Client newsletters are the most widely used, often abused and hotly debated B2B marketing tactic for professional services firms of any size. Here are three highly subjective myths and realities to help your firm determine whether it’s a worthwhile tool, or how to improve your current newsletter.
MYTH #1: Your Firm Needs a Client Newsletter
Marketers want you to believe that your firm needs a client newsletter. But traditional newsletters – containing commentary ranging from tax legislation to new technology, or who’s joined the firm – are not a marketing necessity. In fact, at many firms their client newsletter is a marketing albatross. Each issue involves a frustrating hunt for timely information of genuine interest that has not already been provided to clients by another news source. Some firms avoid this pain by slapping their logo on boilerplate content purchased from a 3rd party, but those firms can pay a bigger price, in terms of brand damage. Canned content says to target audiences, “We value our relationship, but we don’t really care enough (or know enough) to produce our own newsletter.”
REALITY #1: Your Firm Needs to Drive Top-of-Mind Awareness
The intrinsic purpose of tactics that communicate with clients, prospects and referral sources is to reinforce the perception that your firm is smart, trustworthy and prepared to help. Beyond keeping and growing existing clients, your primary marketing goal is to drive top-of-mind awareness with target audiences. That way, when a prospect is seeking assistance, there’s a greater likelihood your firm will be selected, or at least will be put on the “short list” of candidates. If that’s the goal, then consistency and quality of the contact are critical; neither of which necessarily require a newsletter format to accomplish.
MYTH #2: People Want to Learn About Your Firm’s Success
It’s nice to think that clients and prospects really care about your firm’s growth and accomplishments. The sad truth is that your success is more important to your competitors, and to current and prospective employees than it is to clients who generate revenue for the firm. Blowing your own horn can also backfire. When your firm touts that a senior partner has just published a book and was a guest on CNBC, your target audiences may wonder why that partner isn’t focused on client matters rather than self-promotion, or whether the cost of his book’s publicity tour will result in higher hourly rates.
REALITY #2: Your Clients, Prospects and Referral Sources Care about Themselves
Understanding that all people are self-interested can make you a better marketer. Rather than creating newsletter content that’s based on what you know, on what you’ve done or on what you can do, focus instead on the ideas, talents and accomplishments of your target audiences, regardless of whether your firm played any role in their success. This is a very tough concept for many B2B firms to understand and embrace: that the most powerful form of thought leadership does not involve pushing out your own ideas. Instead, it involves deciding what ideas merit the attention of your target audiences, as well as what voices are worth listening to. True thought leaders seek to manage the conversation, not to control it.
MYTH #3: A Newsletter is a Cost-Effective Marketing Tactic
The old saw, “Cheap is dear” rings true when it comes to newsletters. If it’s created in-house, few firms actually track the hours required to write, edit, approve and publish their newsletter. If it consists of cut & paste content, few firms consider the cost of producing a newsletter that very few people will read or respect. Regardless of content, only a small number of professional service firms proactively work to expand their newsletter’s reach, to maintain an adequate CRM capability, or to properly leverage readership analytics from open and click-through rates, if their newsletter is delivered online.
REALITY #3: Your Marketing Requires More than a One-Way Conversation
Newsletters are one-way conversations. A fundamental marketing objective is to engage clients and prospects in a conversation regarding their specific needs and opportunities. Despite the buzz regarding social media, that channel can also fall short in terms of engagement. If your firm’s traditional and social media marketing tactics do not serve as catalysts to drive Face-to-Face discussions and Word-of-Mouth referrals, then their “cost-effectiveness” can never be measured on a meaningful basis.
There is an exponential growth in websites. Web traffic has compelled one to create a web presence in order to remain competitive. Most of the companies spend thousands of dollars for marketing. One can make use of various methods in order to create traffic. The typical result of the web is that it fails to meet the companies expectations over a period of time and it would fail to meet up the expectations and needs of the users as well.
