A newsletter for customers and prospects can form an effective and – if managed properly – an economical part of your marketing effort, especially if you have a complex or little-understood technology product.
A good newsletter should avoid empty boasting about the “best tool in the world” and instead provide information that is helpful, relevant, informative or even educational for both existing and potential new customers. The types of stories you should be considering are real-life but inspirational case studies of how existing customers are using your technology, expert opinion on trends or ideas in the industry, tips and tricks on using your product or even some company news. By focusing on these sorts of articles you will build credibility for your company and brand by showing there is substance and depth to what you do. Your aim should always be to demonstrate your understanding of the industry your customers are working in, and how your business provides solutions for them. A newsletter like this will build confidence in the marketplace of you as a supplier.
You can choose to distribute your newsletter by social media or email – or ideally both. The good thing about email marketing is that you are only sending your newsletter to people who have given you their email address, which is a sign they are receptive to your message. Although email is old hat compared with social media, most people check their email inboxes multiple times a day and, unlike social media, it is possible to personalise the message. For example, you can include recipients’ names in emails or send different content to different target groups.
Announcing a newsletter via email still has several plus points. We normally recommend the very briefest email containing short teasers that link to the full story on your website. This also has the advantage of driving traffic to your website and, if you use an email marketing tool to send the emails, you will have useful measures such as who has opened your email and which links they clicked. However, you obviously get more bang for your marketing buck if you also post your stories on social media or include them in a blog which you can Tweet, so it is worth ensuring that each story is capable of standing alone.
Writing a newsletter does take some effort, but we have always found having a monthly or quarterly deadline is a spur to creativity and the task becomes easier in practice. A newsletter done well can be one of the most powerful yet simple tools to help drive technology sales.