So you want to build a relationship with the professional tradesmen. In order to do that, you need to be in front of them on a consistent basis. What I like about e-newsletters is that they are relatively easy to assemble, easy to deliver and it allows your customers to read it on their time line, and hopefully if they find something of interest, they will pass the newsletter on. Besides, we’re sure he checks his e-mail every day and might miss or misplace a traditional paper one.
Realistically you don’t have the time to visit him several times a month, and truth be known, he doesn’t want to see you that often! So how do you and your brand stay in front of him on a regular basis? A newsletter would be a great vehicle to build credibility and visibility for your brand, not only to your customers, but to potentials as well.
Newsletters today aren’t like what they used to be 10 years ago. I’d suggest you consider an electronic newsletter using one of the many services like Emma and Constant Contact to maintain your lists and your newsletter programs. They have several templates to choose from if you don’t want to design your own. They also can tell you how many were opened and by whom, and if they clicked through and how much time they spent on the site. You also can embed links into your newsletter, and if people are interested in learning more, they can click.
Here are some thoughts on why I think you should consider doing an e-newsletter and what you should do to make sure they are successful:
- Make Them Educational – keep the sales pitch for when you meet them face to face. Give them info that will benefit them. How they might improve their business. What’s happening in the industry or key associations. What trends should they be watching for? Yes, you can put in a small bit of self promo, but I’d suggest to keep it to a minimum.
- Make Them Easy to Read – seems pretty evident but sometimes you can go overboard. Keep the article short and to the point, and if you have appropriate links to other articles, by all means put them in. Keep them entertaining. Remember you want to engage your reader.
- Put Them Out on a Regular Basis – I suggest monthly, but in some cases it could be more often. You want people to look forward to your newsletter. Don’t think you need to have a set amount in each newsletter. Don’t invent things or postpone sending it out if you feel you don’t have “X” amount of things to share.
- Get Both Sales and Marketing Involved in Content – your sales force is in the trenches each day and can give you plenty of issues to talk about. Get them engaged so they can talk it up (they also can help you build your lists).
For those of you who have blogs, you should be putting out monthly an e-newsletter of the top 5 posts from last month. Just another way to touch the folks that follow you regularly. Those are some of my thoughts on newsletters. I’d like to hear about your successes.
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