Should my company have a newsletter?

Are you trying to reach your customers?

Mission statement, in general, defines a newsletter’s content when the newsletter is aimed at employees.  Some newsletters, however, are aimed at customers, vendors and families almost exclusively.  These are called “external”newsletters, and they have special missions.

 An external newsletter can be a great marketing tool. Unlike internal newsletters, where the
“community”is your group of employees, an external newsletter has a larger community or
audience and demands a more generalized content.

For example, one customer has published an external newsletter for 24 years aimed at customers and potential customers of its auto dealership. The editor’s content strategy may surprise you:  She prints NOT ONE WORD about cars.  That’s right.  Not a single word.

When you think about it for a second, this isn’t so unusual. The auto manufacturer fills the air waves with advertisements about its cars, but the car dealer is interested in forming a relationship between its salesmen and its customers.  It is this relationship that ultimately sells cars. 

The editor keeps her audience (the customer) familiar with events in the small community and keeps them interested in receiving the newsletter by printing items of general interest, including a recipe each month that she tries out herself.

Sometimes the external newsletter reaches a large, but closely knit audience of people in an industry.  For example, a film development company in a large city has a primary customer base of professional photographers (and serious amateurs) who need special color and black-and-white film development services. This company has a newsletter that reaches every advertising, design and related industry group (like professional type-output service bureaus), along with professional
photographers. The reason is that this group is extraordinarily close-knit.  Although it is a large industry, it is also a relatively small group of people who know each other and are curious about each other’s activities. The newsletter is highly designed and packed with information on the people and the business of advertising. It does produce photography information, but the goal of the newsletter is to make this particular business a player in the overall industry. It succeeds.

If you want to reach customers with your newsletter, consider your mission in terms of the industry: What image do you want to have in the industry?  Is there an information void you can fill?

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