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Dana on Marketing Messages: E-newsletter Success Secrets

March 2014 By Margie Dana

If I weren't such an active e-mail marketer, I wouldn't be able to write about it for anyone else. My e-mail marketing tips from the past 15 years can help you succeed at it as well, as long as you're willing to do the work and commit to it for the long haul.

How am I defining e-mail marketing? For this column, I'm writing about one specific product: a regular e-mail newsletter that you send out to customers, prospects and anyone else who's interested enough in hearing what you have to say.

Since 1999, when I started out on my own, I have published a weekly "Print Tips" e-newsletter. Week in and out, I write and distribute my "Tips" every Monday. I use Constant Contact (though there are many terrific e-mail management services out there) to handle the distribution.

An e-mail newsletter fit my needs because I couldn't afford printing and mailing hard-copy newsletters. It was important for me, as a new business owner, to spread the word that I knew about 1) the printing industry and 2) how to write.

An e-mail newsletter has helped me grow my business and can do the same for you. Here are some tips I wish I'd had all those years ago.

Why Bother with E-mail Marketing?

Presumably, you have a good customer database. Add to that another list of prospects, "dormant" customers, suppliers and other thought leaders in your target market. This is a terrific start for a regular e-mail campaign that will help shine a light on your company: its specialties, uniqueness, people and personality.

An e-mail newsletter is an excellent marketing channel for printers. It can supplement your print campaign, your social media activity, your in-person sales calls, your telephone conversations with customers and prospects, your customer events and any other marketing efforts you have going on.

The primary reason why a printer should bother doing an e-mail newsletter is because it gets your name in front of customers and prospects on a regular basis. Provided your content is solid (informational and well-written; not promotional and cheesy) and relevant to your list, you're providing terrific value.

A second reason why you should use this tool is because it's unobtrusive. It's the opposite of a cold call (which I hate). People opt-in to your list—they're asking to be on it, or giving you permission to send it, which is the first big step. Once you crack the content code and deliver interesting information that your readers look forward to, you'll find that your e-mail gets saved, forwarded and much anticipated. Over time, you'll become a trusted resource. People will hire you and refer others to you. If that's not a measure of success, I'm a monkey's uncle.



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