Congratulations, you survived 2016! Now the new year is upon us, and you’re thinking about your marketing budget. This budget doesn’t increase often, so every dollar counts. All your efforts must make the maximum impact. And that includes your custom newsletter campaign.
You love your newsletter. Since you started with The Newsletter Pro, your custom newsletter campaign has brought in new patients and clients, made your cold leads hot, and helped a wide audience of readers get to know your business. What’s not to love?
But after being in the newsletter game for so long, you might start to wonder, Is my newsletter getting stale? Many of our clients face the question — you’ll forgive us for wishing they didn’t. Long-time clients of The Newsletter Pro want to keep their newsletters fresh and relevant. And our new clients want to rest assured their investment provides a sustainable ROI.
This year, you don’t need to give up on your newsletter. And you don’t have to sit around and wonder if your custom newsletter campaign is performing at its best — you can ensure it. Here’s how to make 2017 the best year for direct mail.
5 Foolproof Ways to Advance Your Custom Newsletter Campaign
1. Give Your Design a Face-Lift
Brands are ever evolving. And they should be! An evolving brand is how you stay relevant to your customers. Trust us — we know what we’re talking about. As you grow your business and your audience, you’ll need to keep up with the times. Consider the design of your custom newsletter the base for your campaign. If it’s out of date, it’s not reflecting who you are in the here and now, or who you will strive to be in the future.
If you’ve been using a Pro-created custom newsletter campaign for a year or longer, it might be time for a redesign. Your look has probably changed more than you realize. Maybe you remodeled your business or slapped on a fresh coat of paint. Perhaps you changed the colors on your company logo. You’ve grown and added new team members, so that group photo from 2014 just won’t cut it. Maybe your audience has matured with your business and you need a fresh, modern aesthetic. All are good reasons to update. Need advice? Then talk to your team of Pro graphic designers!
2. Pick, Personalize, Plan New Content
Your cover, while vital to the success of your custom newsletter campaign, isn’t the most important part. Your newsletter is only as strong as its content. Covers and inside content should be entertaining, valuable, and educational. But they shouldn’t be predictable.
While there’s nothing wrong with printing personal development articles 24 months straight, the topic is bound to get stale. At The Newsletter Pro, we produce content for a variety of demographics. This year, swap out a tired column for something fresh, like health and fitness or life hacks articles. Remember: Your readers are well-rounded people with a range of tastes.
In terms of your cover, if you’ve opted to talk only about your business, change your approach and get personal. Open up to your readers and help them get to know you. Introduce your family dog. Talk about your lifelong snowboarding hobby. The topics are endless, and when you open up to your readers, they’re far more likely to like and trust you.
Much like your inside content, if your readers have come to expect the same business-centric covers every time, they’re not going to be readers much longer. Make the switch in small doses — alternate between business and personal covers. Need content ideas? Just talk to your team of writers! Together you can plan months of cover content, so you’re always prepared to tell a story.
3. Enhance Your Custom Newsletter Campaign With a Promotional Add-On
Time to test your newsletter know-how. When you want to draw attention to an event, a quarterly referral contest, or limited-time offer, where does it go?
- On your cover, in big, block letters, where everyone will see it.
- The bottom of page 3, where the recipe usually goes.
- A freestanding insert (FSI), where it won’t crowd your content.
- It doesn’t! Post it on Facebook and hope for the best.
We know you’re dying to know the answer, so we won’t build the anticipation too long. If you guessed C, you’re right! If you really want to draw readers’ attention, a freestanding insert (FSI) is the best way to go.
Here’s the most important thing: Your newsletter isn’t a sales pitch. It’s for entertaining and educational content that benefits and builds relationships with your customers. So printing sales copy is a huge turnoff. And time-sensitive information anywhere on your newsletter might as well be an expiration date. While this content has its value, you don’t want it to compete for readers’ attention, along with your cover and a service highlight on your newest product.
When you print these extra nuggets of information on an FSI, you’re guaranteeing your readers see it, keep it, and even pass it around. A Facebook post only reaches a handful of your customers. But when you print an FSI, you’re not sacrificing the integrity of your newsletter. As long as you don’t try to design it yourself, your FSI is the perfect add-on for your campaign!
4. Grow Your Mailing List, Reach More New Customers
Each custom newsletter campaign is focused on building relationships, and not just with your existing customers. To get the most out of your campaign, you need to extend your reach. The more people you reach with your newsletter, the more referrals you’ll see. That leads to stellar ROI and a boost to your bottom line. Don’t know how to grow your list? We have a few suggestions.
Start a Referral Campaign: Let’s be clear. Referral campaigns aren’t bribes. They’re a fun, creative, and incentivized way for customers to get involved in your business and take a chance at winning a prize. For example, patients of a dental office are far more likely to refer their friends and family knowing they could win a $1,000 cash prize at the end of the year.
Granted, that’s an extreme example. Not all prizes have to be in cash, or be monetary at all. But they should be simple and creative. And when those referred customers call or visit your office, you can gather their information and add them to your mailing list.
Perform List Maintenance: No matter how big your mailing list is, it still needs regular maintenance. Even mailing lists need strategy, or you’ll never know for sure how many people are receiving your newsletter and gaining value from it. While you can scrub your list for inaccurate addresses, this is only a refining tactic. So every quarter this year, mail at least one edition first-class. That way you can see exactly how many newsletters are making it to mailboxes, and which client addresses you need to confirm.
Integrate With Other Marketing Channels: When you send a newsletter, don’t just ask your clients to read your content. Help them interact with your company. You’ll find your newsletter yields the greatest value when integrated with other marketing channels. Use calls to action, QR codes, and links to your blog and website to encourage customers to be more than passive readers.
Use your email list to grow your direct mailing list. Engage your readers with our 52 Weekly Emails, which deliver additional, valuable content to your audience and gives them a chance to opt in for your newsletter (if you wish to include this feature).
With an interactive and integrated newsletter campaign, your mailing list grows. And growing your list doesn’t have to be difficult! Just ask your Project Manager, and they’ll make it happen. At The Newsletter Pro, you have a team of people dedicated to the full-scale success of your campaign.
5. Get the Most Value Out of Your Contract
Six years ago, The Newsletter Pro could only produce newsletters. But between 2011 and 2017, we’ve grown a lot, and the products and services we offer have expanded. So if you’re printing a newsletter by the same formula we started with, you’re selling your campaign short.
Today, we produce full-scale newsletter campaigns and direct mail strategies, in packages that range from 450 pieces mailed to 10,000 pieces and beyond. And each comes with a multitude of features. When you update and upgrade your contract, your campaign includes exclusive perks that weren’t previously available.
Our packages simplify pricing, and you get more out of your newsletter campaign. We’re not kidding about this one. The possibilities are endless. So if you want more out of your newsletter, talk to your Project Manager about upgrading to a package that can sustain the future of your campaign.
Evolve Your Newsletter for a Bigger, Better 2017
We’ve refined the science of mailing newsletters. When you take your newsletter to the next level — or you start one for the first time — you set up
your business for an incredible year to come. When you update the look of your newsletter and pair it with engaging content, not to mention expand the reach of your newsletter, you give your existing customers more value. And on top of that, you warm up those cold leads and prospects, and ultimately, ignite the fire of direct mail success!
If you’re a current client, give your Project Manager a call (208-297-5700) to chat about your options for updating your campaign in the New Year.
If you don’t have a custom newsletter campaign but would like to explore your options, please give us a call at 208-297-5700 to set up your complimentary consultation. Or, find a time that works for you at newsletterpro.com/schedule.