Tuesday, December 12, 2006

How To Stay In Your Customer's Mind

Welcome back biz tips readers! Today's free home business tip is about why and how you should use newsletters to help your home business.

How To Stay In Your Customer's Mind:

Imagine the following scenario... Six months ago you paid someone to come and clean your pool. You'd like to use them again but you can't remember their name and you lost their business card. You end up calling another pool service, which means that the first service has probably lost you as a customer for life.

How easy would it have been for that person to stay in touch with you by sending you a newsletter with pool tips and product recommendations? If you're running your own business, you can't afford not to have a newsletter. Sure, it seems that every business sends out one these days but that is no reason to avoid using this highly valuable marketing tool. It's an excellent way to build ongoing customer relationships, establish trust and build credibility.

The most cost effective way to send out a newsletter is by email. That way you avoid printing and mailing costs, and it's so much more immediate.

Here are 5 tips to using email newsletters as a way of staying in touch with your customer base:

1. Use the 80/20 Rule

One of the biggest mistakes businesses make is talking only about themselves in their newsletters. Think about the newsletters that you delete and the ones that you make the effort to read. Usually the most interesting ones contain solid information and tips that benefit you in some way. Think about what would really interest and help your readers and write articles on those topics accordingly. 80% of your newsletter content should directly benefit your reader. Only allow 20% of your content to promote your business.

2. Choose a schedule and stick to it

Consistency is the key when sending out newsletters. Whether you decide on a monthly, weekly or daily newsletter, make a commitment to yourself to keep to this schedule. If your newsletter is good, your customers will start to look forward to hearing from you and you don't want to disappoint them, do you?

3. Pick a quality newsletter provider

An autoresponder service like Aweber will provide you with the best in service at a very reasonable price. As part of signing up, you get free templates to use. Customize these with your logo and photo to add that personal touch. Aweber also manages people wanting to unsubscribe from your list automatically, which is a great time saver.

4. Plan your content

Instead of inwardly groaning when suddenly it's time to send out your newsletter again, why not brainstorm and work on some article ideas in advance? Think of your newsletter as an ongoing, fun project and it will be.

5. Put your sign-up box on your website

Make it easy for people to sign up for your newsletter by putting a sign-up box prominently on your website. Also invite people to sign up by putting a sentence at the end of your email signature, saying something like, "Sign up for my newsletter with the latest business articles, internet marketing news, tips and stories at..."

The time and effort that you put into your newsletter will pay off tremendously by increasing repeat business as well as bringing in new business.

Dedicated to your home business success,
Trent Brownrigg

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