The Case For Developing a Client Newsletter - You've sown the seeds ... now reap
By Paul Quinn, © 2002
Research by Harvard Business School shows that the probability
of selling services to a prospective customer is 1 in 16,
while the probability of selling services to a current customer
is 1 in 2. Yet, despite statistics such as this, many agencies
continue to spend a disproportionate amount of time on new
business development, sometimes at the expense of servicing
Client Newsletters offer an inexpensive, effective tool
that agencies can use to help redress this imbalance and
keep in touch with current or lapsed clients.
Below are eight compelling reasons why your agency should
consider producing a client newsletter:
1. Improves brand recognition and keeps your agency's
brand at the forefront of the client's mind.
2. Differentiates your agency from competitors and
helps create the impression that, unlike your competitors,
your agency truly understands your clients' needs.
3. Educates and informs clients about the range of
different services you offer, helping to pre-sell these
services to them.
4. Standardises sales and marketing messages.
5. Encourages client interaction and feedback to
help you stay in touch with the issues that are important
6. Stimulates client referrals. A client newsletter
will often get forwarded on to each client's network prompting
others to sign-up to receive their own subscription.
7. Reduces business costs. Research has shown that
transacting with existing clients is both cheaper and less
time consuming than trying to gain new business .
8. Expands agency reach because you are able to communicate
with hundreds of decision-makers simultaneously.
However, realisation of these benefits does not come without
careful planning and a commitment from senior management.
Indeed, a poorly written client newsletter will do more
harm than good to an agency's brand, hence it is important
to avoid the following two problems that are responsible
for many client newsletters failing:
1. We haven't got anything interesting to say
The focus must be to provide content that is relevant, useful
and engaging. Articles that explain your new back office
system or how Mary Sue has moved from Accounts to Payroll
may be very interesting internally, but are rarely of genuine
interest to clients. Therefore, you may have to look outside
your organisation to find content that meets your client's
needs and interests, and then reflect your understanding
of these needs by writing relevant and engaging content.
2. Who should 'own' the client newsletter?
In the absence of an internal marketing team, internal newsletters
are often written and co-ordinated by anyone from Receptionists
to Office Managers. The problem with this approach is that
quality is often compromised as producing the newsletter
is just one of many jobs on their 'to do' list, and these
staff members are rarely trained or experienced in the fundamentals
of writing effective and engaging copy. To overcome this,
try to find a person in your organisation who is genuinely
interested in developing their writing and desktop publishing
(or html) skills, or engage the services of a professional
In short, client newsletters that avoid the pitfalls mentioned
above offer many advantages to agencies that see value in
building strong relationships with their existing client
base. At a minimum, client newsletters are a cost effective
way to keep your brand in front of existing clients, educate
them on the range of services you provide, and help set
your agency apart from the competition.
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