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    5 Replies Latest reply on Nov 3, 2010 11:40 PM by SMB4SIX

    5 Reasons Why No One Reads Your Company Newsletter

    dgruttadaurio Newbie
      Truth be told, there's probably more than five.

      There could be a hundred reasons why your company newsletter isn't getting the results you expect. And almost all of those reasons have the same specific problem...

      Your readers just don't like it!

      There... I said it. It's the ugly truth no entrepreneur wants to hear.

      However, don't despair. It's not your fault. No one has ever explained it to you.

      So I've narrowed it down to five common mistakes found in nearly every company newsletter.

      Mistake # 1: Your newsletter isn't helpful

      This is a big one. Bombarding your customers with whole bunch of promotional stuff isn't going to work.

      Of course, you probably realize that non-stop, shameless self-promotion isn't going to endear you to your clients.

      Yet... most entrepreneurs can't seem to help themselves.

      They really do want to send something useful; they mean to be helpful; but in the end, self-promotion wins out. Why? Because it's just easier to do.

      It's easier to pitch your products or services than it is to write another article about your stuff.

      Trust me. Send a company newsletter like that and your customers will see right through it.

      Mistake #2: Your style isn't especially compelling

      When you speak to a friend over the phone, you sound animated and excited. Try to write it down on paper and your style suddenly becomes dry, brittle and boring. It just doesn't sound like you.

      From voice to print, your style gets lost in the translation. That means your writing doesn't really get across how you feel. Every artist, singer, and yes, writer has a signature style. This 'voice' needs to be real and authentic.

      Try this: Get a friend to ask you questions about the topics you'll be writing about in your newsletter - and record it. Just blab away; then transcribe what you've said.

      Yep... it sounds tedious. But it works because it's a great way to find your own unique writing 'voice'. Also, practice DOES make perfect. Write something every day. Try writing an email to your customers two or three times a week.

      Style matters. And you have one - you just have to learn to get it on paper.

      Mistake # 3: You're not telling a story

      Most people think their newsletter has to be a formal affair - perfect sentence structure that's all prim and proper.

      Literary perfection isn't the way to create a great company newsletter. Stories are.

      Its human nature: From infancy we learn to be spellbound by stories.

      Tell stories about your clients. Write about you... and make it personal. People love to know about you. And the more you tell, the more they will love you. Nothing gets your readers involved like the color and drama of a good story.

      And be sure to tell the moral of the story. Explain what you learned or what you should have learned or what someone else could learn from your experience.

      Mistake # 4: You have a wimpy call to action

      Let's say you need to fill up your martial arts class. In your company newsletter, you're going to create a killer special offer to get them to commit. You need your customers to respond. You can't simply hope they will - you have to make an irresistible buying opportunity for them.

      You have to be pretty darned clear what you want them to do, too. Just saying 'please respond' is wimpy and vague. Tell them to 'call today'. Provide a deadline to take advantage of your great promotion.

      Offer a fast action bonus if they are among the first 10 respondents.

      Most biz owners just hope their customers will act on their offers. And most customers don't - because they're usually pretty busy people. So you have to stop them dead in their tracks - interrupt them and get their attention.

      Of course, none of this will work if you're a complete stranger to them...

      Mistake# 5: You don't mail your newsletter every month

      At 6 p.m. turn on your TV. What do you see?

      In just about every city in the U.S. you'll see the evening news. Granted, it's usually the same old news, but you know it's consistent.

      Most newsletters are NOT this dependable. If you write a company newsletter, you must have a consistent publishing schedule.

      The best frequency? Monthly. Just like you get your favorite magazine or even your bank statement every month - people have learned to expect things of importance on a monthly basis.

      If you have promised your customers your newsletter will go out every month - then you do whatever you have to do to keep that promise.

      Your newsletters can't go to Aruba on vacation. It cannot become ill and call in sick. That won't wash with your readers. Can you imagine the TV station canceling the news because some newsanchor didn't show up one evening?

      Newsletters do all the grunt work of relationship marketing for you.

      And you want to miss a month? Are you crazy?

      Although listed last, this mistake is the unforgivable sin of newsletter marketing.

      The biggest reason for newsletter failure is because your company newsletter is a stranger to your clients. Muck up the frequency and the other four points become irrelevant. If you send it quarterly or just whenever you feel like it, you're wasting your time and money. The response to your newsletter is directly connected to mailing frequency.

      The bottom line

      Unbridled self-promotion doesn't work here. It's necessary to promote yourself - just make it useful.

      Your tone of writing is critical. Record yourself if you have to; but make sure you connect with your own unique voice.

      If you can't get your head around a casual and informal writing structure, use customer stories instead.

      And never forget: This is not a hobby. Your send a company newsletter to make money. Don't be half-hearted about promotion - use a strong call to action.

      Without consistent frequency - i.e. monthly - your customers will forget who you are even if you do everything else right. It's not fair; but that's the harsh reality.

      Newsletters require a lot of work and effort. There's no point in doing them unless you get the results you're looking for. Avoiding these five big mistakes will perk up your response rate in a hurry.
        • Re: 5 Reasons Why No One Reads Your Company Newsletter
          SBC Team Guide
          Good information! Welcome back, dgruttadaurio!

          SBOC Admin Team
          • Re: 5 Reasons Why No One Reads Your Company Newsletter
            Beracha Newbie
            Thank you for the solid points.

            Marketers must understand that in order to be successful, they must provide value, and in order to provide value, they must listen.
            • Re: 5 Reasons Why No One Reads Your Company Newsletter
              SMB4SIX Newbie
              Very Good Information Here..

              I've actually had great results utilizing newsletters. Many people have commented on actually looking forward to them! Thus, being why I wanted to share with you some of the things that I have done to ensure the recipients enjoy them... Just thought you could find some benefit in it.

              Newsletters are a great tool for your business because we all know that it "keeps a fence" around your customers and also opens the door for more customers... Here are some things that have worked well for me:

              1. Make sure this is at the very least 90% recipient focused 10% advertising. Make the recipients WANT to read and keep it.

              2. Put content that is beneficial to your recipients, this will help establish you as an expert in your field.

              3. Always, always, always have a fun & games section in your newsletter -- include crosswords, sudoku, wordfinds, "doodle-sections", and even a Dr. Date or Romance Advice when appropriate

              4. Make your newsletters relevant to the current time of the year and find something beneficial to say -- holdiay seasons, spring is coming, HOT summers, etc. -- this will help your reader's bond with your newsletter because they are in that environment

              5. If your recipients consist of families with children create coloring or drawing contests with your newsletters to get readers to submit something to you -- you can also drive them to upload pictures to your website

              Remember, keep the newsletter at LEAST 90% recipient focused or else they will just throw it out like any other advertisement. I found that by making it a true newsletter with interesting information they will keep it longer and even share it with their friends!

              These are just a couple things that I found to be effective. I hope this was beneficial! I wish you the best!