Posts Tagged ‘Newsletter’

7 Content Marketing Rules to Break

Content marketing is the way to stay in front of small business prospects to showcase expertise. There is a lot of advice on how to do this that is just plain wrong.

For example, here are seven content marketing rules to break:

Rule 1: Send a monthly newsletter to tell customers and prospects about multiple topics they may be interested in. How to break the rule: Send one subject emails to highlight one relevant piece of advice. In this way, the customer will read it quickly and the company will get the brand reinforcement they want. It now takes 21 brand reminders for a prospect to remember the brand.

Rule 2: Don't mix education messages with selling ones. Content marketers advise the company to split out theses two types of messages. How to break the rule: Always be up selling. Condition the audience to always be expecting offers from the company while they are being educated. This will result in more sales annually.

Stocksy_txp47ea4fcagK5000_Small_192861Rule 3: Always be part of the online social media conversation in the company's area of expertise. How to break the rule: Only participate when the company has something useful to say and can contribute value to the conversation. While this should be consistent, a company does not need to be part of every conversation on every platform and website. This will result in being productive, not just busy.

Rule 4: Pre-program posts in advance so they systematically appear throughout the day.  How to break the rule: This can be dangerous because a company could have pre-programmed posts about getting rust off a car and the news of the day is that one of the big car companies filed for bankruptcy! Be part of what is relevant.

Rule 5: Don't measure the outcome because this type of marketing takes a long time. How to break the rule: All marketing needs to be measured for results. If there are no results, do not invest in it. Think of what success looks like before starting a content marketing strategy.

Rule 6: Leave the review process to customers to post. How to break the rule: Some customer sets will naturally post comments on social media sites. Other customers need to be solicited by the company to encourage reviews and references. Don't be afraid to just ask.

Rule 7:  One size fits all. One piece of content can be shared in its same firm across multiple sites and platforms.  How to break the rule: Customize the content to fit the site. Emphasize quick advice or wit on Twitter. Use pictures or video on Facebook. Highlight the post 's educational nature on LinkedIn. Show it in a series of pictures on Pinterest.

What content marketing rules do you break?

Nextiva Tuesday Tip: How to Start a Customer E-Newsletter

customer-experience-digitalDo you want to remind customers of your business, encourage them to interact with you and provide useful information to help make their lives better? You can accomplish all of these goals and more with a customer e-newsletter.

Starting an e-newsletter for your customers may sound intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. There are many email marketing services that provide design templates you can use to create your newsletter, send it out for you, and provide tools and analytics you can use to measure results. Plus, email marketing services stay up-to-date on the latest laws regarding email marketing and spam, which can help ensure your business isn’t running afoul of FTC regulations.

Your e-newsletter should contain a mix of useful information to help your customers and special offers from your business. You don’t want it to be solely promotional, but you also want it to inspire customers to click through to your website, visit your store or otherwise engage with your business. For instance, if you own an ecommerce site that sells gardening supplies, you could send a monthly email newsletter with do-it-yourself tips on gardening activities like preparing your yard for winter, along with timely offers such as discounts on seasonal supplies. Also be sure to include links to your social media accounts so customers can follow you on social media.

How often should you send an email newsletter? The key is regularity—if your schedule is sporadic, customers may think you’ve gone out of business or are not professional. A monthly newsletter is a good starting point for most small businesses. If that’s too much, consider starting quarterly, or if you have more bandwidth, try biweekly or weekly. Monitor your readers’ unsubscribes to make sure you’re not sending too often.

Once you’ve got your email newsletter going, be sure to promote it everywhere you can with links to sign up on the home page of your website, in your marketing materials, on your social media accounts and at the end of your email signature. 

How to Craft the Perfect Business Newsletter

NewsletterRelationships are the backbones of all small businesses. Without them, it can be difficult to attract referrals, participate in industry events and build a positive reputation for your business. So, outside of hard selling (which often has a negative effect on customer interactions), what is another method of strengthening relationships?

“Create a client-facing newsletter,” says Jim Palmer, a marketing expert known as “The Newsletter Guru.”

“So many small business owners will focus time and money on client acquisition, but in reality it is important to focus on a retention strategy and a way to preserve relationships,” he says. “Newsletters are the perfect way to do that.”

Here, Palmer offers his top tips on building an effective customer-facing newsletter.

Start with a success story

Newsletters are not about the hard sell; they are meant to generate interest in and a personal connection to your business. Palmer recommends starting your newsletter with a client success story. Maybe your service helped a customer save money on health insurance premiums. Describe in detail (using the name of your client with permission) what you did from start to finish and how it helped your customer.

Tip: Focus on how the customer was helped, not on your product. Write the story like a news article, not sales flyer. Write a headline (i.e. ‘Company saves $50,000 on insurance premiums.’) and a subheadline (i.e. ‘Here’s how we did it.’).

Answer frequently asked questions

Lets say you are the owner of a CPA firm and the majority of your clients come to you for end-of-year tax help. Are they also aware that you aid in estate planning, financial planning and even teach classes on how to save money? Probably not.

“Use your newsletter to tell your customers what else you do in your business,” he suggests.

Include helpful articles

After the ‘what else’ section, include fun, interesting and entertaining stories that your clients would be interested in reading. Don’t focus on your business. Instead, if you are an accountant, write up a story on how to save money on a family vacation or how to lower your air conditioning bill in the summer.

“Be informative to your customers and write articles with tips yourself,” Palmer says. “I don’t recommend copying and pasting an article from the Internet that is copyrighted.”

End on a personal note

Conclude your newsletter with a noteworthy story about yourself (maybe your family adopted a new pet) or an employee. Just make sure the story is interesting, not just a profile on someone for no reason.

Palmer suggests, “Write about how your director of sales is the drummer in a band with a picture of him. It will add a human element to your newsletter and allow your readers to feel connected to your company on a personal level.” 

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