The traditional print media newsletter is still useful even in the rapidly changing age of the Internet and IT. Its uses are so multi-faceted that it can cover just about anything ? from the company's profile to promotions, home-order system and contests. Before the Internet homepage became so common, the newsletter was the main source of an organisation's communication to its customers.
Even today, an organization should produce a good newsletter on paper before it starts to construct its homepage because it can learn about the impact and avoid similar mistakes being made on its web pages. Newsletters can also introduce customers and encourage them to enter its corporate website.
Here are some pointers to create a great newsletter:
Make it Accessible:
The newsletter can be strategically placed at the payment counter or the entrance of the shopping department. It should also be free to customers. Some departmental stores also include discount coupons that are attached to the newsletters.
Make it Personal:
A newsletter should be personal and convincing to the reader. It should include lots of writeups of model employees and how they have contributed to the organization. Employees should also be encouraged to contribute articles to it. Include a photograph of the contributor together with the article. This puts a face to the names and increases the organisation's credibility. Encourage customers to vote for the best employee too.
Keep Readers Hooked:
A newsletter should include basic elements of 'stickiness? such as contests and discount coupons, that keep readers coming back for more. Your readers will be less inclined to treat the newsletter as a ?flyer? that they will quickly discard.
One easy idea is to create a large jigsaw of the company's logo with separate parts found in different issues. Once completed, the customer can collect a prize.
You can also include interesting write-ups about your industry or expertise that suit your target customers. It is also good to encourage your alliance partners to co-produce the newsletter so that you can also use their distribution channels to give-away the newsletter.
A newsletter can be a channel of communication and sales for the company's customers. Creating a classifieds area will definitely generate more interest. The benefit to the organization too is enormous.
By analyzing the ads, the organization can learn a lot about the purchasing habits and other relevant demographics of its customers. This will be useful for the Sales and Marketing Department.
Introduce Your Website:
Once a newsletter reaches a certain level of readership, you can then promote your organisation's newly created website. You can also create a contest for customers to design your company's website.
This makes sense as they will be the ones whom your company is targeting in the first place. This will also ensure that your website will have some ?hits? in its initial months.
A newsletter can also be used to generate feedback about the company's service and products. This will help the Personnel Dept. improve the customer service. The best letter received can also be awarded a prize.
This article is contributed by Colin Ong TS who is the Founder of 12n Online Community ( http://www.mrmc.com.sg/12n ) and MR=MC Consulting ( http://www.mrmc.com.sg )