Customer relationships begin and flourish when there is an on-going connection; without them, long-term relationships are difficult to establish.
In a perfect world the business owner would sit down with the customer and explain everything you’d ever want to know about the product. The customer’s questions would be fully answered and perhaps a demonstration would follow. Well, in today’s busy world one-on-one sales encounters are brief and sometimes, even rare. So how does a business connect with the customer on a personal level?
Customers connect with a business when they feel welcomed and at ease. Customers connect when they feel that their needs have been met or understood. Customers connect when they trust a business and feel safe and secure. Lastly, customers will connect with any business when they feel that they matter to the business and customers know that they matter when they feel welcomed, comfortable, and safe and that their needs and expectations are met and understood.
It’s more important than ever to recognize that everything a business does on a daily basis should help form new connections with customers to promote sales and long-term relationships and that a finely-tuned marketing strategy encompassing the right tools will help accomplish this goal.
Unfortunately, one of the most under-rated marketing tools used today is the ezine or newsletter. Cheap, efficient and effective – the ezine is a powerful link to your customers. If you want to engage your customers, if you want to draw them into your business, if you want to create excitement, sales and loyalty, then there is no other strategy that can deliver as well as the ezine or online newsletter.
A top priority or number one goal of most business is to make your website a “go to” site for customers or a “go to” store – a business that delivers tips, advice, support and solutions.
How does a business deliver all of that? Easy. Email a newsy ezine or newsletter that is filled with just that – timely and timeless information that customers need, want and anticipate.
Whether your business offers advice on how to care for the article of clothing that was just purchased, or how to set up the piece of technology just sold, it’s imperative that business makes it relevant – to the customer. How many times have we bought something, opened the box and groaned, “Now what?” Answer your customers’ questions before they ask them. (Anticipate their needs.)
Here are more tips to write an ezine or newsletter that matters (to the customer):
1. Make it relevant
If you sell widgets, explain the purpose of the widget, how to use the widget, how to care for the widget, how to set up the widget. Tips, advice, support and solutions. Questions and Answers (Q&A), facts and reviews.
2. Make it timely
If you sell widgets, let your customers in on upcoming widget trends. Relate news and allow your customers in on the industry of widgets. Your customers will appreciate insider info. And you will reinforce that you are an expert in the widget industry. (That will strengthen your business as a “go-to” widget business.) The most interesting ezines will relate behind the scene stories, bios of designers, companies, and inventors. Give a glimpse of new arrivals or what’s on the horizon at your widget business. Build the anticipation. Create buzz.
3. Make it fun, interactive and full of passion
Don’t be shy. Let your light shine. Brag! Add links to podcasts, videos, youtube, and personal stories (only if widget-related). A well-written ezine can pack a punch and really help your business to connect with the customers. You and your staff can have fun while branding your business. Photos are a must. Contests optional.
4. Sell your products/services
Yes, really! You can market your business, brand it and create buzz around it and sell, sell, sell – all at the same time. Incentives and coupons will enable you to track the effectiveness of the ezine. Remind customers that a special discount is only available for ezine readers. Make your ezine work for you – treat your ezine recipients as if they were VIPs. Welcome potential customers to sign up and remind them of the benefits.
If you want to connect with your customers and create life long relationships with them, there is no other tool that can so easily and affordably work for you. The trick is to engage them and create excitement about your business…a well-written, timely, relevant newsy ezine can deliver. Add some passion and some soul, a smattering of thank-yous, and your ezines will build stronger connections with your customers. Why? Because connections are the valuable link to sales and profits.
Over to you…
Do you run or manage a company newsletter? Has it been successful? What tips can you add to help others better manage and monetize their newsletter? Share your wisdom below…