Customer newsletters can be a powerful way to increase sales and keep customers.
However, if you are not getting the results that you want from your customer newsletter, you might be questioning if it is worth the time, effort and cost that you invest in pulling it all together. There are a number of factors to examine when looking at how you can improve the open rate for your customer newsletter:
- Your content
- Your customer data
- Your subject line and sender name (for email newsletters)
- The timing of the release of your newsletter
- The frequency of the release of your newsletter
When done properly, a customer newsletter can be a powerful, cost-effective way to increase sales, build customer loyalty and increase customer retention. When sent by email, they can also improve traffic to your site and encourage more subscribers, enabling you to increase the visibility of your messages.
This article will focus on improving customer newsletter CONTENT, providing some thoughts which might help you make your decision about what you need to do to improve the results you are experiencing.
What results should you expect from your customer newsletter?
I focus on measuring performance and results. If you are not sure of your newsletter open rates and other stats, you need to find out. A customer newsletter open rate represents the number of recipients who open your newsletter. It is calculated in the following way:
(Messages opened / messages delivered) * 100
Track your open rates and monitor your performance. You can also compare your results to industry benchmarks. This will help you see how you are performing. MailChimp has published some great email marketing benchmarking stats that I always like to refer to. Keep a close eye on your newsletter stats, you may be damaging your brand or simply annoying customers.
How do you know if you’ve got the right content for your customer newsletter?
I just reviewed a client’s customer newsletter. It was full of sales messages. It was also focused on the company, who they are, what they are doing… rather than what they can do for their customers. I advised my client that if this is what was intended, a sales message, then the newsletter has achieved its goal if the company does experience an increase in orders after distribution of the newsletter.
However, a customer newsletter is typically written and issued to help build customer loyalty and improve customer retention. Do this right, and the sales will follow. Here are some ideas to help you create content that your customers will WANT to read:
- Include a special offer– Make customers feel you are giving them a special rate because they are valued customers. Chose to focus on a new product to create awareness or something that is topical and current. Don’t try to flog something that you have an excess of stock of.
- Tips and tricks – Give customers information that is useful, so they look forward to learning something or gaining something of value from the newsletter. They want FREE tips and advice and they will want to keep reading each edition of the newsletter if it does this well. Offering this type of information also increases awareness of our expertise and helps to position u as a leader in your field.
- Profile a product or service – Profile a different product or service that your company offers. Your customers are probably not aware of all the different products or services you offer, so educate them. This is a great way to cross-sell your products and services. Also, if you have a new product making its debut, you can use your newsletter to build excitement for the product and announce the new offering.
- Highlight changes in your business practice that will impact clients – Use your customer or marketing newsletter to keep readers informed of recent or upcoming changes that will affect them.
- Include positive customer feedback: If you’ve received any positive feedback, reprint them in the customer newsletter. You could call the section “From the mailbag,” or something similar, and reprint several positive customer letters in each issue. Customers like to hear about happy customers. It reinforces their buying decisions and loyalty to a company.
- Educate your customers about new or little-known uses for your products: Ask or survey your customers, and you’ll likely find that many use your company’s products in new or innovative ways that you may not even be aware of. If you discover and publicise new uses for old products in your customer or marketing newsletter, you will likely increase sales of these products. Plus your customers will enjoy reading about how your products can be used in new and different ways that will benefit them. For this type of article, interview a customer that uses your products in a new or different way, and quote the person regarding how exactly he or she uses your product, how the person benefits from the new use of the product, how the customer is impressed with the quality of the product, etc.
- Consider current events – Consider if there is anything happening that impacts your customers and write about it. It shows that you are thinking and aware of the market and forces that impact your customers. It shows that you are looking out for them.
There are many more ideas, but the above are usually the easiest to write about on a monthly basis.
In my next article, I will talk about other factors that can help you improve the success rate of your customer newsletters. Follow me on Twitter for access to more useful tips which will help you with your marketing.
Let me know if you have any questions. I’m happy to help. Contact Kim Moore on 01206 646 006 or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org