by Greg Milner on Thursday, September 2nd, 2010 at 11:09 am
I’ve written long and loud about the business value of a regular monthly hard-copy newsletter, so I’m not going to bang on about it again here.
Most owners of small businesses grumble and gripe about doing it, but those who make the effort reap immense rewards.
Take Sandra Chiarella of Get Nailed in Altona, Victoria. Sandra ‘gets it’. Newsletters are supposed to be personal, like sitting down and having a good chat. And Sandra has pulled it off pitch-perfect with these examples she’s generously shared with other Members.
Here’s how Sandra describes how she puts these together:
Thanks for the positive feedback, I actually love doing the newsletter, and I never have a shortage of ideas or stories to write.
We send out 400 handwritten envelopes each month. I know how valuable it is for me to be in my clients’ homes and hopefully attached to my clients fridge….(ooh maybe an idea: get some magnets made that say ” this magnet is only to hold Get Nailed’s monthly newsletter!!! …and pop it in with my next newletter!)
I am happy for you to display my newsletters on the (members only) site. I also can share my tips for them. I have a little plastic A4 file with NEWSLETTERS written on the front. In it I keep a hard copy of every month’s newsletter so I can refer to them at a glance and also see what I wrote previously if I want to keep talking about that topic etc, and I have blank white pages in them with all the months of the year written on the top.
Every time I get an idea for something to feature/write for any month of the year, I pop it on a sticky note, bit of paper, back of a receipt, bit of toilet paper (clean of course!) and pop it on the appropriate month- even my staff know this drill and they are getting into the habit of doing this as well.
So when it comes to writing the newsletter, I dont have to try and remember all the good ideas I had, and stories to tell.
Another idea is for all those who have a laptop or like me an iphone , when even I know I am going anywhere that I will have to wait and pass valuable time like doctors and dentist appointments, kids events, even traffic jams (I dictate to my daughters in the back seat!), I sit and I write my ideas in a word document, or in my drafts in my email, so when it comes to formatting the newsletter I can simply cut and paste. Well I have to admit my husband, Fil does.
But it saves so much time. There are so many ways to utilize time to do the little jobs that you don’t want staff doing when they could be using that time to make money. My mum and daughters help out with folding the newsletters, even clients don’t mind helping sometimes if you know them well enough, and what kid doesn’t like sticking stamps on envelopes? Delegate delegate! Think smarter, not harder!
I’m sure these ideas might help some of my fellow members.
The point about Sandra’s newsletters is that they ARE very personal. She talks to her clients about a staff member who got engaged on a visit to the Empire State Building…about her dad and how he loves doing odd jobs around the salon…about her daughters…
A newsletter has several important jobs:
1) to act as a Trojan Horse, turning you into a Welcome Guest marketer instead of an Unwelcome Pest, always trying to pitch something
2) it acknowledges that your clients have a life outside your salon…in fact almost ALL of a client’s life is outside of your salon. So a good newsletter attempts to engage on that level, by bringing the client into your outside-work life.
3) it puts an ‘iron cage’ around your clients. If you’re getting a good newsletter regularly from somebody you do business with, wouldn’t YOU feel guilty about going anywhere else?
These examples are yet another lesson in just how to do it. Nothing flash, nothing ‘professional’, just good honest stuff that appeals to human beings, rather than mere buyers.