7 quick & easy tips for successful eNewsletters

Producing a successful eNewsletter is easier than you think. Following are 7 key components successful newsletters have in common.

  • WHO are you actually writing your eNewsletter for? Who is your one ideal customer? You need to write your eNewsletter in a way that appeals to her and makes her feel as though you’re writing directly to her, one-on-one. It may help you to write a profile of your ideal customer, including a list of her likes and dislikes, product requirements, etc. – and give her a name.
  • Great headings capture attention. Some writers claim they spend 80% of their time writing the heading and only 20% writing the content of the article. Numbers and lists can be useful, as busy people want quick tips and checklists to solve their problems.
  • Know the purpose of your newsletter. What are you trying to achieve? Most business produce an eNewsletter to build authority and trust, keep regular contact with customers and/or provide information about their new products and services. eNewsletters are a great tool if you want to truly connect with your tribe – regular bulletins can help them to know, like and trust you.
  • Share your stories. People love to hear stories – this helps them connect with you and your business. Tell them about other customers’ experiences (with their permission of course), staff stories – especially good news, awards, travel, adventures, anything that you think they’ll be interested in, that’s topical, newsworthy, useful or that somehow relates back to your business. It’s a good idea to encourage feedback, questions and ask readers to share their stories, as this builds a sense of community and helps build further trust.
  • Watch your tone. The tone of your writing will depend on your target audience, but most readers prefer a positive, friendly, conversational tone. Your business eNewsletter is not the place to vent your anger or express negative feelings about customers, products or your spouse! (Yes, I’ve seen people do it… and you have to ask yourself, ‘What kind of impression does that make?’). Comments on industry news or an article of interst are fine.
  • Balance information and selling. There’s a variety of theories, but it seems to be generally accepted that you should provide 75% information and no more than 25% selling.  When you do include a sales offer, make sure you include a call to action, a reason to respond now, a place to find more information (if necessary)and a link to click when they’re ready to order.
  • How regular are you? If it’s not too personal a question, how often do you … send out your eNewsletter? Yes, we’ve all been guilty of letting it slide and the weeks turn into months and years. Weekly or monthly is preferable, as regularity is important! You might want to survey your readers to see what their preference is for regularity and content.

One more thing… please ensure you include your contact details. So many companies send out an eNewsletter without their logo, email address or contact phone numbers. The contact information you include may vary depending on whether your business is online or a shopfront, but you need to provide customers with an easy way to get in touch with you. Who knows, they may even want to buy something from you! ;-D

Best wishes for the success of your eNewsletter.  If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to send them to me at info@professionalwriter.com.au. I look forward to hearing from you.  Thanks!

5 ways your stories can get people to buy more

Many small business owners would like to get customers to buy more products or services … and buy them more often. But do we know why people buy in the first place?

According to John Jantsch from Duct Tape Marketing, ‘People buy on emotion and then rationalise their purchase with facts.’

When promoting themselves, what most businesses focus on is the facts. What we really need to do is tap into that emotion, to form a connection with that person and get to know our ideal customer. Stories can help do this.

Following are 5 ways we can use stories to shape our brand and make an emotional connection:

  1. Stories help to simplify and explain – Stories are a great way to explain how your product or service works or how it can be used. This is especially helpful for complex issues. Video stories can be very useful here;
  2. Stories  help customers relate – Success stories and case studies about how a customer used your product or service to solve a particular problem can help others to relate  and connect. People like to copy other people’s success;
  3. Stories paint a picture of why you do what you do – Stories can help customers understand your passion for your business, and explain a little more about you as an individual. People relate to other people rather than a company and they like to deal with the person behind the business;
  4. Use stories to build trust and authority – Stories and in particular, testimonials, help establish trust and can demonstrate how you/your business is an authority in your particular area;
  5. Stories give people something to repeat – Stories assist happy customers to spread that all-important word-of-mouth and to give referrals. However, your story must be powerful enough to resonate with the customer in order for them to repeat it.

Once you’ve made that emotional connection, you’re well on the way to getting your customers to buy more from you.

What’s your story? If you’re looking for some help to get your story heard, email me – I’ll be happy to help!

 

Lyndall Guinery-Smith is The Professional Writer. She loves to write copy dedicated to attracting and engaging your customers, and improving your bottom line.