Newsletters : Sending newsletters is one great way for building an opt list. Offering free newsletters would definitely prove to be a good idea. Newsletters are the best way of reminding the subscribers about your products and website. One can draw the subscribers repeated at one's website by simply writing a newsletter which contains a copy that is both compelling as well as informative. One can take the help of various books or experts for developing a superb newsletter and getting thousands of people to subscribe for it. Newsletter is one of the best ways of building a rapport and credibility between the customers and the readers. If one understands the values of the lifetime customer one would definitely understand the values of a newsletter. For this outsourcing one can find various people like students, retired people, and stay at home mothers. One can create an attractive newsletter and sent it to all the visitors. One can also ask them to send it along to their friends. By sending a newsletter on a regular basis one could generate traffic at the website as many would get attracted.
Creating attractive newsletters : One can put an online site by purchasing the advertising on websites that would appeal to one of demographic area or trade the ads with some other websites. One can send email free newsletters as it acts as a useful tool. One needs to encourage the customers so that they would provide you with their mail addresses so that one can contact them with certain useful information and initiatives too. Taking into account email newsletters would be a great idea. The newsletters need to be sent to all the friends who are registered and have given permission for sending information. Depending on the business, one can send a newsletter on a monthly, quarterly or half yearly basis. However, if you mail frequently, the mail would be spam and get deleted. While mailing a newsletter it is important to mail some useful information or news along with it that is well written. A good newsletter can easily create a direct hit on your website. So, make sure you send a good newsletter. Newsletter is a low cost method of creating web traffic.
However, writing good newsletters could be challenging. One can consider delegating this task to some journalists. They would do the writing part for you with their expertise skills. One can function as a publisher and an editor too. Attractive newsletters could attract them to your websites too. Email free newsletters and create free web traffic.
One brand that recognized this was Harry Hall, the renowned equestrian retailer and dotmailer client, who took steps to implement its first email automations with us. These included a welcome series, post-purchase program and a sequence of birthday emails.
As a serious marketer, email automation is your must-have tool to generate more engagement and revenue. It’s quick and simple to get started and you can easily scale your programs once you’ve got to grips with your first few. After the right amount of scoping, and once your first automations have gone live, you’ll start collecting valuable data and the revenue will begin trickling in.
Harry Hall’s story:
Harry Hall is admired by customers for its quality British clothing; every piece is skilfully tailored and further enriched by the brand’s strong heritage. From humble beginnings in the 1870s, Harry Hall has established itself as a prestigious brand in the equestrian world, its products renowned for their durability, practicality and comfort. The brand continues to live up to its original trading slogan: “Hall marked clothes are the best”. To achieve the same level of excellence in its email marketing, Harry Hall’s long-term focus is to create a seamless customer journey that effectively conveys the brand’s rich heritage and trumpets its high level of service.
With a manageable database at the time, Harry Hall was in a prime position to implement dotmailer and learn about its features; the objective was to grow the database and build out the customer journey throughout the year. However, a business decision left the brand with more data than it bargained for and – to get a handle on the new platform and streamline its email marketing – was in urgent need of a robust data-driven strategy.
Overcoming this challenge wasn’t going to be easy, so the brand sought strategic advice from Camilla Nightingale, director of Holbrook Digital Consultancy. Together they collaborated in scoping out the digital and data prerequisites for implementing an effective portfolio of email automation programs. Next came the implementation phase, which required guidance from the brand’s dotmailer Account Manager and Digital Program Manager.
Goals & Objectives:
The long-term goals for Harry Hall were clear from the very beginning: underline brand quality, demonstrate excellent customer service and showcase stylish and reliable products. Fundamentally, the brand had to tap into its higher life-time-value (LTV) clusters, nurture them at various stages of the cycle, and improve their customer experience. The ultimate objective was to generate more revenue and increase email ROI.
Camilla helped Harry Hall analyze its historical data to identify different clusters and their potential value. Her input was pivotal for the success of the project, steering the brand in the right direction in terms of business objectives and revenue prioritization.
Since day one, the Harry Hall team implemented Google Analytics to monitor the performance of automations and user response to incentives, as well as identify any uplifts in email metrics.
Collaborative automation build:
dotmailer’s ‘collaborative automation build’ session is a co-operative workshop – an interface between training and service – where specialists scope and build automation programs with clients. Although the session had capacity for three automation scopes, Harry Hall preferred to use the 10 hours allocated to the project to build and test programs collaboratively. In the long term, this resulted in more automations being built by Harry Hall as its staff were more confident in creating and testing new programs.
