It’s now more important than ever for companies to translate shrinking marketing budgets into concrete sales results. Internet newsletters provide a unique opportunity for companies to accomplish this by creating synergy between these two disciplines.
(The Right) Information Sells
While many companies have distributed newsletters for a long time, most have failed to optimize the sales power of the medium. Typically, newsletters are filled with marketing copy that touts the company’s accomplishments, and ignores a basic fact â€“ customers don’t care about this type of news.
People want to receive information that’s useful and relevant to their business lives, not hear about your latest merger or strategic partnership. In effect, companies are wasting a great opportunity to not only push out a message to prospects or customers, but also to pull them to the company.
The companies that successfully win their customers’ allegiance will be those that concentrate on business fundamentals, and reach out to potential customers to sell the solution itself, not just the company’s services.
How can you achieve this? First, understand your readers’ psychology. Then, emphasize three key themes â€“ trust, stability and value â€“ to bring your message closer to the customer’s world.
The Battle for the Inbox
Most of the home pages your customers know are the ones that routinely appear in their inboxes. In effect, companies have used opt-in email to change the venue in which they’re competing. In doing so, they’ve gone from fighting for attention online to enjoying predictable mindshare through newsletters and e-mail campaigns.
But the average business person now gets over 50 emails a day. When they open their inbox, they have just three questions in mind â€“ which do I read, which do I save to read later, and which do I delete without opening? If your company bombards prospects with information they aren’t interested in, your newsletters will quickly be deleted and your subscriber lists will shrink.
So how can you compete?
Newsletters that Sell
To optimize your newsletter’s effectiveness, populate each issue with articles that surround the business problem and allay customers’ fears. Focus on making it easy for customers to buy your services.
There are three broad themes that surround every business problem. Focus your Internet newsletters on these themes, and you’ll automatically provide the kind of information that enables prospects to better assess, and ultimately choose, your services:
- Trust – Companies must reduce concerns that, after customers invest considerable time and resources in the service, the provider will disappear. Several factors can put potential customers’ fears to rest.
- Branded partners â€“ Team up with the members of your industry’s highest echelon – these players don’t back losers
- Management team â€“ Recruit individuals with proven track records of success and the ability to see beyond the curve
- Philosophy â€“ Try to have one foot within the current trend, while the other foot’s stepping into the next
- Integrity â€“ Your clients need to feel comfortable that they’re working with an honest company
- Stability â€“ Successful companies work hard to reassure prospects that their service is reliable. They go to great pains to demonstrate that the solution is an efficient and profitable improvement on established business methods.
- Value â€“ Focus on the capabilities customers will gain/when they buy your product or service – educate them about your brand’s benefits.
Bridge The Gap
To gain and keep customer mindshare, Internet newsletters are ideal, but they must provide relevant, useful information if they’re going to succeed. Make sure your newsletter focuses on trust, stability and value, for maximum sales impact.