We work with a broad range of clients, from manufacturers to health care providers to attorneys, and we almost always recommend a customer newsletter as a vital part of their content marketing plan.
After all, you’ve already invested time and energy getting to know your customers and the people in your database. They already know, like, and trust you which means the cost of selling to this group is considerably lower than selling to people who have never heard of you.
But, despite this low-cost of sales, most companies neglect to nurture their existing customer base.
Sales teams are working on new business and don’t have the time and incentives to keep up with past clients, and account managers are generally focused on current clients and keeping projects on track.
A customer newsletter is a cost-effective way to fill this sales gap and continue to strengthen the relationships you’ve worked so hard to build. Keeping in regular contact improves the chances your clients will think of you when they, or someone they know, needs your products and services in the future.
The business case for publishing a regular customer newsletter
Customer newsletters are a low-overhead marketing tactic. At The Red Stairs, we have a streamlined process. Because we plan each issue in advance, we need roughly one hour of client time per issue.
- We need your help to gather information for the story.
- You will need to read and approve the final document.
Everything else is taken care of by the writers, editors, proofreaders, and designers at The Red Stairs.
What else could you do in an hour that could touch all your customers, offer them valuable information, and help you sell more products?
By comparison, if you called 800 people from your database, and each call took around 10 minutes, you could make around 40 calls a day. It would take a month (20 work days) to call everyone.
Planning a customer newsletter
At The Red Stairs, we handle newsletter planning and writing, and for those clients who want a full service, we manage the design and dispatch too.
Clients who don’t have a marketing automation feature as part of their CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tend to opt for the full service.
We’ve noticed that the most effective newsletters have just one story per issue. Sometimes, if a client is exhibiting at a trade show, or wants to introduce a new employee whose job is customer facing, we add a second story.
Broadly speaking, stories are selected because they fall into one, or both, of the following categories:
- They are useful, valuable and interesting to your target audience.
- They support strategic goals and initiatives.
While these factors are different for every company, we have found certain types of stories are particularly advantageous for email marketing.
Our favorite story types for customer newsletters
Customer success stories
These are mini case studies that show what it is like to work with you. They demonstrate the challenges your clients face and how they solved their problems by implementing your solution.
Product and service stories
If your customers don’t know about the different services and products you offer, you are leaving the door open for your competition to swoop in and sell something you could have provided.
The best way to approach this type of story is from the perspective of your customer. Instead of listing features, point out the value and benefits of what you offer.
Solutions to common problems
Ask your customer service team what questions they get asked again and again. The answers make excellent newsletter stories. From best practices to hacks to ways to get the most out of your product, this type of story is a great way to engage your clients.
Expert guidance, commentary and thought leadership
You and your employees are experts in your field, that is why your customers buy from you. You can use your newsletter to demonstrate your depth of knowledge by commenting on what’s happening in your industry, pointing out opportunities clients may not have considered, or offering insights that may not be as clearly visible from their perspective.
Want to know if a newsletter is right for your company?
Contact Janette Lonsdale at The Red Stairs to discuss your goals and needs and how a newsletter can help you achieve them.