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Enhance Your Customer Relationships with Email Newsletters
by Andrea Harris

Subscribe! Sign Up! Join Our List! These are common words on websites today, for good reason. Email newsletters are a powerful, inexpensive marketing tool.

Should your business have an email newsletter? If your customers and prospects are online, it's hard to say no. Here are a few examples of how you can enhance your relationship with your customers with an email newsletter.

Promote Your Business and Reinforce Your Brand

What better way to spread the word about your business than by writing articles that appeal to your customer base? Unlike traditional advertising, you're showing your expertise, not just talking about it.

A newsletter is another opportunity to reinforce your brand. Your value propositions, tagline, and logo can all be woven into the newsletter to solidify the impact of your brand. Jean Sifleet found that her newsletter "was a way to introduce myself as a practical, business-oriented attorney by answering questions in clear ordinary, language. It is my way of distinguishing myself from the more adversarial, litigation type attorneys."

Lend Credibility to Your Business and Establish Trust with Your Customers

When a customer sees your newsletter in her inbox every month, she knows you're serious about maintaining your business. Your timely and relevant articles show that you understand the problems customers face and know how to solve them. Feeling understood helps instill trust in your abilities.

Customers trust editorial copy more than advertisements. In an email newsletter you have the space to truly speak to your customers without any hype or pressure. As you solve their problems or provide them with pertinent advice, they will appreciate you all the more.

Keep Touching Your Prospects

Have you ever heard that you have to "touch" a prospect seven times before she will contact you about your product or service? It can get expensive to keep trying to touch your prospects with advertising. Email newsletters are an inexpensive way to remind people about your business.

Stay in Touch With Your Customers

Your existing customers are often your "low-hanging fruit." Although you may think about them months after the job is done, do they spend much time thinking about you? A regular email lets them know you still care, and encourages them to call you when they have a need for your service.

Capture Email Addresses of Prospective Future Customers

What about the "toe-dippers," those prospects that might be interested in your service, but aren't willing to pick up the phone? Don't lose them. Signing up for a newsletter is a no-pressure, hassle-free way for a customer to express her tentative interest in your business. She feels comfortable in the anonymity, and you still get to communicate with her every month. Perhaps she'll get a year's worth of newsletters before she's ready to call. Or maybe she'll just forward an issue to someone she knows who is in the market for your service. Either way, you haven't invested time or money on a high-risk prospect.

Inexpensive and Easy to Publish

An email newsletter is an inexpensive way to reach hundreds or even thousands of customers on a regular basis. There's no printing or postage, and design can be as minimal or extensive as you want.

The whole idea of email newsletters is fairly new, but it's easy to find businesses that have experienced proven results. Lisa Nirell, an executive coach in San Diego, started her newsletter in September 2009. " I've quadrupled my subscribers and enrolled two new clients with potential lifetime value exceeding $30,000. My ezine can be used to maintain contact with prospective clients and maintain credibility."

Your newsletter can bring you leads and immediate business, as well as an opportunity to connect with customers and deepen your relationships.

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Andrea Harris, publisher of The Minerva Minute and owner of Minerva Solutions, Inc. helps businesses achieve professional, effective online and printed marketing communications. Contact Andrea at her web site http://www.minerva-inc.com

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