By John Sanpietro
Certified Professional Development Coach
There was a recent thread on SUDSOL about Constant Contact and other newsletter broadcasting services, and their cost. I pointed out that cost should be the least influential factor in deciding how to send out your newsletter, since you should be making more money from your newsletter than it costs to send.
A large number of Demonstrators are sending out newsletters to their customers. And those newsletters should be a profit-generating vehicle for you. In other words, whenever you send out a newsletter, you should make money!
The reality, however, is that most Demos are not making money from their newsletters. And there’s a lot of frustration because customers aren’t responding.
There are usually some pretty good reasons for this, though, and with a few adjustments, you can make your newsletter the revenue-generator it should be!
When Do You Send Your Newsletter Out? – You should be sending your monthly newsletter out on the first Tuesday or Wednesday or each month. Why Tuesday or Wednesday? Because those are the days of the week when the most e-mails are opened up. Late morning or early evening are the best times. Try not to send out an e-mail so late/early that it’s part of the pile of e-mail your recipient has to wade through when they turn their computer on in the morning. You just get lost in the shuffle that way.
What’s In Your Newsletter? – Are you sending out a newsletter filled with information your readers can use (regardless of whether or not they spend money with you that month)? Or are you sending out big solicitations (buy this, come to that, buy that, come to this, etc.)? If the answer is more the latter than the former, you need to make some adjustments so 65-70% of your newsletter is information…and only 30-35% is solicitation. Think about it… if you’re sending out one big solicitation, you’re sending out the electronic equivalent of the phone call you would never want to make. Also, if you’re training your customers to expect to be sold to every time they see your name in their Inbox, how long do you think its going to take them to start ignoring your e-mails?
Does Your Newsletter Provide Readers With Opportunities To Spend Money Right There? – Customers are never more excited about something than when they first read about it. In order to take advantage of that fact, you have to make sure they can buy when they’re most excited. So, instead of asking them to call/e-mail you, put a PayPal button right in your newsletter so they can register and pay for a class with a click. You can even spotlight product and use a PayPal link to encourage your customers to order it. In fact, this is the only way Demos are allowed to sell catalog product in an online capacity (because its going to a private list, rather than on a public site). Remember, though, if you post your newsletters to an online archive that anyone can access, you have to disable any PayPal links for product.
Do You Follow Up? – If you’re just waiting around for your customers to call you, you’re going to do significantly less business than if you pick up the phone and call your customers. After you send out a newsletter, look at your traffic stats. You’ll be able to see who opened your newsletter AND which articles they clicked on. If you see that a customer clicked on your class info, make sure you call them to ask if they’d like to sign up for the class.
These are simple changes to make, but they can lead to, literally, hundreds of additional dollars in sales AND profit each month.