Maintaining a communicative relationship with customers, clients and employees plays a vital part in the running of any company. Your customers, existing and prospective, need to know that the organisation which they’re doing business with is active, and looking for ways to improve their product or service. Similarly, employees always like to be kept in the loop regarding what might be taking shape behind the scenes – a knowledgeable employee is a motivated one.
Sending out bulletins or newsletters, whether printed or electronic, is an effective way of keeping customers and clients up to speed on what you’re up to. If you don’t have one in place in your business already, or even if you do but are looking to make improvements, here are some tips to point you in the right direction:
Have a message
Make sure you have something newsworthy to say beforehand. Sending out a newsletter with non-information could turn people off reading future issues, and might even send out the message that business is slow. If you are going through a quiet period, then you might think about either skipping an edition, or putting together a spotlight feature on one specific area of your business which readers might be unfamiliar with.
Get your readers involved
Customers and employees always like to know that their opinions are appreciated, and they also like to be involved in the way a business operates. So, be sure to include a link to a survey or a poll relating to your specific market – you could ask them for their feedback on your products or services, or even open up your newsletter to written contributions from your readers.
Be professional in your presentation
Take time over the design, the colour scheme and tone of your newsletter. Make sure that you utilise a theme which relates to and accentuates your business. If you have access to a desktop publishing program such as Quark or InDesign, then these are ideal for designing visually appealing printed materials. Alternatively, sites such as Wordpress and Blogger are free and offer a great range of capabilities if you would rather host your newsletter online.
Put effective distribution channels in place
Whether you’re sending out a printed newsletter or delivering it electronically, ensure that your mailing list is inclusive and relevant. You might even consider putting together separate bulletins: one for your customers, containing news of products and special offers; and one for industry insiders, updating readers on the progress your business is making. Be sure to include an opt-out or unsubscribe option if you’re sending materials out to the public.
Adam Gilmour resides in the UK and writes for TonerGiant Ltd. who are one of UK's leading supplier of HP toner cartridges. Adam enjoys a visit to France occasionally!