As Newsletter Pros, we always begin our consultations with a comprehensive look at your current referral marketing strategy. All too often we hear prospects say, “Well, sure, I’m staying in touch with my clients each month. I send out an e-newsletter!”
But are you really seeing results from that ezine you’re sending out via email each month? Are your recipients engaged? How often do you really reach your clients and prospects? If it’s any less than five times for prospects and monthly for current customers, you are likely missing out on an entirely untapped source of income, especially considering the response you can expect from your prospects increases dramatically from the first touch to the fifth (from 2 percent to nearly 80 percent likelihood of responsive action).
Additionally, 20 percent of your current customers are the source of 80 percent of your income, which means it’s more important than ever to build relationships with them to put yourself in a position of influencing their repeat business. The best way to stay in touch with these repeat customers is to send a monthly newsletter, and adding your prospects to your mailing list is a great way to increase the number of touches in your pre-sale campaign funnel. To snag a FREE copy of our Amazon best-selling book on newsletters, click here.
While there are many areas of business that a newsletter influences (brand image, customer relationships, and your attrition rate to name a few), here are the top five areas where a monthly newsletter can have the biggest impact on the long-term success and growth of your business.
1. Build Relationships That Matter
Does this sound familiar? It’s our own personal mission! This relationship focus has helped us to grow nearly 3,000 percent over the past four years, and we want to help your business grow right along with us. We do this by helping you build relationships with the people who matter most in your success journey.
How does a newsletter help with this?
You know (and we know) you don’t have time to reach out individually to all your clients and prospects, but that’s where your newsletter comes in. A monthly newsletter offers that personal touch most customers and prospects are missing in today’s highly competitive (and digitized) markets. With consistent monthly mailings, you are able to share your personal brand with the audience that is most responsive to your communications (your current customers and interested prospects), and doing so helps you boost the loyalty of those who will now know, like, and trust you even more.
The power of direct mail is its ability to connect with the recipient on a physical level. Sixty percent of respondents in the third Consumer Channel Preference Study said they enjoy checking their physical mailboxes, highlighting what the study refers to as an “emotional connection” to postal mail. What’s more, a newsletter has an even greater advantage over other forms of direct mail because it offers stories that give a face to the company, inviting readers to connect.
You can’t put a price tag on a relationship, but you can use it as the foundation for sales success. To dive a bit deeper into the relationship-building aspect of newsletters, check out our free book here.
2. Increase Retention and Referrals
Continually putting your company’s name in front of your prospects is one of the essential strategies for staying in business. Your newsletter is a marketing tool that guarantees your contacts won’t forget your name, but it goes beyond that to build a relationship that will support name and brand recognition.
Ninety-eight percent of prospects only sign up for a service or purchase a product, after trust has been built. You build trust when you communicate with them frequently, offer them information that sets you apart as an expert, and show them (through the content you publish) that you care about more than what’s in their wallet.
Communicating with your customers and prospects with a monthly newsletter naturally builds loyalty and trust, encouraging your readers to confidently refer others to you and return to you as needs arise.
3. Establish Your Expertise
When you send a physical newsletter to your readers, you are not just sending a standard piece of direct mail; you are sending what they perceive as a publication. This makes you a publisher, a trusted source, an expert.
Sending your newsletter every month means you are consistently and systematically increasing your expert status. And at the end of the day, people are more willing to work with the expert and act on their advice.
Maximizing your marketing impact by organically raising your expert persona is a simple concept that yields big returns.
4. Get Past the “Advertising Shield”
Did you know that the average email response rate is only 0.12 percent? How do you get past inbox clutter when 84 percent of emails are filtered out by spam blockers or immediately deleted or archived when received, and more than 99 percent of recipients don’t even respond?
Now, consider this: 81 percent of people open their physical mail the same day they retrieve it from their mailbox (Canada Post). Sending a physical newsletter gets your message directly into your client or prospect’s hands and, if well-formatted with great content, increases your ROI.
The reason newsletters are so effective is that they educate the reader on your company without raising the recipient’s advertising shields. Newsletters sent via direct mail are not formatted like traditional mailed advertising materials (i.e. postcards or sales letters), and 70 percent of individuals say they prefer to learn about a company and its products and services through articles rather than blatant advertising pieces (Inbound Marketing). Newsletters achieve this by offering content that is a reflection of your desired relationship with the recipient, not just your desire for meeting your sales quota.
5. Create Pass-Around Value
There is staying “power in paper”. While online publications are deleted from a person’s memory with the click of a button, a piece of paper — a publication like a print newsletter — is less likely to be so quickly discarded. We’ve heard from many of our clients that their recipients hold onto each newsletter they get in the mail, compiling copies in accordion files and binders.
Articles published in a newsletter offer the kind of value that readers will want to revisit. And not only do readers use these articles for their own benefit, but they also keep copies with the intent of sharing. (If you haven’t read about the dentist who made $8,000 by a copy of his newsletter being shared on the golf course, you should pick up a copy of our book, “The Ultimate Guide to Newsletters.” You’ll find the story on page 50.)
To put it simply …
People do business with people they know and have a relationship with. If they can’t remember your name and don’t feel any personal connection to you, what will prevent them from purchasing a product or service from your competitor who offers a better deal? Absolutely nothing.
Newsletters offer a channel for you to build relationships that create a foundation for long-term success. These relationships boost retention rates, and paper publications have a staying power that allows for increased referrals as your content is saved and shared. Personalized direct mail, in the form of a monthly newsletter, gets your message past readers’ “advertising shields,” and being published establishes you as the expert your customers and prospects can trust.