Write Effective Newsletters Your Customers Can’t Wait to Open

by Joanne Steele on February 25, 2010

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Dunsmuir Hardware monthly newsletterFirst off, every small tourism business should be sending out at least a monthly email newsletter.

Everyone likes to receive good, juicy, interesting email. We like it almost as much those snail mail letters we used to get from close friends and loved ones.

It is that anticipation of interesting news, feel good messages, surprises and delight that we need to duplicate in our email newsletters.

Writing that newsletter can be as easy as emailing your favorite friend. Here’s how:

Observe how you write an email to a close friend.

My favorite email writing sessions are to my sister who lives in Cairo, Egypt. I can picture exactly where she’ll be sitting when she opens the email. Sometimes I see her grabbing a minute between students, and sometimes I visualize her in her big overstuffed chair with a cup of tea.

Take a moment to visualize your Perfect Customer the same way. THAT is who you’re writing to. Is she at work or at home? Where is he sitting? Is she rushed, and is this a usual condition for her?

The opening statement – making the connection with your reader.

I usually start my emails to Kathy by responding to something in her last email. I’m concerned about her, or happy for her or sharing her excitement about something.

You have a deep understanding of your Perfect Customer. You know her PAIN. You understand the things that excite him.

Your first statement in that email newsletter should reflect that understanding and connection. It will keep your Perfect Customer reading, and will help to build your relationship with her.

Your news, the body of your newsletter.

Here’s where you talk about yourself and the reason for the newsletter. By holding everything you know about your Perfect Customer in your thoughts as you write, the message is likely to resonate with your reader.

It will connect them with your excitement about this latest news. It will help them to want to become part of that excitement.

I can’t wait to receive email from my sister. She always transports me with her words to the interesting places she’s visiting, if only a walk down the street to buy vegetables. It makes me deposit another few dollars into my trip fund!

When you focus on your Perfect Customer, writing your news becomes so much easier. You feel freer to express your excitement, and you sound genuine in your desire to share that excitement. You allow your personality to come through, and the newsletter won’t sound like a drab sales pitch.

Is it a risk? Of course. As well as I know my sister, I sometimes miss the mark with a story or request. And sometimes I’m more successful that I ever thought possible! But our emails to each other never go unread or half read.

After a recent post about  Idaho’s newest sales project, The Great Idaho Getaway, I received an email from the head of Idaho’s tourism department thanking me for the post. She talked about how hard it has been for people used to more traditional marketing to understand this new, exceedingly customer focused marketing approach.

If a whole state can do it with the expectation of great success, so can you.

The closing, your “call to action.”

How should your Perfect Customer respond to this email newsletter?

Here is where I ask my sister to do something. “Email back and tell me…” “ Go out today and get that scarf before they’re all gone!” “ Please make a reservation for …” “Tell me what you think.”

Look at your own friendly emails, and I bet you’ll find come kind of call to action at the end… unless you don’t want to hear from that friend for a while.

This is the hardest part for even the best of business people to get right. What do you want this person to do? Click through to your web site? Sign up for something? Purchase something? Watch for and open your next newsletter?

If you don’t tell them explicitly what they should do next, you will not get the response you want. In marketing, it’s called CLOSING THE SALE.

Then, remind them that you’ll be back soon with more news. If you use autoresponders, tell them that more will come. If your email comes out once a week or once a month, remind them to watch for it.

Your done. Watch your stats. I bet you’ll have a better response than you ever thought possible

If you haven’t created a profile of your Perfect Customer yet, sign up for MY newsletter in the form to the right of this post and learn how, in your free copy of Marketing For Free in 2010.

Read What Idaho Can Teach Rural Tourism Businesses About Focusing On Your Ideal Customer.

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