Here's what I believe: Every Business Needs a Newsletter.
Even funeral homes.
Here are 5 reasons why:
Trust is at a premium these days. After all, who can we trust? Not the banks - they've shown how something apparently rock-solid can turn to dust. Not the investment industry - Bernie Madoff put pay to that. And not politicians - we've never felt able to trust them anyway.
So if you can build trust, you're a step ahead.
The thing is, no one trusts you right away. That's especially true if they've found you online. Trust needs to be earned by fulfilling promises and building relationships over the long term.
A newsletter works as a tool to build those relationships of trust. It gives you a track record of providing valuable client-centered information and opens up opportunities for two-way communication.
2. Forget-Me-Not Followers (because people are more forgetful than you can possibly imagine - so keep saying "hello")
You know how it is - we're bombarded with choices. It's hard to keep them all in your head. And it's also hard to remember who's who and what's where.
Just think what it's like when you do a Google search - you visit scores of websites and they turn into a kind of website soup in your head.
So it's no surprise that people forget to come back.
It's not that people are ignoring you - it's that they are simply overwhelmed.
A newsletter helps by starting and then maintaining a relationship. If you can collect a prospect's information when they visit your website (or store), then you can contact them with a valuable newsletter to remind them that you're there. And if you collect a customer's information at time of purchase, you can keep in touch so that they won't forget you next time they need what you offer.
In a sea of choices, your newsletter is like a life raft. It's no wonder clients reach out to you.
So here we are, with an ocean of choices but none of them to trust.
What to do?
You can build trust quickly by proving that you know what you are talking about and that you have your clients' best interests in mind (instead of just being out for a quick buck).
Sharing your knowledge in the form of articles, blog posts and videos quickly makes you stand out: you become to go-to-guy or gal.
A newsletter helps as a vehicle to distribute that knowledge to people who are interested in hearing what you have to say. And over time, articles build on articles, advice on advice, to prove to readers you know your stuff and that you can be trusted.
One of the truest (and saddest) facts of business is this: most profits are made from existing customers - not new ones - yet many businesses fail to get the second sale.
After all, how often do you buy something, have a very happy experience, and then never hear from that business again? Probably 99% of the time.
It's a giant waste, because it costs often hundreds of dollars to attract clients in the first place (they have to find you, trust you, contact you). So once you've got them in your sphere of influence, you can sell to them again without that massive up-front acquisition cost.
Indeed, I'd go further: failing to keep in touch borders on rudeness - like a one-night stand.
Newsletters help because they make it easy to keep in touch with past clients. Just collect their contact information and mail or email them with information that will make their lives better. And if you make offers that match their interests, they'll be back to buy from you again.
5. Soul Fuel (because when business becomes a relationship it's much for fun and fulfilling):
You went into business on your own for a reason, right? You know that you want to spend your day doing something you care about instead of whiling away your life in a cubicle. You have passion for what you do, you care about what you do - and you enjoy sharing all that with the world.
Isn't sharing all that stuff kinda fun?
A newsletter helps because it gives you a vehicle to share your passion, helping make your clients' and prospects lives better.
You give (and that feels good) but you also get.
It makes your life that much more fulfilling.