your company may
put off customers, who will perceive the newsletter as merely another marketing tool.
To create this ideal newsletter then, I recommend a 50/50 ratio. 50 percent of your newsletter should be focused on your business —snippets of company history or background, current developments and trends, products and services, and so on. I sum this category up as “work stuff.” The other 50 percent, on the other hand, should contain “other stuff.” This “other stuff” should consist of articles, stories, and activities that are fun and are typically unrelated to your business.
While that “other stuff” may have nothing to do with your company, it is the key to the successful customer-geared newsletter. Not only will this category of articles give your business a memorable, personable face by actively engaging the customer, it will also, in turn, keep your company at the forefront of his or her mind.
What do I mean by this elusive “other stuff” then? By that, I’m referring to articles that are short and interesting, while being informative at the same time. I’m referring to factoids, tips, cartoons, humor, and even the occasional puzzle. All of these things will bring a smile to your customer’s face by brightening up the dull, dry straightforwardness of the average company newsletter.
No matter your industry, if your newsletter entertains, as well as informs and educates, your customers will return to read it month after month.
As for the “work stuff?” No need to wrack your brain — coming up with ideas for this category is easier than you can imagine. Just think about the average customer’s concerns, questions, and interests regarding your industry. Those answers would interest any one of your newsletter’s readers.
Let’s say that you have a chiropractic practice. In the past, patients might have asked you questions about carpal tunnel syndrome or back pain. They might have aired their concerns about the long-term effects of popping joints, or have asked whether it’s okay for children to undergo chiropractic treatment. Readers will appreciate having these common questions answered.
Using a different industry, let’s say that you are an accountant. Each month, you send out a newsletter jammed with information regarding tax laws or pending legislation. As the accountant’s client, would you be interested in going through the technical logistics of accounting-related legislation? No! That’s what your accountant is for — to break down the difficult details. You’re interested in something else, something more immediate and relevant to your daily life.
With the help of my readers, I actually created my very first newsletter on bicycle clothing. By using my experience on the sales floor where I constantly interacted with customers, I was able to identify my readers’ needs and connect with them on a personal level. I intimately knew their pains, their worries, and the questions they might raise. And those are the things I focused on while writing.
To reiterate everything I’ve just said, your newsletter is not about what’s important to you — it’s about what’s important to your customers. Every month, pinpoint your customers’ needs and desires. Give them solutions. And along the way, make sure to lighten up all the information with bits of entertainment.
Keep your content down-to-earth, engaging, and customized to the readers’ needs, and before you know it, you’ll have created a fantastic newsletter hooking current customers and prospects alike.
Jim Palmer is known internationally as ‘The Newsletter Guru’ – the go-to resource for smart, effective strategies that maximize the profitability of customer relationships. Jim is also the author of The Magic of Newsletter Marketing – The Secret to More Profits and Customers for Life. Get a free newsletter template at www.TheNewsletterGuru.com.