It is not that long ago when businesses spent hundreds of pounds on Direct Marketing campaigns, producing flyers to be posted out to customers on their databases in the hope that they would “take the bait” and visit your shop, or use your service, being prompted by the message your had produced. Whilst this is still a viable marketing option, especially for larger companies with big marketing budgets, there are also other means are more cost-effective and as, if not more effective in many ways.
Many businesses, (including us) choose the approach of sending email newsletters on a regular basis. These are a great way of having direct contact with your database, and gives you the opportunity to let your client base know what is happening in your business, share knowledge in the form of blogs and resource articles, inform of news, new products, new menus - whatever your business, it is a useful tool, and is not hard to achieve.
Here are our Top Tips on creating a successful Email Newsletter
1. Good Content
If you want someone to take the time to read your newsletter, you need to make sure that you include content that they will find interesting. News on new staff, new promotions, products etc is a good place to start. Also, a regular feature is also a nice idea. For example, we always have a Clever Story feature in our monthly newsletter, which helps to structure the newsletter but by focusing on a different client each week it still provides diversity in content. If you have events that you want to promote, seminars you are running, new recipes or menu changes this is a great place to share this.
2. Keep it regular
As we have spoken about before in our blog about “blogs”, regular contact is important here. Decide on how often you will be sending out a newsletter and stick to it. Will it be monthly, seasonally? People like to have regularity in their lives, and if you pick a frequency, your readers will have an idea on how often to expect to hear from you. Make sure that you don’t over-send newsletters though, as no one likes being bombarded in this way.
Unlike direct mail, email newsletters have a distinct advantage in the fact that they can be linked to your website, promotions, articles etc. If you are informing your customers of a promotion or new menu/recipe that has been added to your website, linking the article to the relevant web page means that people are more likely to visit your website, and may lead to further sales, customers in your restaurant or recommendations to others.
Including social media links is also another great way of getting your newsletter “shared” - it is easy for someone to share your article which will get your business name out there further.
4. Keep it brief
You don’t want to over-do it content-wise. Stick to 3 or 4 sections, where you can portray the information that you want. If there is a lot of text, and the page starts to look cluttered, you can enter a small amount of text as a “taster” which links through to your website where the whole “article” can be read. This will keep your newsletter looking slick, as well as not over-filling it with information, which can act as a “turn off”.
If you receive an email from someone, who addresses you as Sir/Madam, you immediately know that they don’t know you and are likely vying for business and are unlikely to read the whole email, usually deleting it before you have reached the end. This is not the route you want to go down with your email newsletter. You can easily personalise your newsletter with each individual’s name, giving a much more personal approach, which will therefore help to encourage your customer to take the time to read on. When you email people it is important to have their permission beforehand also, so when you are collecting your contacts for your emails, you will also have the opportunity here to get names in order to add that personal touch.
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