Sami Dabek – eCommerce Manager at Harry Hall – facilitated the project, making sure the various stakeholders had the right assets and technical resources in place to meet the tight deadlines. Sami was keen to learn how to design and test new flows, so she could take Harry Hall’s automations to the next level. Since the go-live date two weeks ago, she’d already independently deployed two new programs – a fantastic achievement.
Sami Dabek, eCommerce Manager at Harry Hall:
I found the collaborative approach was a great fit with our business needs. By working closely with our Project Manager and discussing the set-up of programs at each stage, I felt confident that after the project finished I had the knowledge to maintain these programs, and more importantly, create new ones!
Through close work with their Digital Program Manager & Account Manager, the Harry Hall team has gained a deeper understanding of the dotmailer platform; this has allowed team members to build and test programs confidently, efficiently and with ease.
Building up their portfolio of programs resulted in an increase in subscriber engagement for Harry Hall; contacts were filtered into relevant programs based on their data, meaning communications were personalized and contextual. The brand was pleased with the programs as they facilitated a memorable journey for customers from beginning to end.
Throughout the customer journey, the team reported a noticeable increase in ROI – a well-deserved result for Harry Hall. This uplift was indicative of the long-term gains from nurture programs (such as welcome and post-purchase), as well as short-term wins from implementing abandoned carts.
Being able to scale the knowledge curve so quickly and reap the rewards of automation has been a tremendous achievement for Harry Hall. The brand’s gone from zero to 100 in such a short amount of time and cites the collaborative session as the secret to its automation success.
Harry Hall has a great roadmap ahead and will continue refining current flows to improve performance over time. Build, measure, learn and repeat
Get started today!
The program builder is available in every dotmailer account and it’s super-easy to use. Here’s a link to our automation videos to show you how to get started.
Check out this case study to learn how Minor Entertainment Ltd. has automated many everyday tasks to increase efficiency and revenues.
Get your free copy of our ‘Making time to save time’ guide which’ll put you on the right path to successful marketing automation.
This blog was co-written by Marius D’Souza and Pamela Zoni, Account Manager and Digital Marketing Specialist at dotmailer.
Bulk email marketing is a way to reach prospective customers and to stay in communication with existing clients. It has become a big business over the last years what is quite justified. Bulk email marketing provides companies and organizations with a great possibility to advertise and sell their products and services. Sending letters to prospects and customers via email is quicker and less expensive than traditional bulk postage mail. Plus, you can easily contact people in all parts of the world and your growing email list will be bringing you more sales. With all that, bulk email marketing has one main disadvantage – unsolicited emails, often labeled as "spam". Unsolicited emails are the emails that the recipient did not request. If one sends the messages to someone else without his permission, those emails are classified as spam. Sending spam can ruin the company's reputation as people usually blamed this type of mail received without their consent.
So, to accomplish a focused, targeted, and effective bulk email campaign that will bring you the results, you should consider some points before implementing it. The key to success is to follow some rules when planning your campaign.
Email Marketing Objectives
Decide on what you will tell your audience, what you want to achieve with your email campaign. Is it a newsletter for establishing a relationship with your prospect customers, or is it a sales-oriented letter for your existing clients? Do you want to generate leads, bring more traffic to your web site, inspire the loyalty, or increase sales?
Building Your Email List
Do not buy ready-made lists of email addresses from a source that you do not know well. Do not use email harvester software to collect the email addresses from web sites. The best approved way to build your own mailing list is to design a sing-in form on your web page. People who visit your site and are interested in learning more about your products and services will leave you their email addresses. Over time you'll build a database of subscribers who signed up to hear from you. If you segment your subscribers depending on their preferences, you'll need to design multiple email messages to send more relevant information to each audience.
Do not Sell at Once
Do not start selling in the first letter. In your first emails you should talk about the customers' problems and provide some useful information about your business. If you sell software, inform people about the latest releases, and include software reviews that you have read. Always keep the content of your emails in line with what people signed up for. Be careful at declaring that you are the solution for them until they have some trust and faith for you. You can remind them of your services at the end of your message.
Personalize Your Message
Your email message will look more professional and reputable if you personalize it by addressing your subscriber by name. A personalized message makes the impression that you value every subscriber and thoroughly prepared your email campaign.
