The Power of a Custom Article
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One of the reasons many of our clients love our newsletter program is the content we provide.  This is a huge time-saver for them.  To research, write, and edit an entire newsletter is a time-consuming process. 

However, many of our clients enjoy writing an article or two each issue on their own.  We encourage this.  It allows their newsletter to be a bit more personal; they can include information on local events, local issues, or their specialties. 

Here are a few tips to keep in mind if you choose to write your own custom article:

  • Answer common questions.  If there are questions that you hear a lot, take a few moments to answer them in your newsletter.  For every client asking you a particular question, there are probably a handful of others who are quietly wondering the same thing.
  • Keep it informative.  If there is a product or service you’d like to sell to your clientele, tell them about it.  Explain what makes it great and how it could benefit the reader.  Try to avoid a hard-sell approach, though, by keeping it informative.  This way, you’re giving the reader something of value to them - information.
  • Local rules!  Discussing local issues and events in your newsletter adds a very personal touch and places you in the position of community leader.  If you want to be perceived as a trusted adviser in your field, you must establish trust.  By showing that you are a part of the community, you can build that trust.
  • Give them something.  Offer a free report or special gift to your readers.  This can be a great way to excite your readers and to build your list.

Next time you speak with your marketing consultant, confer with them about any ideas you may have for a custom article.

Seasonal Messages (back to top)

As you prepare for the Fourth of July holiday, we’re sure your mind is focused more on BBQs and fireworks than newsletters. Your clientele are probably thinking the same thing.  However, it’s never too early to start thinking about that next seasonal event. 

We’ve always talked with our clients about the importance of sending out their newsletters consistently, on a schedule.  But when there is a holiday or seasonal event around the time that people start receiving an issue, you have a great opportunity to maximize the impact of your newsletter. 

For instance, many of our clients use their winter newsletter to wish recipients “Happy Holidays.”  Some businesses close for a week or two for vacation, and many of our clients who do this use their newsletter to announce it.  Additionally, announcing special events or open houses can help to increase foot traffic. 

One of the best ways to use your newsletter is to focus on “seasons” or events specific to your industry.  Some examples include optometrists offering back-to-school specials, auto service shops reminding customers to winterize their cars in the fall, attorneys or others who wish to highlight election issues before the primary or general election, or contractors talking about air conditioner maintenance in the spring.  

The most important thing to keep in mind when planning around an event or holiday is turn around time.  This varies by product and can be influenced by your geographic location.  Your marketing consultant can help you determine when everything will need to be done. 

So the next time you’re thumbing through a calendar, take a moment to think about the key events or months that affect your world, and make sure your newsletter capitalizes on them.  Enjoy the holiday!

Picture this – putting a face to the name (back to top)

Hope you all enjoyed your Memorial Day weekend.  This week we’d like to take a minute to talk about pictures.  Many of you already use personal photos in your newsletter, and those of you who do not, should consider starting. 

People like to have a face to put to a name.  Depending on what’s appropriate for your newsletter, a personal shot, staff photo, or “fun” candid photo from a local event may work.  You can also use a photo to highlight a new piece of equipment or to show off your building.  Anything you can think of.

Submitting a photo is pretty easy.  The best way, if you are using a digital camera, is to e-mail your photo to your marketing consultant.  The photo needs to be in 300 dpi resolution so it looks good in print.  If you are using a 35mm camera, you can scan the photo and e-mail it, or, mail the photo to us and we will scan it and return it to you.  Your marketing consultant can walk you through the process if you’re unsure.  One last note: Polaroid pictures do not scan well. 

So take a few pictures this summer, and remember to save the best ones for your newsletter.  Have a great day!

Recipe contest in newsletter adds one-quarter cup of good cheer (back to top)

Everybody likes to eat.  And while not all of us cook, there are a lot of great culinary minds hiding away in kitchens across the country.  What does this have to do with newsletters?  Well, recently we’ve seen some great newsletters with recipe contests, and we thought we’d share the idea with you.

You can place an article in your next newsletter announcing the recipe contest and asking for submissions.  Then, you can choose a winner, or top three, whatever you like, and put the winning recipe in the next issue.  Some of our clients who have done this have even awarded a prize to the winner, such as a gift certificate or item related to their business.  This could be a one-time feature, or, if you get a good response, it could become ongoing. 

Your marketing consultant can help you come up with some ideas specific to your business and answer any questions you have about pulling everything together.  Our clients who have used a recipe contest have found it a valuable tool in engaging their clientele and building rapport.  We’re sure it could work for you, too. 

Spotlight a staff member in your newsletter to add a personal touch
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All successful businesses we’ve come across have one thing in common – a dynamite staff!  With the right teams behind them, savvy business owners can reach the highest levels of success. 

With that in mind, we’d like to suggest that you consider including a “Staff Member Spotlight” in your future newsletters.  It adds a personal touch that allows your clientele the opportunity to get to know a little bit more about the people they interact with at your business. 

The best spotlight pieces we’ve seen have included a few bits of personal information (family, hobbies, etc.) as well as some professional information (a little bit about experience, education, etc.).  A picture adds a nice touch and puts a face with the name.  We’ve seen some interesting interview-style pieces and some great news-style articles. 

Your marketing consultant can help you come up with ideas specific to your business and answer any questions you have about pulling everything together.  A good example of a spotlight piece is in the current issue of our newsletter, Newslink.  You can view it online if you didn’t receive it in the mail at

Community and charity events (back to top)

Do you participate in community or charity events?  Many offices do.  If you plan to go out for the next Crop Walk, raise money for breast cancer, sponsor a Little League team, or anything else, why not include a small article in your next newsletter highlighting it?  Not only does it show your clientele that you care about the community, but it also puts the spotlight on something that you obviously believe in.  Maybe if someone reading your newsletter notices an article about The Red Cross, it will motivate them to find out how they can become involved. 

Developing a reputation in your community is important in building loyalty and increasing referrals.  Your newsletter is a great way to make your contributions known while raising awareness about community issues.  

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