Post a new topic
    11 Replies Latest reply on May 14, 2008 8:17 PM by CommunityTeam

    Pre-Event Questions,Touchpoint Media

    CommunityTeam Adventurer
      Do you have questions on how to develop your own newsletter or how to effectively use content to deepen existing relationship or acquire new customers?

      Steve Farbman, CEO of Touchpoint Media will be in the SBOC forum on May 14, from 2PM - 3PM ET to address all of your questions.

      About Steve Farbman
      Steve Farbman is CEO of Touchpoint Media and Touchpoint Sports, Inc. Touchpoint Sports, based in Minneapolis is primarily a publisher of custom magazines for amateur sports associations. Touchpoint Media, based in White Plains, New York, was created to focus on custom publishing in areas outside of sports. Touchpoint Media has developed an expertise in small business, having published small business magazines for several Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 companies. The company also develops customized content for small business web sites and email newsletters.

      Farbman has over 20 years experience in the publishing industry, working for such communications titans as Bruce Wasserstein and Warner Communications before acquiring Touchpoint Sports.

      To all Community Members
      We will take advance questions all this week. If you have a question for Steve post it here, by simply hitting reply and then check back with the site on May 14 from 2-3 PM Eastern or anytime after that for Steve's response. You can also pose a question to Steve anytime during the live event hours on May 14 2PM - 3PM. Steve will try to answer as many of your questions as possible.
        • Re: Pre-Event Questions,Touchpoint Media, May 14: 2PM - 3PM
          FCPainter Adventurer
          If you are a business that only sporadically serves a customer (e.g. as a housepainter, we might do a house once every 5 years) would you still use a newsletter or would you recommend against it. Currently, we send out a mailing right before Christmas offering to collect coats for the salvation army. We feel like that is a nice way to stay in touch, do some good, and also visit their homes. What would you do if you ran a house painting company. I like the idea of a newsletter, but don't think homeowners want to hear from me every month.
            • Re: Pre-Event Questions,Touchpoint Media, May 14: 2PM - 3PM
              mpoweringu Wayfarer
              I would recommend using a form of a newsletter. You have to focus on what your expertise is. In your case (or the example you presented of a house painter,) your expertise could include some of the following tips and/or advice to homeowners:

              • What types of paint are there and in which situations should I use a certain one?
              • How to paint the perfect edge (ceilings, baseboards, corners, around windows, etc.)
              • Faux-finish techniques (if you know how to do this)
              • How to paint furniture (maybe if you needed to extend your service as a slight hedge)
              The idea is to do two things:
              1. To stay in contact with your prospective and current customers as much as possible so that when they think of that large greatroom that needs painting desparately, they'll think of you.
              2. To show your expertise in your field so that if they should try to tackle the job themselves (and mess up as many do) they will know who to call to fix it!
              You may think sharing this information would potentially drive your customers to do it themselves, but let me make it simple. If they choose to try it themselves... more than likely they were already going to try it themselves. What you've done it basically told them that you're an expert at what you do and if they screw up, you can fix it. They will also take your name and share it with friends and neighbors they may know who are looking at some painting work that needs to be done. By keeping your company's name in front of them through a newsletter of this sort... you keep your name high up on their list.

              Just some thoughts, but I hope they help.

              Brian Hamlett
            • Re: Pre-Event Questions,Touchpoint Media, May 14: 2PM - 3PM
              Bluesuit Adventurer

              I actually have a question for a friend of mine. She recently paid several hundred dollars to advertise her yoga studio in a local magazine. I was surprised at the cost. What advice can you provide to someone with limited dollars but would like to advertise their business in print? Newspapers vs. magazines vs. taking an ad out in the yellow pages? What's working these days? And how do you get the most out of your dollar? Also, would my friend of paid less if she called the publication at the very last minute vs. securing her ad space well in advance?
              • Re: Pre-Event Questions,Touchpoint Media, May 14: 2PM - 3PM
                caffeinated Scout
                Newsletters tend to be informational only. To make them more impactful, what sort of calls-to-action should a newsletter contain, if any?
                • Re: Pre-Event Questions,Touchpoint Media, May 14: 2PM - 3PM
                  designer Tracker
                  Q. How often should you purge your Mailing List? Also, for technology changing the way we communicate? With cell phone usage, I find it's better to keep messages one or two sentences long to get a point across effectively. If there are too many characters and text, people are not seeing the whole email and end up just deleting my emails. Thank you.
                  • Re: Pre-Event Questions,Touchpoint Media, May 14: 2PM - 3PM
                    clnshirtz Wayfarer
                    What are the most common mistakes you see Small Business Owners making when it comes to using or not using newsletters, e-mails, and their website content. I don't know much about this but am intrigued at the idea of using a blog or a newsletter to help make more of a connection to our customers.
                    • Re: Pre-Event Questions,Touchpoint Media, May 14: 2PM - 3PM
                      bearla Newbie
                      I run a relatively young company selling shoes. We have a lot of online sales and a database of nearly 40K customers, as well as active Myspace and Facebook pages. What should I be considering when deciding about the frequency of a newsletter?

                      And once you've decided on the interval, how would you choose between 1) emailing a newsletter vs. 2) emailing a link to new content on our website vs. 3) mailing a hard-copy newsletter?
                        • Re: Pre-Event Questions,Touchpoint Media, May 14: 2PM - 3PM
                          greenit Newbie
                          Developing a professional email template to communicate your vital information to your customers/clients is important. The frequency can be determined by a number of factors, i.e. budget, sales promotions, holidays, etc. It can be weekly, monthly or monthly with periodical specials. I would not suggest putting the newsletter itself as your email, rather, upload the newsletter to your website and provide an informational letter about your company with a link to the newsletter and other items you sell within the email (of course, highlighting any specials). This drives customers/clients to your website where they can find other valuable information, items for sale, and services your company offers. Or you can send an abridged version of your newsletter via email with a "Click Here to Read the Full Version" link to your website. Based on the response of your email, you can pare down your hard-copy mailing list (thereby saving paper and postage), and send it only to those who did not open your email.

                          We'd be happy to talk with you about this!
                        • Re: Pre-Event Questions,Touchpoint Media, May 14: 2PM - 3PM
                          Generation4 Adventurer
                          I always wanted to write a book and sell it in a major book store. How does a novice like me shop a book to a major publishing house - get it printed and collect royalties? How does one break into this industry if you don't have any connections?
                          • Re: Pre-Event Questions,Touchpoint Media, May 14: 2PM - 3PM
                            CommunityTeam Adventurer

                            Any more questions for Steve? It's not too late to submit your question right now. Or make sure you join us for the live event today at 2PM ET.
                            • Re: Pre-Event Questions,Touchpoint Media, May 14: 2PM - 3PM
                              CommunityTeam Adventurer
                              Please view a transcript of this event at this URL.