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Newsletter as marketing tool, what to do?

 
 
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linogial
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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2004 2:19 pm    Post subject: Newsletter as marketing tool, what to do? Reply with quote

Hi all,

I'm hoping you can throw a few thoughts into the mix to help me out.

When I first began my website a little over a year ago, one of the things I seemed to read in all of my research on marketing was 'you need a list', because it's easier to 'preach to the converted' than it is to find new customers.

So, I began publishing a monthly newsletter, with what I hoped was the right mixture of sales and non-sales material for people to feel at home with our site, and to keep in touch (I seem to have read many times that you need to contact people up to 7 times before they might consider buying from you - not sure where this fact got pulled from though!).

Anyhow, to get people to sign up for the newsletter you have to have an angle or a trigger. So, I began running a monthly competition.

But, my question or point (yep, I'm getting there) is this. I don't think my list is really 'doing' anything to help my business. I have a few loyal customers who reply to feedback suggestions or other things I might include in the newsletter, and who buy regularly from me, but I'm only talking two or three. (The list itself is only small, about 400).

So I'm thinking maybe the bulk of my subscribers couldn't give a hoot about the actual newsletter, and are probably never going to spend any of their own money on my site, they're just in it to see if they can win the competition.

Surely this then defeats the purpose of getting them to the newsetter in the first place. I obviously need to do something else to make offers on the newsletter more attractive, but I don't want it to simply be a pushy sales letter every month, because that's not what myself or my site is about - quite the opposite.

I was thinking of making the prize for the comp an actual product, rather than an amount of money they can choose to spend on the site how they like (which is what it has always been). This at least might stop people who have been thinking about buying something from saying "I'll just hold off buying it for now because if I win the competition I won't have to pay for it" etc.

I also thought maybe I should put the details of the competition further towards the bottom of the newsletter (currently it's always at the top to attract attention), as then people may be encouraged to read more of the body of the newsletter as they scan to get to the competition.

Should I not include the comp at all?? But then what do I use to encourage people to sign up? What about changing the entry conditions of the comp to putting in the names of those people who send me feedback (good or bad) about the site and products. That way I can get some useful info/testimonials in exchange for giving away something. Help!!!
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Linda.
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Still Waters
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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2004 4:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Newsletter as marketing tool, what to do? Reply with quote

As soon as I downloaded your site, I immediately thought... "space organization." My complete thought was more like... hey, maybe this site can help me organize my home better... I can always use help with that!

I checked out your newsletter page, and my first impression was PRIZES... FABULOUS PRIZES... SIGN UP FOR MY NEWSLETTER AND WIN WIN WIN. So I think you're right to be concerned about playing up the contest and prize aspect too much. I'd like to see more informational content as the newsletter value.

For example... getting back to my first thought... how about a weekly newsletter that helps people get more organized? The "organization" theme would be better than the "decorator" theme for a long-standing newsletter audience, because of the longer timeframe.

In other words, organizing is an ongoing concern, while decorating is more project-oriented. Once I've researched my project options and I've formulated my plan, I want to focus on the implementation phase of the project -- I'm no longer interested in additional ideas. Yet, I'm always interested in learning new ideas for keeping my newly decorated home neat and organized. Wink

With a meaningful focus on content, your list will grow more slowly. But the quality of your list membership will be much higher. And people will actually want to open your newsletter email each week. Make it short and simple and meaningful. That's my advice! Very Happy
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linogial
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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2004 3:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm, very interesting, thanks heaps for that. I had never really thought of focusing on that aspect for the newsletter. Not sure if I'd be any good writing about that!!!! I'll have to do some research and see what I can come up with to help me write about it.

My newsletter used to be fairly long, but lately I've cut it down quite a bit as I'm trying for something that people can open and read in a short sitting, rather than wading through it bit by bit - which I don't do with newsletters, so why should I expect anybody else to!

So you think a weekly or bi-weekly publication is better than a monthly one?

Thanks again for the advice, cheers,
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Linda.
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Still Waters
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2004 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

linogial wrote:
So you think a weekly or bi-weekly publication is better than a monthly one?

You're very welcome. Very Happy

I think a weekly email is best if you focus on the organization theme. Provide fast and easy things that your readership can do, today, to make their lives more organized and (thus) more productive and enjoyable. I would be inclined to join that sort of list, myself! Very Happy
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linogial
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2004 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've removed alot of the competition hype from my newsletter info page on the site, and also took away the ' Win blah amount to spend on fabulous products on our site' link that was on the homepage.

As you said, I might end up with a list that grows more slowly, but they'll be in it for the right reasons, not just to enter the comp and then forget about us unless they win. In this case I think quality, not quantity is the winner. Wink

I've also nearly finished typing up the latest newsletter, and have altered the prize to a set product rather than a set amount of money to spend on the site.

I'm pondering the organisation tips theme, or maybe a feng-shui type theme, or even just tips about how to create ambience within your home (or maybe all 3!!). Then I'll see if I can work myself up to sending out a more frequent dose. Very Happy

Thanks again for your input, it is much appreciated. Very Happy

Cheers,
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BernardErtl
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2004 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Linda, you might also include in your newsletter a poll/survey and ask your current subscribers what they would like to see in it.
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linogial
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2004 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good idea Bernard - thanks. I did try that earlier on, and got about 5 responses which didn't help much! But now that the list is a bit bigger, it might work better. Maybe I could offer to put them into the comp if they reply to the poll. Wink
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Linda.
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