There are some businesses we love using because they give us that little bit extra.
It might be a garden centre where the staff are passionate about what they do and love to give you advice on getting the best from the plants. Or it might be a builder who notices some small job and gives you tips so you can fix the problem yourself.
An e-newsletter is the perfect vehicle to take that knowledge and passion out to your customers.
It is a tool you can use to build strong customer relationships.
What is an e-newsletter?
It is a digital newsletter regularly sent by email. It may be just plain text or it may be in html format with company branding and images. E-newsletters can be sent twice a year, quarterly, monthly or even weekly.
How can you build strong customer relationships with an e-newsletter?
Writing articles in your e-newsletter is an excellent way to educate your customer in areas that interest them. For example, a garden centre could do a series of monthly e-newsletters giving tips on what to do in the garden each month. You’ll notice this is what the weekend newspaper supplements do. By drawing attention to the fact that it’s time to put in bedding plants, you are setting up a potential sale. By going further and explaining how to prepare the bed and what to plant you are giving the customer ‘extra’ help.
How helpful content increases your expertise in the eyes of your customers?
Authoritative commentary also helps to establish you as an expert in your area. People usually underestimate how much knowledge they have acquired to create and run their businesses. By sharing knowledge with your customers, you help them get so much more from your products or services.
This puts you in a very good light as far as your customer is concerned.
Build a relationship over time
Finding out what areas interest your customers or clients is key to developing articles that your subscribers will want to read. Writing about the manufacturing process of UPVC windows will interest few, whereas writing a series of articles on home energy efficiency or home maintenance is going to appeal to most subscribers.
A regular, informative e-newsletter will build strong relationships with your subscribers who are then more likely to purchase from you (as long as you give them the opportunity through offers).
Why does educating customers work? It works because:-
• people expect businesses to sell to them rather than educate them, so you pique their curiosity
• people can get the measure of your knowledge, passion or skills through what you write about
• if your information helps them make better decisions or gives them knowledge, you become valuable to them
• you show you value the customer’s interests and want to improve their experiences in your area.
How might a business do this?
• A plumber might send a series of e-newsletters with reminders about maintenance e.g. clearing gutters, checking for dripping taps etc
• A butcher might send an e-newsletter with recipes for cooking different cuts of meat and information on how to use different cuts.
• A web designer might offer tips and how to articles about different aspects of internet marketing e.g. using Twitter, search engine optimisation etc
• A restaurant might send articles with profiles on some of their suppliers or tasting notes on wines they serve.
Distinctly different from an email marketing campaign focusing on short term promotions, an e-newsletter campaign is part of a long term strategy. Done right, it can help build your reputation as an expert and build long term relationships with your customers.
Member since: 10th July 2012
I am Diana Vickers, the site owner of thebestof Carmarthenshire. This was launched in Carmarthen town in June 2008, to support the very best of the area’s businesses with their promotions and marketing....