How to Use Customer Newsletters to Nurture the People Who Really Matter

Seth wrote an interesting post today about targeted traffic to websites versus untargeted traffic: it’s the focused traffic you want to capture; the rest you don’t care about.

Quite right. And it’s useful to show how customer newsletters can achieve the same goal: bringing targeted buyers into your business.

Let’s face it, although newsletters are remarkably effective, on the face of it they don’t seem
the cheapest of marketing methods. They cost a few cents to print (depending on how many you are printing) and then there’s distribution. So to get the most bang for your buck, they need to be delivered to the type of people who are likely to want to engage with your business.

There are two such people:

1) Those who have bought from you before and so have demonstrated an interest (a serious interest at that – they handed over money to you) in what you have to offer. Sending a newsletter to these people should be a no-brainer – it’s cheaper to keep an existing client than find a new one – but communicating with past clients is so infrequently done that there is billions of dollars in revenue left on the table by businesses across the world every day. (That’s a rant for another day!)

2) Those who are good prospects for your business because they have demonstrated an interest in what you have to offer. Once they find you, they are likely to stick around, engage with what you have to offer and be amenable to building a relationship with you.

The trouble is, this group of people is more difficult to identify. How, for example, do you bring them into your neighborhood in the first place?

A favorite way is to go fishing.

It’s said that in some lakes, green worms work great. They get the best fish.  So think: what kind of green worm can I use to attract the kind of prospect I want to attract? What’s going to get them to raise their hands and immediately identify themselves as hungry for what I have to offer?

The best kind of bait is free information. How about these ideas?

  • A plumber: How to avoid a nightmare flood by doing an “annual audit” of your pipes and drains.
  • A real estate agent: 20 easy things you can do to get top dollar for your home, even in a down market.
  • A hair salon: 5 mistakes 80% of people make that are damaging their hair.
  • A mortgage broker: How to choose a mortgage you won’t regret.

What you do next is advertise that bait, using print ads, Google Adwords, flyers, etc. People will start calling you. When they do, send them the report and offer to subscribe them to your newsletter, which will be packed with information that is relevant to them and that will make their lives better.

So what do you have?

You have a red-hot prospect (someone who has proved themselves to have an interest in what you have to offer) and you’ve started a build a relationship with them.

That’s the kind of person who should be receiving your newsletter.