Thursday, February 9, 2012

Customer newsletters: Ignore at your peril

Read the latest studies on customer retention and loyalty, and you might need some cheering up. We're a fickle lot, and apparently, even more so when the economy is this bleak.

You've got to give new customers reasons to come back, old customers new reasons to return, and remind all of your customers that they love you so much they simply must recommend you to all of their friends.

In other words, you need a customer newsletter.

Form and content matter (consider the print v e-newsletter debate that still lives and will for years, here) but any newsletter is better than none. There are no hard-and-fast rules about discounts,  frequency, color schemes, or even distribution methods. There is one fact that can't be ignored, however: you need customers. Don't you?

If you don't need customers, you don't need a newsletter. There. Debate settled.

What should your newsletter look like, what should it say or do? When and how should you send it? These are questions only you can answer for your business. You'll have a better shot at finding the best answers for your business if you noodle over the questions with someone who has experience working with newsletters. (Thanks for asking. Yes, I do.)

The advice that seems to apply to almost every type of business - and non-profit organization, for that matter - is not surprising. Make it worth reading, and keep it short. If you leave 'em wanting more, and they know where to get it, your customers will find you. And isn't that the point?

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