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Welcome to Josh Baker's Practical Advice for Optimizing Your Internet Marketing blog. Here you will find internet marketing optimization and online strategy articles full of tips, tricks, discussions, and thoughts to help you take your marketing and business to the next level of success.
Oct
18

Customer Relationship-Building with Email Newsletters

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I am often surprised at how many local brick-and-mortar businesses don’t offer email newsletters. If they do happen to offer them, they are sent out way too often or much too infrequently and have little to no benefit for the recipient-they don’t build a relationship between you and the reader.

Creating a relationship-building opt-in email newsletter is an absolute necessity and just one of the many must-do ways for you to stay top-of-mind with your target audience (current or potential customers). It’s extremely important not to send out email that has no real value for the recipient. You have to make sure that the content in the email newsletter provides value, and not just stroke your ego. You will over the long-term greatly benefit by providing value to the reader. Make sure the email newsletter keeps your audience interested; the kind of interest that makes them want to tell everyone they know about your newsletter and business which of course spreads word-of-mouth.

As a quick example to explain the concept, imagine you own or manage a local brick and mortar gourmet food shop. You could implement almost immediately a free weekly or biweekly email newsletter to customers containing:

  • 1 or 2 recipes where the ingredients are available at your store
  • A few special tidbit facts on the origin of the recipe or a new spice
  • A cooking tip, maybe in a video format (don’t forget to post it to YouTube, or Howcast)
  • A food storage tip
  • An interview with a local chef/celebrity/politician about food and or cooking

You could continue to create more value and engagement when you:

  • Offer incentives (a gift card to your store) for people to send in a review of recipes they cooked from your newsletter, or a family recipe of their own.
  • Feature a spice of the week or of the month and don’t forget to mention to newsletter readers know that they can stop by your store and pick up a sample (no purchase necessary) to try it out, or a special price on it, or a sample of food using it.
  • Give readers the opportunity to stop by your store and pick up two additional recipes for free. You could also reverse the offer and give out the two free recipes to those who come to your store and let them know they can get more every month via email by registering for your email newsletter.

The list of possibilities and opportunities is endless. Be creative with your expertise to provide an enewsletter of value, something they want and find worth in receiving and to not delete. Build that relationship with your customers that they won’t get at your competition.

For some this post may be really basic, but way too many miss the point and most importantly the opportunity. You are creating a newsletter to build a relationship that will convert to sales over time, not necessarily today or later this week. You want an email newsletter that is worth it for the reader to open, read, and save in their email box, and if you’re doing it right they are sitting on the edge of their computer seat waiting for the next issue to arrive. It should demonstrate your expertise, draw them back into your store, and even inspire them to forward it to friends.

Keep the expertise up, the sales pitches low-key (unless you’re Kmart) but intertwined – and build that very important value-relationship with your audience.

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