4 Reasons Why B-to-B Email Newsletters Should be a Part of Your Marketing Plan for 2012

January 25, 2012

Are you using email newsletters to keep in touch with customers and prospects? If not, you should be considering it. They are relatively easy to do, especially if you do a blog.

Using a CRM service like Emma, Exact Target or Constant Contact it will give you access to templates to use for formatting, and more importantly, it will give you tracking data on who opened the email and where they spent time. The metrics will also tell you where and on what subjects people are attracted to. They also give you room for special messaging and links to appropriate sites.

Here are 4 reasons why you should consider a newsletter:

  1. Helps you stay in front of customers and potentials.
  2. Helps you establish thought  leadership in your area of expertise.
  3. Helps identify potentials who sign up for and keep coming back to your newsletter. Maybe someone should call on them?
  4. Build a mailing list. Use it as one touch point to get your brand in front of your audience.

Frequency will depend on a few things. If you do a blog, I’d suggest you do it monthly and highlight the top 5 posts of the month. Most templates give you room for a customized message, like look for a new product launch coming next month or promotion of a webinar. 

If you don’t do a blog, assembly of info for the newsletter may be a little more time-consuming and I would suggest doing it at least quarterly. You could assign responsibilities to various people within your company. Customer service, sales and marketing. The key is to give the reader relevent and timely info.


Why E-Newsletters are a Good Way to Stay Connected to the Professional Tradesmen

January 27, 2011

So you want to build a relationship with the professional tradesmen. In order to do that, you need to be in front of them on a consistent basis. What I like about e-newsletters is that they are relatively easy to assemble, easy to deliver and it allows your customers to read it on their time line, and hopefully if they find something of interest, they will pass the newsletter on. Besides, we’re sure he checks his e-mail every day and might miss or misplace a traditional paper one.

Realistically you don’t have the time to visit him several times a month, and truth be known, he doesn’t want to see you that often! So how do you and your brand stay in front of him on a regular basis? A newsletter would be a great vehicle to build credibility and visibility for your brand, not only to your customers, but to potentials as well.

Newsletters today aren’t like what they used to be 10 years ago. I’d suggest you consider an electronic newsletter using one of the many services like Emma and Constant Contact to maintain your lists and your newsletter programs. They have several templates to choose from if you don’t want to design your own. They also can tell you how many were opened and by whom, and if they clicked through and how much time they spent on the site. You also can embed links into your newsletter, and if people are interested in learning more, they can click.

Here are some thoughts on why I think you should consider doing an e-newsletter and what you should do to make sure they are successful:

  • Make Them Educational - keep the sales pitch for when you meet them face to face. Give them info that will benefit them. How they might improve their business. What’s happening in the industry or key associations. What trends should they be watching for? Yes, you can put in a small bit of self promo, but I’d suggest to keep it to a minimum.
  • Make Them Easy to Read - seems pretty evident but sometimes you can go overboard. Keep the article short and to the point, and if you have appropriate links to other articles, by all means put  them in. Keep them entertaining. Remember you want  to engage your reader.
  • Put Them Out on a Regular Basis - I suggest monthly, but in some cases it could be more often. You want people to look forward to your newsletter. Don’t think you need to have a set amount in each newsletter. Don’t invent things or postpone sending it out if you feel you don’t have “X” amount of things to share.
  • Get Both Sales and Marketing Involved in Content - your sales force is in the trenches each day and can give you plenty of issues to talk about. Get them engaged so they can talk it up (they also can help you build your lists).

For those of you who have blogs, you should be putting out monthly an e-newsletter of the top 5 posts from last month. Just another way to touch the folks that follow you regularly. Those are some of my thoughts on newsletters. I’d like to hear about your successes.

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Have You Surveyed Your Customers to See the Best Way to Get Them Info?

December 21, 2010

Maybe you should!

In the good old days when you wanted to tell a customer about a new product, you had limited delivery methods, among them a personal visit, snail mail or you gave them a call (before there was such a thing as voicemail).

Today, the list of options on disseminating info is almost endless, and the preferred method of delivery to each individual could vary by age, type of job they have, industry they are in or several other options. The point being is when was the last time you asked your customers how they would like to receive information? And better, if you have asked, did you respect their wishes?

It stands to reason, at least in my mind, that if I say I want all new product info via e-mail, and copies of invoices on paper with a copy to accounting and an electronic copy for my files, then you should try to respect their wishes.

If I deliver info the way customers want it, you stand a better chance of them doing something with it and at the same time, you’re making it easy for them to business with you (a novel idea).

That’s why I’m suggesting if you haven’t done a survey to customers, you should. It could be a part of a bigger customer service survey so you can get more valuable info on your clients’ profile. The results may surprise you. E-mail programs like Emma and Constant Contact have survey modules built in. This info should be put into your CRM program so you are able to deliver by their preferred method.

I’m curious how many of you have done customer surveys on a regular basis to collect data like this?

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