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Newsletters: An Effective Marketing Tool

written by: Barbara L. Baird•edited by: Jean Scheid•updated: 8/10/2011

You can easily and inexpensively create and print a newsletter to market and advertise your business even if you've never published a newsletter before. Great newsletter ideas to not have to be complicated to be a successful marketing tool for your business.

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    A Promotional Tool

    Using newsletter ideas as a marketing tool can be a powerful way to promote your business. While an Internet search will provide you with many online blogs and websites offering helpful tips, this article concentrates on using a print newsletter to market your small local business.

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    You Already Have Your Readers

    The best part of using these newsletter ideas as a marketing tool is you are saved the time-consuming chore of making up your readership list. You should already have the names and addresses of your customers, and they are the prime target you want to reach. They already deal with you and just need some encouragement to continue to do so. They will be the most receptive audience for what you have to offer. Part of your newsletter may also include a special offer to your existing customers for new customer referrals.

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    What About the Added Cost?

    Every business should have an advertising budget, and consider this part of that expense. Your biggest cost will be postage, but later on in this article you will see how to get by using just one stamp, without the need for an envelope. You can either find a place that will inexpensively copy a certain amount of pages for you, or you can go somewhere and copy them yourself. You can slim down your mailing list to include only those customers who you feel will really appreciate your efforts and are already doing regular business with you. As your business grows, your mailing list will grow with it.

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    What if You've Never Written a Newsletter?

    Using Newsletters to Promote Small Businesses This may be your first thought, but it is really not difficult if you make it a simple endeavor. A great newsletter idea as a marketing tool is to cut and paste pictures of a featured item or chosen graphics, and the rest is simply typing up the content. Or, you can learn how to make a newsletter in MS Word. Remember to only copy your own work or pictures and graphics you have a legal right to use. If you are selling a product you should have a reseller's right to use approved photographs of the product.

    Do not try to make the newsletter lengthy. Keeping the number of ideas presented in your newsletter short will make it easier on you and also hold the attention of your readers.

    The whole idea is to feature a particular product or service each time and write about the advantages. You want to tell your readers, and also show them, how the product or service will benefit them as your customers.

    You can include a discount coupon, perhaps 10 percent off, which really does not affect your profit. Remember, the goal is increased business. You can include a discount code you create yourself or draw lines around typed material to create the coupon. Try offering a special that is designed to increase your customer's average sales amount.

    Add in a cute story, joke or interesting news release that will make your readers look forward to getting your newsletters. You can ask for their comments and contributions so that you can include them in a future issue. Asking your customers for their input is a great idea to include in your newsletters. You may want to ask customers for input as to what products or services they would like you to add to your business. When customers respond to your newsletter you know you are hitting the right target.

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    How Often to Send

    Start out with a bi-monthly or monthly newsletter. If you attempt to do too much at one time, it may become a burden and distract you from your primary goal of running your business. Most customer do not want to receive mailings so often they begin to perceive them as junk mail. You also want to allow your customers enough time to read your newsletters at their leisure and respond to any special offers you may have included.

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    Sending Them to Your Customers

    Keep your first newsletters to two pages, front and back, with the second page printed only on one side. Place the newsletter in order with the first page on top and fold it in half. Place some tape on all three open sides to hold it closed. Address it on the outside and put on one stamp. Now you have found a reasonably priced way to stay in contact with your customers and promote extra business.

    Remember, if created in a unique and attractive way, newsletters will increase your business profits and help you gain new and repeat customers.

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