According to the Harvard Business Review, 91 percent of small businesses do absolutely nothing to retain their existing clients. That means only nine percent of small business owners "get" the following facts:
• The average American business loses 50 percent of its customer base every five years.
• An existing customer spends an average of 67 percent more than new customers.
• It costs anywhere from seven to nine times more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an old one.
Mailing a monthly newsletter can eliminate all of these problems—assuming you do it correctly.
A successful newsletter doesn't just "happen." It's composed of very specific elements; without them, you might as well be sending your clients a comic book.
Let's take a closer look at the seven components in question:
1. Content that is not all about you. Many businesses feel compelled to tell everyone how wonderful they are. Forget it—people don't like braggers. Instead, feature content that is interesting and useful. When you've engaged your reader with articles they actually want to read, you'll have earned their trust and respect. This, in turn, will lead to more sales.
2. Exciting, new, and original content. Your readers should look forward to your newsletters each month. If your articles are boring, people will stop reading…and you won't reap any of the benefits sending a regular newsletter can bring.
3. A sense of professionalism. Your newsletter is an extension of your business. You pride yourself on providing personal, professional service or selling quality products. Consequently, your newsletters must match your reputation. Make sure there are no spelling mistakes. Write appealing articles. Have an attractive layout design. Print your newsletter on high-quality paper. If it looks like it was published by your seventh-grader, you've wasted your time and money.
4. The personal touch. Continue the initial connection you made with your client by revealing a little about yourself in your newsletter. A personal touch will get your newsletter remembered and enhance your image as an expert. Some people choose to reveal something about their personal lives (maybe they play golf or went on a vacation) or share tidbits about their families.
5. Offers and calls to action. You should give people a reason to act now. If they wait, they'll probably do nothing. So make a special offer available only for your clients, and place a deadline on it (one month only, for example). Changing your offer each month will also help you track the effectiveness of your newsletter—you'll easily see who buys and who buys consistently.
6. Consistency. Many businesses try to save money and send their newsletters quarterly or even semiannually. If that's you, don't bother: You're wasting your time and money. Sending your newsletter out every month, just like your client's favorite magazines, will help make your newsletter part of your client's daily lives.
7. Print it. Yeah, yeah, yeah…printed newsletters are more expensive. But think about this: How many companies are willing to do this? Your clients aren't stupid. They understand the value of receiving a great newsletter every month. Plus, printed newsletters are more effective than e-mail newsletters because:
• They don't get caught in spam filters.
• Everyone is sick of being bombarded by content online.
• Printed newsletters have a physical presence in someone's home. This means they are likely to be kept, acted upon in the future, and will probably get passed on to others, because they are viewed as literature.
So put an end to your dwindling client base. Save tons of dollars by marketing to proven buyers. Capture and keep customers who will be happy to spend their money with you forever. All it takes is s a proven marketing tool: A well-written monthly client newsletter.
David Gruttadaurio can be contacted through his Website, www.NewslettersMadeForYou.com.