These days, blogging, twitter and facebook are all the rage when it comes to helping people find and interact with your business. But there’s one more tool in your social marketing toolbox you might be forgetting — the newsletter.
Three Reasons Your Business Needs a Newsletter
While email can seem a little old school in these days of instant interaction on the likes of twitter and facebook, it still serves a great purpose for you and your customers.
Newsletters Create Added Value for Valued Customers
A newsletter positions you as an expert in your industry in a similar way to your blog. The difference is a newsletter can offer exclusive content to folks who want it — and it’s a great way to give a little something extra to your valued customers. A newsletter is the truest form of permission-based marketing — if you offer something that people actually request to read, you’re on the right track.
Newsletters Let Customers Share How Great You Are
Newsletters are unique when it comes to sharing. A retweet or a share on facebook goes out to a person’s entire network of friends, but a newsletter is more easily forwarded specifically to friends and family who might benefit from what your company has to offer. This is targeted marketing done for you! And the bonus is it comes from a vetted, impartial source of information.
Newsletters Trigger Repeat Business
While a solid blog, website and other social media are fantastic for helping people find your business, a newsletter does a wonderful job of creating repeat business. Social media helps people find you, but a newsletter reminds your customers to come back. Newsletters are especially great for service-based businesses because they act as periodic reminders for folks to take advantage of your services.
Newsletters at Sarah Writes Stories
If you’re ready to start taking advantage of the benefits of a newsletter, I can help! I’d love to work with you to create an informative newsletter that creates loyal, repeat customers and helps them share how great your business is with their friends and family.
Software updates are a part of life in this day and age, but they don’t always have to be painful. Case in point: during a recent update to my favorite writing software, Scrivener, a known issue popped up during installation.
How Scrivener Did It Right
Instead of having to google the error, hunt down the solution, and then follow a lengthy list of instructions to delete the appropriate file, Scrivener walked me right through the entire process.
First, it notified me of the issue — and that there was a simple solution. Second, the program walked me through deleting a framework file on my Mac through a short series of prompts that were so well-designed that they included buttons to “Open Folder” rather than telling me to hunt for it. The entire process took about 10 seconds, and then the install completed successfully.
I already loved Scrivener, but making this process so easy made me love it even more.
Learning from Scrivener’s Customer Service Performance
Here’s what we can learn from Scrivener’s performance.
Do Your Research
It’s no accident that Scrivener programmed this solution right into the installation itself. I stay on top of updates, so there was no lag time to my knowledge between users being affected and the solution being provided.
If you’re getting ready to introduce a new product or service, run through as many scenarios as you can to ensure all your bases are covered and that you know how to handle issues if and when they pop up. Not even the big wig companies succeed at this all the time (ahem, Apple Maps, anyone?), but the better prepared you can be, the better.
Develop Solutions and Make Them Easy for Customers
If you do foresee problems — even minor ones — develop solutions and make them as easy as possible for your customers. Ignoring the problem and leaving the hunt for the fix to your customers is a surefire way to engender their frustration at best and to lose them entirely at worst.
However, showing your customers that you care by responding with correct, quick and easy-to-use solutions can actually improve your position.
Admit When You’re Wrong
Now, because Scrivener did everything right in this case study, I’m going to point to the Apple Maps issue again. When the product came out and users found it to be extremely subpar and sometimes even completely wrong, CEO Tim Cook responded quickly with an apology, a promise to do better, and recommendations for other apps to use in the meantime.
It was a bold move that Steve Jobs probably wouldn’t have made, to be honest, but it created goodwill within Apple’s already loyal user base. No person is perfect, and neither is any business, but we can all make strides to turn less than ideal situations into opportunities.
Effective Communication is Key
If you’ve got a public relations problem on your hands, it’s important to make sure you respond to your customers correctly. There are plenty of corporate social media horror stories out there, so it’s worth hiring a professional to help you tell your customers the right story when there’s a snafu.
If you need help responding to your customers via your website, blog, email or social media, I can help. Let’s chat about how we can work together to help you and your business keep your customers happy and loyal.