As I showed you in this blog post, builders and remodelers don’t need to be hung up on the format of the newsletter. It is much more important to simply publish a newsletter and get it working for you.
Here are 5 Simple Steps for Creating a Newsletter.
- Gather the list. Before you can even think about content, you first need to develop your list. If you don’t have a Contact Management System (CMS) such as ACT, SalesForce or AllClients.com, a simple Excel spreadsheet works well (this is what I use). Include your past customers and those prospects that have inquired about doing a job in the last year or so. This is a good start.
- Email or print? Well, here’s the thing. Do you have (good) email addresses? If you do, you can entertain the idea of publishing your newsletter via email ONLY IF you feel confident that your customers and prospects have already giving their okay to contact them in this fashion (although read-rates go down with email publishing – but that’s another topic for another post). If you don’t have a solid list of email addresses, the best, and most effective, way to get a newsletter into someone’s hand is mailing it.
- Develop a schedule. How often are you going to publish your newsletter? You may be gung-ho to write all this content for your newsletter today, but what about a month from now? Or later in the year when you hit your “insanely busy time?” More important than the content is the consistency in which you publish. So choose a schedule (such as once a month) and stick to it!
- Identify articles. What are you going to talk about in your newsletter? Remember, newsletters are supposed to be fun and educational – not sales-y! Sure, you can put a few coupons or special-mentions into your newsletter, but the bulk of the content should be about entertaining or giving your readers information. Also, keep in mind that your newsletter doesn’t have be long – a short “welcome message,” a feature article and a close with a call-to-action is all you need to start (you can build on it later).
- Publish It! Now publish your newsletter. Copy and paste the information into an email delivery program such as Mail Chimp or Constant Contact (affiliate link) and schedule it to “blast” out. Or if you are doing a hard-copy newsletter, copy and paste the articles into a Word or Publisher template. You don’t even have to worry about postal regulation if you fold it into thirds, stuff it into an (bright) envelope and mail it out.
Finally, as the instructions say on the shampoo bottle: REPEAT! Content marketing takes time, so don’t expect a windfall of business with your first issue (although it is very possible that prospects on the fence will be motivated to contact you because of your newsletter, like it happened for this client), but over time, newsletters are proven to be one of the most effective means to keeping you top-of-mind with your customers.
Check out my other newsletter resources for more advice, tips and help in creating your newsletter.