While they may seem outdated, sending out newsletters is still a great way to increase your business and create loyalty.
As the Nielsen Norman Group reports, sending newsletters is an effective way to stay connected with your customer base even when they aren't thinking about buying anything. So imagine how effective creating holiday newsletters can be during that time of year when everyone is buying everything.
Today, the popularity of low-cost email newsletters is surging as a way to establish connections, stay in touch, inform and entertain. According to The New York Times, email newsletters help people figure out what's worth paying attention to. Although commonplace now, the good ones do an excellent job of making a business top-of-mind.
A Helpful Reminder
Newsletters are a superior way to communicate with customers during the holiday season. In particular, they can be used to:
- Announce Special Events: Vanda Asapahu, of Ayara Thai Cuisine in Los Angeles, sends holiday newsletters to alert customers of an annual one-day-only, prix-fixe holiday-themed dinner, which typically fills up quickly after the newsletters hit inboxes.
- Share Experiences: Consider offering up special insights into your business and professional experience. For instance, if you're an accountant, you can share a few year-end tax tips with your customer base, or if you're a restaurateur, you can divulge some of your more popular recipes. Asapahu tells customers how to prepare some of the eatery's most popular dishes, such as pumpkin crème br?l?e. Although individuals could use the recipe to make the dessert on their own, they want to try the eatery's version. "Once that newsletter is sent, forget it," she says. "A line forms out the door."
- Say Thank You AJ Saleem, the academic director of Suprex Home Tutoring, sends a holiday letter that includes a Starbucks coupon worth around $5 ("enough for a hot chocolate," he says). Customers appreciate the freebie, and Saleem usually sees an increase in business right after the holidays.
- Offer an Incentive: Some companies include coupons to encourage customers to make a purchase during November or December. If you give them a reason to buy, they likely will.
- Provide Inspiration: Ben Freedland of ZINK increases the frequency of his newsletter from two or three times a week to once per day during the holidays, in order to keep his business constantly on his customer's minds. In each issue, he says he includes inspiring quotes to give recipients "a daily dose of positive vibes" they can look forward to during these stressful few weeks. If it happens to lead to a purchase of one of his handcrafted products, so much the better.
- Present News: The primary purpose of a newsletter is to inform and share news, which might include new product information, recent honors and awards, hiring updates or details about changes in the business.
- Humanize the Company: Sometimes customers begin to feel disconnected from businesses, especially larger ones — so including a heart-warming story or personal revelation can help endear customers to you and distance your business from the megacorporations.
Creating holiday newsletters is actually easier than you expect. Start by undertaking a push to collect your customers' email addresses so you have more contacts on file for the holidays. Then, clean up your email list and begin to plan out the first edition. A number of email marketing providers offer templates to make laying out each issue simple, as well as mailing list maintenance and distribution. Constant Contact and Campaigner are two services that offer free trials.
Or you can use festive holiday stationery to easily print and mail your own!
Don't miss out on the chance to get back in touch with your customers during the time of year when they may be most likely to need your products and services. Everyone enjoys a holiday greeting, especially from their favorite, friendly neighborhood business.