I wasn't going to write today, but I was inspired by Seth Godin's post, "My tooth doesn't hurt." It's about how a marketer can build a solid business, even when they think their target market doesn't need them right now (like a dentist who is badly needed when a person has a toothache, but easily ignored the rest of the time.)
Here's the meat of the article (but click through to read the rest for context):
There are two challenges for toothache marketers (dentists and non-dentists alike).
1. Figure out a cost-effective way to be there. A way to gently be in my face so that when my toothache shows up (in whatever form that takes) you're the obvious choice.
2. Create new products and services that build engagement and possibly revenue among members of the population that aren't in pain. That, of course, is why teeth whitening services are so smart. You can sell to people who didn't know they had a problem until they met you.
And that's where newsletters are so useful.
The purpose of a newsletter is build a long-term relationship with your clients and with your prospects.
You do that by offering them valuable information that will improve their lives, entertaining them and informing them at the same time. You build your relationship over time by offering them this information on a regular basis.
You are gently in their face - you're there, as part of their lives, but you're not advertising to them. You're not overtly selling. Instead, you are building a deeper, more trusted relationship, so that when they need you, you're the one they call.
At the same time, your newsletter is a space where you can offer products and services that will encourage them to engage with you in new ways. If you take the attitude that you are there to make your clients' lives better, and you have a product or service that works - and that people love - then it would be a mistake not to tell your clients about that product your service.
So mention it in your newsletter, providing an attractive offer that will encourage them to contact you to find out more.
Being gently in their face is what it's all about - building a relationship based on trust and service.