Write in the Informal and Comprehensive Manner
Do not make your message content too official and abstruse. Keep to the informal tone of writing. But do not make it too chatty either. Find the golden mean. Write like you are telling a story. Avoid direct commands and obstinate requests. Include advices and suggestions by using the phrases like "In our experience …", "We discovered …", "Our research shows …" etc.
Avoid using big attachments. They increase the size of your message and take some time to download. You should better unload the file that you intend to attach to your web site and give the link to it in your message. Those recipients who would be interested to see the attachment will download the file onto their computers. If you use links within the message, make sure they are working. Do not use too many "I" and "We" in your message. Do not focus much on yourself or your company regalia. Nobody is interested in your personal information. The content must be relevant and meet the customer's interests.
Your subject line. It should be short and to the point.
And finally, how are people supposedly to unsubscribe from your email list? Do not forget to provide them with an unsubscribe link somewhere in your message.
Make it a rule to always read your email copy several times before you send it out. A nice idea is to have someone else read your message with a fresh look. It's better to discover and correct any possible mistake and typos beforehand rather than make your subscribers feel you lack precision.
Manage Bounces and Unsubscribes
You should be ready to receive bounced messages. People change the email addresses from time to and they may not notify you about it. So, you should not expect that your email message will reach all your subscribers. Remove bounced email addresses and the emails addresses of those recipients who are unsubscribed from your database or mailing list. This will help you maintain a database of those customers and prospects only who really wants to hear from you.
So, it turns out that the route to effective email marketing is not so easy and simple. You should spend some efforts and time to achieve a success with your bulk email campaign. But it's worth it, is not it?
Every brand wants to create a loyalty reward program that keeps customers interested, engaged and coming back for more. Ecommerce merchants and retailers have found this feat much easier said than done. In fact, it may now be more difficult than ever to gain a customer’s genuine loyalty.
A successful loyalty rewards program can increase customer engagement, retention, and repeat sales. The benefits of an effective loyalty program are far-reaching and invaluable to a brand. According to Marketing Metrics, a repeat customer has a 60%-70% chance of converting. Also, on average, only 8% of visitors come back, but they account for a staggering 41% of a company’s revenue.
To have an engaging loyalty rewards program, retailers must adopt some non-negotiable strategies.
So, what’s the secret sauce of an alluring loyalty rewards program?
360-degree customer engagement
Sure, earning points for buying is important. But if that’s the end-all, be-all of your loyalty program, it’s lacking and simply ineffective. To encourage real brand engagement, you should awards points for different activities – like referrals, social media engagement, email signups, reviews, photos uploaded to your website… the possibilities are endless. The more ways you can think of to dish out points, the more engaged your customers will be.
Don’t just take my word for it! Take Predator Nutrition, for example.
Predator Nutrition, a leading provider of sports nutrition supplements, was looking to engage its customers and drive repeat sales. They implemented a high-impact loyalty rewards program with a built-in 360-degree engagement module. The program rewarded members not only for purchases, but also for interactions on the web and social media. Some of the activities are as follows:
Create an Account – 500 points
Refer a Friend – 300 points
Birthday Bonus – 100 points
Write a Review – 100 points
Newsletter Sign-Up – 500 points
Follow on Twitter – 100 points
Follow on Instagram – 200 points
This 360-degree engagement module produced results beyond their greatest expectations. Predator Nutrition received thousands of customer enrollments in just one quarter. It achieved immediate business benefits in the form of 33% higher Average Order Value (AOV). Also, 1.7 times more purchases from customers who redeemed loyalty points.
Loyalty programs that are omnichannel-capable, are all about giving customers the freedom to choose how to interact. Today’s fast-paced society demands convenience. If your loyalty rewards program isn’t right up your customer’s alley, it won’t even tempt them.
Customers should be able to interact with your loyalty program through any channel or device they prefer, every step of the way. If it’s not relevant to the customer, forget about it (because they will!) Also, make sure your message and branding are consistent throughout each channel.
Guess who’s getting it right. Starbucks!
Starbucks is famous for its omnichannel engagement model. The Starbucks Rewards system uses this approach to make the coffee buying experience more convenient for customers. That’s why it’s not a surprise that $1.2 billion is loaded on the Starbucks mobile app and the company’s loyalty cards for future purchases.
