Look Out For These 10 Common Mistakes In Your Next Customer Newsletter
Your dealership’s customer newsletter is a communication and marketing tool. It can’t do its job if it doesn’t entice people to open up and read your content. Avoiding these 10 common mistakes will ensure your customers look forward to your newsletter
Vague subject line.
This is the most important part of your customer newsletter. It you don’t capture interest here, no one will open your newsletter. So give readers a clue about what’s inside: Must-Have Attachments if this issue links to two or three relevant blog articles, or December Newsletter: Best Preventive Maintenance Tips of 2014.
Too many topics.
Keep your newsletter to two or three items (or even just one) with a central theme. This doesn’t mean you can’t include a short blurb reminding readers about your upcoming open house, but bouncing from one subject to another makes your customer newsletter appear random rather than well-thought-out.
Pick a specific goal – what you want readers to do next – for each customer newsletter. Drive traffic to your blog? Sign up for your next webinar? Request more information? You can include multiple links and calls-to-action, but keep them focused. Each newsletter can have a different goal.
Too many audiences.
Targeted content is more compelling, which is why the #2 reason people unsubscribe from business newsletters is lack of relevance. Try creating a separate customer newsletter for each of your marketing personas, because trying to appeal to everyone in every newsletter can water down the impact and make it less relevant. Think one topic, one audience, one goal at a time.
Paring down your content will automatically help eliminate extraneous links and calls-to-action. Make sure the ones you use are directly aligned with your goal for the newsletter, and place each one in a single strategic location. Repetition merely adds clutter and confusion.
It’s a newsletter, and your audience will not be pleased if your content leans too heavily toward advertising or it’s all about your dealership. Of course you want to tell the world about your new award, etc., but your customer newsletter should focus on educating your customers in some way. Think 90% customer, 10% yourself.
As noted, your newsletter should be newsy. Timely. Useful. Before you finalize your content, ask yourself if it passes the “so what?” test.
Images add vital impact to all marketing efforts, but only if they are pertinent and interesting. Try not to use generic photos unless you have to. Your customers would much rather see pictures of your people (or themselves) demonstrating maintenance techniques or showing off your newest truck or wheel loader than some static shot from the manufacturer or, worse, a “piece of artwork” you captured for free online.
Overly formal tone.
Your customer newsletter is a form of conversation with customers, so make it more conversational. Sure, business is a serious business, but lighten up. A sense of humor or a lighter tone proves your dealership is made up of real people. That makes you a lot more relatable, and it will make your newsletter content far more appealing. You could even include a great (on-topic, of course) cartoon now and then.
Too much content.
Your customers are busy. If they want to read a lot of copy, they can subscribe to the New York Times. The harder and more time-consuming it is to wade through your newsletter, the less likely anyone will do that. Instead, keep text short – teasers and previews that entice readers to click through to read or learn more.
You can sum up these 10 points in three words: less is more.
A customer newsletter that makes a few key points briefly and gives your readers an opportunity to click to learn more or follow up makes the best use of their time and interests. Your audience will appreciate that, and you’ll get better response.