The Marketing Newsletter Rules OK

by Joe Pelissier on January 17, 2011

At a dinner party recently, I got talking to lady who owned a successful car dealership and asked if she ever sent her customers a marketing newsletter.

She was appalled at the idea! She wondered how on earth I thought she would have the TIME to do such a thing.

It seems to me a lot of people think that way.  They consider these things in relation to how it will impact on the day job rather than whether it’s beneficial to customers and ultimately their business.

They don’t consider that drafting a marketing newsletter might in fact BE PART OF of the day job.

Have you been to Waitrose recently?

Waitrose is now in the publishing business.  Each week-end it offers the good customers of middle-England a FREE weekend newspaper.

Why, when there is so much print media floating about, would the Waitrose marketing team want to add to it?

From Thursday onwards, loyal customers pick-up their copy of Waitrose Weekend to feed on food features, week-end and weekday recipes, wine suggestions and even a media and TV guide.

It’s a brilliant marketing newsletter – it’s not overlong,  easy to read and full of high-impact mouth watering images.

And it offers money saving coupons and even suggests what to do for the week-end if you are out of ideas or imagination.

Why has a successful food retailer moved into publishing?

After all, this is the age when the thought of printing an e-mail prompt feelings of anguish and guilt.  Many other wealthy brands –  including Porsche – are focussing more on digital communication and telling customers that their monthly newsletter is now online..

Apart from saving money, the argument is that it’s better for the environment, everyone has e-mail and people are now accustomed to receive such information digitally.

Oh, dear.

Dan Kennedy, an American marketing consultant, is famous for the way he berates any company that does not have a physical marketing newsletter.

He’s proven time and again that the newsletter is one of the most reliable and effective ways of retaining customers and staying memorable.

The Waitrose newsletter illustrates this perfectly. It

  • physically touches customers (and disgruntled partners) every week-end
  • provides something of value and relevance (and not only about food)
  • effortlessly plonks its brand across millions of the kitchen tables
  • cements brand loyalty
  • actively saves customers money through a great use of coupons

But we don’t have a Waitrose budget does for a marketing newsletter?

Of course you don’t, nor do you need to.

If you look at the above points, you can achieve similar results with a marketing newsletter with only 2 or 4 pages.

Your newsletter doesn’t have to be an aesthetic masterpiece.  Some of the best I receive are just gentle reminders of what the company or individual has been up to over the past few months.

Result = they are no longer out of sight and out of mind.

How on earth do I find the TIME to write a marketing newsletter?

I’m in the same boat too.

For ages, I’ve advised clients and others to produce one but without setting much of an example myself.

Ask yourself whether you honestly cannot find 2 – 3 hours a month to

  • write a short piece about some aspect of your product or service
  • educate customers about something that they didn’t know
  • produce a mini-case study
  • announce something NEW
  • offer a Prize, a Saving or a Coupon
  • include some relevant quotes (cliche, I know but…)
  • tell them something about you

Just schedule the time and give it a go.

And try not to feel guilty about all the trees you will unwillingly slaughter.

Take inspiration from the extraordinary publisher Felix Dennis of Dennis Publishing. His passion for publishing is equalled by his passion for forestry.  That means you can off-set any guilt you develop by supporting his Forest of Dennis charity that is dedicated to planting trees.

It’s a noble cause led by a fascinating man.

If your marketing newsletter is relevant and helpful it deserves to be seen and read. So, take action and produce it – I will show you mine if you show me yours.

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