She happily works with clients all round Australia, and loves to personally visit clients in the Northern New South Wales/Southern Gold Coast area. Email her to arrange an obligation-free discussion about your latest project.

How to turn new customers into clients for life

I once read some great advice to business owners, ‘Tell them what you’re gonna do, tell them what you’re doing, then tell them what you’ve done.’  Wow, great advice!

Let’s face it, we all want to establish great relationships with our customers … and we know that communication is the key to achieving this.  Yet, one of the biggest complaints we hear from customers is about lack of communication.

Communicating with customers is not only vital, it’s usually fairly simple, low-cost and an effective way to stay top-of-mind with them. Yet, honestly, how often do you communicate with your customers? I’m not just talking about newsletters and blog posts, I mean one-on-one communication via personal letter, phone call, email or various other channels.

As small business owners, we usually have fewer customers than larger organisations, so we’re more likely to be able to provide that personal service and communication. This is one way to really set yourself apart from the competition.

Regular communication can help you to:

  • Get the job in the first place
  • Establish a great rapport with clients
  • Demonstrate the value of your service and justify your fees
  • Smooth out any misunderstandings/stop problems from arising
  • Convert customers to life-long clients… and
  • Get some referrals!

When working closely with a customer, imagine the impression you could make by keeping them regularly updated on the progress of your project? Think about implementing a system which incorporates progress reports, email updates, personal phone calls and the occasional visit to your customers (where appropriate). Depending on the size of your business and your budget, you could use a diary, computer database or customer relationship management (CRM) system to ensure ease of communications.

By regularly communicating with customers, you enhance the sense of connection and make them feel more valued, which in turn makes customers much more likely to become life-long clients.  So few small business owners do this well – so it will be easy to stand out from the competition.

Try it… then be sure to ask for some client feedback. You’ll see how communication can improve your bottom line.

 

Lyndall Guinery-Smith is The Professional Writer. She loves to write copy dedicated to attracting and engaging your customers, and improving your bottom line.

Lyndall has a strong background in Real Estate and is a specialist Property Copywriter. She happily works with clients all round Australia. Email her to arrange an obligation-free discussion about your latest project.

5 top tips to help get your business article published

You want to promote your business and attract more customers. You’ve done your research and found out that writing a press release or article is a great way to start the ball rolling.

Here are some tips to get you started:

  1. Know your market – Before you begin, you need to know exactly who your target market is, i.e. who will buy your products or services, then tailor the press release or article specifically to attract the attention of that target market.
  2. Where to publish – Once you know your market, you’ll need to find out where they get their information, i.e. do they read certain websites or publications? Where are you most likely to get their attention?
  3. Set the tone – Knowing your target market, are they more likely to relate to a formal, business-like tone or a more relaxed and friendly approach?
  4. Your story angle – To get the attention of an editor, you’ll need a good story angle – something that is of interest to their readers. Can you: Save them time, money or stress? Help them plan for a holiday, better future or family needs? Think about how you can help solve the reader’s problem.
  5. Research your publication – Contact the magazine, newspaper or website where you wish to publish your article and ask whether they take freelance submission or press releases before you start writing. If the answer is yes, ask them what their editorial guidelines are and make sure you stick to those rules when writing and submitting your article.

 

Lyndall Guinery-Smith is The Professional Writer. She loves to write copy dedicated to attracting and engaging your customers, and improving your bottom line.

Lyndall has a strong background in Real Estate and is a specialist Property Copywriter. She happily works with clients all round Australia. Email her to arrange an obligation-free discussion about your latest project.

How to identify your UVP in 5 easy steps

As a customer, what makes you want to deal with one business over another when they both appear to offer the same product or service?  Some might say lower prices, but the vast majority of people want to receive:

  • Good customer SERVICE and…
  • VALUE for money, not just a low price.

It’s the combination of the service and value you provide to the customer which make up your Unique Value Proposition(UVP).  If you want to set yourself apart from your competition and win more business, it’s important to identify your UVP and then use it to streamline your marketing and increase sales.

Firstly, you need to be familiar with your target market, in particular, you need to identify who your ‘ideal customer’ is. Knowing your ideal customer and how you can address their specific needs and problems allows you to target your marketing, and provides a much greater chance of getting noticed by the people who will help increase your sales.

