In my previous post Relationships that Last, I spoke about how people must be our greatest priority. Building momentum and cultivating customer loyalty often seems like an uphill struggle, especially for business owners who may only see customers once or twice a year. But it doesn’t have to be. You can use technology to cement your bond at a more personal level and even build community. Monthly newsletters are a wonderful way of doing just that. They keep your name in front of those who matter to you, and reminds them of the positive experience they had with you. Use newsletters to provide helpful information, tips, news. Remember, outreach is all about the customer. The focus should be on what information they would like to see and not a vehicle for you to toot your horn and ply your wares. Your purpose is to grow your relationship and to gain trust. An added perk is that customers can easily forward them on to others who may also need your services, so they can serve as a referral source.
Here are some tips to help you create a newsletter that’s both interesting and effective:
- Be informative: share stories and useful information about things your customers care about. Make it a positive experience and not a downer.
- Do NOT use newsletters to push products and services. Newsletters are personal and not a vehicle to exercise your ego (unless of course, you’ve been named Business of the Year or contributed a ton to charity).
- Keep your articles short. On the web, most people (including you), are members of ‘the short attention span theatre.’ There’s nothing wrong with that. We’re all busy, so respect that and use bullets as needed to highlight your ‘take aways.’ Remember, the goal is to engage them enough to click on your call to action and not punk out halfway through the read.
- Be consistent. If you have a monthly newsletter, make sure it’s monthly – not six weeks one month and four the next. Your people rely on you to be dependable and keep your word.
- Your opening line is likely your most important. Try to make it catchy and personable so they want to read more!
- Solicit feedback. Make your readers part of your community. Why not ask them what they think? Solicit feedback – and when they give it, be sure to thank them and respond!
- We live in an age of permission marketing. Be sure to include not only an ‘opt in’ option, but provide an unsubscribe link as well.
There’s more to come on how a little outreach can go a long way to build community and grow customer loyalty. So, stay tuned!