Step 1 – Who is your audience?
If you haven’t previously done the exercise of creating an avatar (traits that make up your ideal customer), there is no better time than now.
List all the things you know about your ideal customer. What do they look like, what are their interests, where do they hang out, what’s causing them pain, what keeps them awake at night, what are the top 5 challenges they are experiencing?

Step 2 – Who are you sending your newsletter to?
Within your database, you will have customers and you will have prospects, those you have spoken to or quoted jobs for but not yet worked with. Keep in mind prospects are those that meet your ideal customer criteria, not everyone who you have ever met.
The purpose of the newsletter is to stay on the mind of your ideal customer, be seen as an expert, and with the long-term goal of generating more income.

Step 3 – What to write about?
People will only invest time in reading your newsletter if it is of value to them. So how do you provide the value you ask? Think of the challenges and interests of your ideal customer, these are the topics that will capture their interest and provide value.
• You can write an article yourself or collaborate with another business that has the same target audience and ask them to provide an article, case study or share a link to a service or application they have found useful.
• Promote a new product or service you are offering.
• Share any community involvement you have participated in – fun runs, volunteering, giving blood.
• Promote your point of difference – what is it you do differently to your competitors.
• Tips and tricks. Tips to choosing the right contractor. Safety tips.
• Awards or recognition, testimonials, or feedback from customers.

Step 4 – What to call your newsletter?
Your company name (Building Connections) Newsletter may not get readers hooked. A great example of a newsletter I always open, and a few others in the industry I know eagerly open when it arrives in their inbox, is the Safety Soapbox from Worksafe Victoria. The trigger for reading this newsletter is the photos of outrageously dangerous and stupid activity on work sites.
What will trigger your audience to open will it be a humorous name or headline, will it be images, will it be hard-hitting facts. Your message must trigger your ideal customer to open and read.

Step 5 – What to include in your newsletter?
• Seems a no-brainer but often a forgotten item is your business name, email, website, and phone number. Make it easy for your customer or whoever reads your newsletter to get in contact with you.
• Start with an exciting lead article and/or captivating photo.
• Do you have a product you could review, a new technique for delivery, an app or software you are using that could help your ideal customer.
• Do have a process that would be useful for your ideal customer to know about.
• Include a regular Tips and Hacks section to help your ideal customer achieve a specific action? For an electrician, it could be 3 steps to Electrical safety on building sites or 5 things you must know about….
What are some of the questions your customers ask? Make a list of these questions and create a list of tips.
• Upcoming events that would be of interest to your ideal customer.
o An annual customer golf day
o Fun run or walk you participating in or want to support
• Make your customers feel like they belong and introduce them to your team. This can simply be a photo of a team member each edition with a fun fact about them and what their role is in the business. Or you could interview your team member and make it a feature article.
• Invite someone outside of your business to write an article.
• Get a team member to write an article.
• Include a funny section in each newsletter. A funny story, a joke that relates to your industry.
• Celebrate anniversaries, birthdays, awards, etc of business, staff, or customers.

Step 6 – How to layout your newsletter?
• Headlines need to capture your audience immediately, list up to 30 headlines before you decide on which will create the biggest impact.
Some possible ways to start your headline
 Announcing …..
 Don’t ….. until you read this
 Now available
 New …
• Aim to make the headline 25% of your article.
• Keep your font size at around 10 points.
• In general, too much print in one block turns people off so break up articles into small paragraphs and indent them.
• Subtitles are also useful to draw attention when skim reading.
• Include pictures as most people are visual, add a caption under the photo. I always check out photos and captions before reading an article how about you?
• Keep your layout simple and easy to follow. Refer to newspapers and magazines for ideas on the layout or use applications like Canva to format.
• A one or 2-page newsletter is sufficient if you have pages and pages chances are you will be wasting your content and energy.

Step 7 – How often to send a newsletter?
This will depend on your ideal customer. Think about the newsletters you receive, and ask yourself these questions. How often do you want to receive a newsletter? What makes you unsubscribe to newsletters is it the content or is it the timing?
You may want to look at your annual calendar and reverse engineer scheduling newsletters to coincide with things happening within your business. You may decide to send quarterly starting with a New Year theme or a business anniversary (5 year anniversary of opening).

 

Source Instant Repeat Business by Bradley Sugars