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What makes a Great Newsletter? 

Our weekly Swindon business advice column with Gail Gibson
 
Are you thinking ahead to the beginning of 2011 already, about a different way of marketing your business to your customers via a regular newsletter?

Things to consider for a newsletter:

- the time it will take to put together and write
- the content
- the platform to host your database and send your newsletter

Before you embark, think about what makes a great newsletter? Is this a means for you to sell, sell, and sell, to your existing and potential customers? Creating a newsletter that shoves your business in the face of your customer, offering special deals and discounts only, is probably the best way to alienate your audience. Why? Because a newsletter is one fantastic marketing tool to help you build a good relationship with your customer. Why do you want to push them away with forced sales when you want them to remain loyal to you as their supplier of choice?

So what style of content is best suited for positive customer retention and growth? Content that adds value to your client relationship. Content that meets the needs of your clients. Content that provides helpful advice, hints and tips.

What do you write about? To get you started from January 2011, make a list of 6-12 months worth of topics. For each topic you choose, ask yourself: “What value will this bring to my customer” and “How will it make a difference?” Consider what your reader is looking for; industry advice and knowledge, or helpful ideas to grow their own business?

By meeting the needs of your customer you add value to the relationship, resulting in a win: win situation all round. Other suggestions include: featuring guest writers to provide you with industry specific articles or interview your clients and feature their case studies to promote your service.

Add special offers and discounts as these do add value also. However avoid bombarding your reader with constant sale items. Rather than seeing you as a positive connection, your customer will view your sales technique as pushy and may disconnect their relationship from you.

Probably the most important aspect of a great newsletter is once you start writing one, stick with it, and remain consistent. Like any relationship, positive growth with your customers takes time. Make your list of topics, concentrate on meeting the needs of your customer, write and send your newsletters at regular intervals, and make a difference to your customers' business growth and development.

For a suitable newsletter platform, simply Google “newsletter templates”.
 
Written by Gail Gibson of True Expressions
Discovery, Change, Transformation
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