Focusing © by garryknight

Do you have a newsletter?  If you don’t, you should.  I can’t think of any industry, any company, that wouldn’t see some measure of increased lead generation and customer retention with a well-written newsletter.  The trouble is, there’s a lot of lousy newsletters out there.

Several things differentiate the great newsletters from the mediocre, but they all boil down to one key point the writers of the best newsletters already know:  to produce a newsletter that generates results, you must compellingly present information the customer actually wants to read.

This doesn’t happen by accident.  To create results-generating newsletters, you must establish a clear mission for your newsletter.

Ask yourself:

  • Who reads this newsletter? Be as specific as possible; good answers include “women aged 40 – 65, socially active, with annual incomes above $100,000,” or, “CIOs of manufacturing companies with annual sales between $5 – $20 million.”
  • What problems do these readers have? Be specific! “Our target audience wants to look their best – not their age,” or, “Our readers need to keep their software systems running smoothly without any hassles.”
  • How does this newsletter solve these problems? “This newsletter educates women on the many strategies for looking young,” or “This newsletter informs CIOs of the latest CRM developments.”

In other words, precisely identify what your readers can expect from your newsletter. Consider the following sample newsletter mission statements:

#1 (good):

“Energy Quarterly” targets homeowners in the western suburbs of Chicago who have purchased heating or cooling systems in the past five years.  It is delivered 4x/year and presents easy-to-implement energy conservation tips and current news in the energy industry.

#2  (not so good):

“Creative Thinking” gets sent electronically to anyone who has a website to let these prospects know more about our design firm and what we can do for them.

Which newsletter would you rather read?

It’s not about you!

Your newsletter establishes relationships. It may also nurture leads or convert prospects to buyers, but it does that through relationship building. This involves a certain amount of trust; the client or prospect must trust you to not waste his time, and you’ve got to earn that trust by offering genuinely helpful content.

People won’t bother to read a thinly veiled ad disguised as a newsletter. Of course, becoming a recognized expert in your field is the ultimate sales message. But if you do include a short ad, keep the focus on your reader. Talk about benefits, not features.

Remember, your newsletter should focus on your customer, not you.  If your newsletter can help solve your customer’s problems, I guarantee, you’ll be happy with your results.