Start Your Newsletter!
You may wonder why sites offer newsletters and wonder about their value as sales tools. In my experience, a newsletter is one of the most important selling tools that you can have. It’s a “force multiplier” for your Web site. Here I tell you why I think you should have a newsletter, the goals to set for it and what sort of content it should have. The next issue will talk about an enhancement that can make your newsletter even more effective at automatically bringing business to you.
Small business owners are busy people. They often don’t do newsletters because they are busy and they don’t see the immediate payoff. And doing a good job on a newsletter takes talent and time.
Converted vs Not Converted
We speak of “conversions” of visitors, which is simply getting visitors to do whatever is that we want. It may be buying, increasing awareness, contacting a friend, and so on. A site exists to perform some sort of conversion activity. But what if the visitor isn’t completely convinced, what if she is interested but not completely sold? What happens then? Many sites depend on the visitor’s ability to perhaps remember the URL or perhaps to bookmark it, or to find the site again with a search, hoping that the visitor doesn’t happen on a competitor’s site next time around.
The purpose of a newsletter is to allow the visitor to say “I’m not completely sold but I’m interested. Tell me more and we may do business.” You make it easy for the visitor to leave you an email address, and you follow up with your newsletter, that reminds the visitor of your site and your business and heightens interest.
In today’s world that’s crowded with advertising messages, marketers tell us that a prospect needs to see our business name some seven times in a credible setting before they are prepared to do business with us. So the site visit is number one–how do we get those other six exposures? You got it, through the newsletter! We simply get out the newsletter and we know that we are creating those other six credible exposures.
Because the purpose of the newsletter is just to build awareness and credibility, you shouldn’t sell (much) in the newsletter. Now and then a special offer is OK, but the purpose of the newsletter isn’t to present special pricing or to tell prospects that you’d love to have their business–they know that already. It’s to build credibility as appropriate to your business.
If you’re a physician, your expertise is key. But also present a caring staff, a comfortable office, painless treatments, outstanding results, lots of credentials for you and your staff. If you’re renting vacation homes, get across how interesting your area is to visit because of everything that’s happening, how you give great service, how nice your homes are. If you perform dangerous construction maintenance, how qualified your people are, what interesting and challenging jobs you’ve done, what an expert you are on hard problems.
What do I do with this newsletter? I present issues that I deal with every day that I think my readers might find interesting, and my advice on how to deal with them. The idea is that if they have a Web site that isn’t doing the job or know a small business in that situation, they’ll know who to call for help. And they do.
My point is that you’re trying to see at a distance. Think about the message you want to convey and then provide interesting information that conveys the message. For example, if you want to point out what great service your concierges give, ask them to provide some interesting stories about unusual arrangements that they’ve made that have worked out well.
The Bottom Line
Don’t leave your Web site out there making first impressions with no way to get two through seven! Support your investment in your Web site with a newsletter. Give it six months and then look at its effectiveness. Then let me know and I’ll share your success story with my newsletter readership!