Beginning with their free rewards card, customers can immediately start earning rewards when they buy. Starbucks has enabled customers to check their gift card balance, points, and mobile orders via phone, website, in-store, or on their user-friendly app. All channels correspond with each other in real time, eliminating the possibility of a lapse in communication. This omnichannel capability is attractive to customers, encouraging engagement on many levels.
Moving up the ladder
Giving rewards to customers based on their journey with your brand is an incredibly effective strategy. People naturally enjoy taking up a challenge. Your customers will be striving toward the next tier, greater benefits, and exciting perks, constantly tempted to earn more points!
When customers earn the right to move up the ladder for maximum rewards, they feel valued by your brand. Also, if you offer multiple channels and points for various activities, they’ll engage with your brand in more ways than one.
Sephora’s successful tiered program
Sephora has their customers moving up tiers based on dollars spent each calendar year. This is a prime example of exclusivity for committed, loyal customers. They take pride in their status as they move up the ladder of rewards.
The concept of reward tiers in Sephora’s program adds an aspect of gamification that influences customer behavior and drives engagement. The program is based on 3 tiers:
Beauty Insider – Free to join!
VIB (Very Important Beauty Insider) – Earn this status by spending $350 in a calendar year!
VIB Rouge – Achieve this status by spending $1000 in a calendar year!
Rewards offered at each tier include freebies, makeovers, exclusive invitations to events, and private access to Sephora’s hotline. Only a select few customers reach the VIB and VIB Rouge Tiers. This makes Sephora’s program genuinely exclusive and truly effective.
Notifying the customer
Real-time notifications on the website are encouraging new signups and pushing current members toward the next reward. An immediate notification that includes a link to the loyalty rewards program should appear every time points are (or could be) earned. It will propel customers to enroll in the program. If they have already enrolled, it acts as a reminder. Real-time notifications are a powerful strategy to drive customer retention.
The Sigma Pink Perks Loyalty Program
Global beauty company Sigma Beauty has implemented the ‘Pink Perks’ customer loyalty program to rapidly build up a base of customers who are highly engaged with its brand.
The brand is using the program’s built-in, real-time notifications tool to ensure that its customers are constantly aware of the points they earn. The brand has also enabled birthday notifications on its website to surprise users with special reward points. In addition, Sigma Beauty notifies users post-purchase to encourage reviews and referrals. Real-time notifications have allowed them to continually engage and update its loyalty program customers.
Creating an efficient loyalty rewards program isn’t as complicated as you might think. Making it direct, practical, and relevant will basically guarantee high customer engagement. Know your customers and tailor your point system toward the activities they’re already doing, or at least are highly likely to participate in. Customers that engage with your brand become part of your business family. There’s no greater loyalty than that!
Do you know some more engaging loyalty rewards programs? Or maybe you’ve created one for your brand and you’ve got other useful tips?
Feel free to share your experience in the comments!
Samir Palnitkar is the Founder of Zinrelo, a technology company that specializes in loyalty rewards programs. He is a serial entrepreneur who has done four successful startups prior to Zinrelo. He has over 20 years of industry experience, has been awarded five technology patents and has written two technical books. You can find Samir on LinkedIn here and on Twitter here.
Following up with your past customers is a proven way to make a lot of extra sales. You can simply write a promotional offer about one of your other products in the form of a follow up letter, and then send it to your customers email list.
Since your customers have already done business with you and like and trust you, they are more likely to buy something from you again. That's why selling to your previous customers is much easier and more cost effective than winning new customers.
Email marketing is the easiest, fastest, and most affordable way to follow up with your customers. The cost of sending email letters is zero. You can also automate 95% of your email marketing campaign and follow up system to save a lot of time.
Writing a follow up email letter is not rocket science. Simply explain some of the most important benefits of your product and then provide your customers with a link to your online sales letter to learn more.
All of us receive some promotional emails every now and then. Some of them are very powerful, while others are poorly written and boring.
If you save effective email messages that you receive on your computer, soon you'll have a collection of sample killer follow up messages to learn from. Read them carefully to discover their secrets to success, and then use that formula for your own follow up messages.