So, how do you identify your UVP?  Consider the following questions:-

1.  WIIFMWhat’s in it for me? What is the biggest benefit of your product or service, i.e. how does it solve your ideal customer’s problem/s, address a need, or improve their life?

2.  What’s unique – What do you offer your customers that is difficult to replicate? This might be the way you treat customers, your follow-up and customer contact system, your key people, the fact that you actually fulfil your promises, home delivery, etc…

3.  StrengthsWhat are the strengths of your business?

4.  Competitive edgeWhy would a customer buy from you rather than the competition?

5.  ASK – If you’re not sure of the answers to these questions, ASK your customers!

Let’s face it, the ultimate aim is for your business be your customer’s ONLY real choice. It’s helpful to answer the above questions for your own business, then do the same exercise on your competition.

Once you’ve established your UVP, you need to tell (or remind) all your current customers how you can address their needs or solve their problems, as they may not be familiar with your full range of your products or services. Reinforce this with a couple of strong testimonials that demonstrate how your product or service has helped overcome the customers’ problem.

It’s important to demonstrate HOW you can help customers, rather than simply telling them, ‘We also sell XYZ’.  You’ll find it’s more cost-effective and easier to sell an additional product or service to an existing customer than it is to attract a new one.

Feel free to let me know what your UVP is … perhaps I can feature you and your UVP in a future article. Drop me an email here. I look forward to hearing from you.

 

Lyndall Guinery-Smith is The Professional Writer. She loves to write copy dedicated to attracting and engaging your customers, and improving your bottom line.

Lyndall has a strong background in Real Estate and is a specialist Property Copywriter. She happily works with clients all round Australia. Email her to arrange an obligation-free discussion about your latest project.

7 low-cost marketing tips for small business

Time after time, I hear small business owners lament ‘my marketing doesn’t work’. Quite often, when I ask them what type of marketing they do, I hear stories of how they recently ran an ad in the local paper, or dropped leaflets into the letterboxes of local homes, and received little or no response, so they stopped ‘marketing’.

As a small business owner, your marketing budget is often rather limited, so you need to make every dollar count. Following are some helpful tips to stretch your marketing dollar further:

  1. Tell ‘em and tell ‘em again – Today’s consumers are overwhelmed with marketing messages, so unless your message specifically addresses a problem they have, it will go unnoticed. Sadly, a one-off advertisement or flyer just won’t cut it. This is why you need to keep marketing your product or service on a regular basis, as your potential customers often need to hear your message several times before they will respond.
  2. Get noticed with a punchy headline – Asking a question which addresses the need of your target customer is a very effective method.  For example, ’Does your lawn need mowing, but you just don’t have the time?’ or ‘Isyour book-keeping driving you mad?’ or ‘Want better value for money on your insurance?’.
  3. Who ARE you? NEVER put your business name at the top of your advertisement unless the name of your business solves a problem. Basically, the person reading the flyer doesn’t care who you are until you tell them how you’re going to help solve their problem.
  4. Less is more – Don’t try to cram too much information into the ad – just a few important points are enough.
  5. Happy clients help sell your message – Having said that, it’s great to use a brief testimonial from a happy client (with a photo) if you can, i.e. ‘this is how they solved my problem…’, which shows how effective your product or service can be. A third party is always more convincing at selling your product or service than you are.
  6. Will it work?  It’s a great idea to test your ad copy out on a few people first – preferably someone who will give you open and constructive feedback.
  7. Devil in the details – Make it easy for people to contact you. Ensure your phone number, street address and/or website address is prominently displayed. Make sure you double-check for mistakes too – one wrong digit in your phone number or web address can be a disaster! Ensure your staff know about the marketing campaign and that they greet all customers in a welcoming manner. It costs too much to get them ‘in the door’ – you don’t want to lose them before they buy!!

Remember, consistency counts… so keep sending that message out to your clients and potential clients on a regular basis. Best wishes with your marketing efforts.

 

Lyndall Guinery-Smith is The Professional Writer. She loves to write copy dedicated to attracting and engaging your customers, and improving your bottom line.

Lyndall has a strong background in Real Estate and is a specialist Property Copywriter. She happily works with clients all round Australia. Email her to arrange an obligation-free discussion about your latest project.