Trying to figure out what your clients want from you? Check out these five things:
Few people can resist a small act of kindness; especially when it’s not perceived as a gift or service that comes with strings attached. In their 2000 Working Paper Series for the University of Zurich’s Institute for Empirical Research in Economics, Armin Falk and Urs Fischbacher closely researched what they dubbed a Theory of Reciprocity, in which people pay close attention not just to the consequence of the act of kindness, but the underlying intention.
Giving your clients and prospects something valuable in exchange for their time or interest can be risky business. You certainly don’t want to invest in something that might be perceived as insincere or conditional. Not only do you run the risk of your “gift” going unnoticed or unused, but you could also quite easily turn a client or prospect off altogether.
Printed or email newsletters are one of the rare “freebies” that actually feel sincere when they’re done right. That’s because you’re providing helpful information in the form of monthly articles that often have no direct tie to your business. This is something clients want.
Though it may run counter to your natural inclination to bullet point facts and get to the point quickly, everyone loves a good story. If they didn’t, Hollywood wouldn’t exist, and frankly, neither would advertising agencies. Would you believe that 92% of consumers want brands to design their ads so they feel like stories? (Source: Fast Company, 2015) It’s true: in a brain process called neural coupling, stories help listeners use their own experiences and ideas as they process the storyline, which encourages the brain to release more dopamine. But how do you capitalize on this genius strategy if you’re not exactly David Ogilvy and don’t have the budget to employ his modern-day counterpart? That’s the thing with newsletters. They let you share the multiple stories attached specifically to your business or brand, along with helpful tidbits, recipes, and more. So you cover a lot of cleint-pleasing ground and client wants with one well-done newsletter.
While it may come as a surprise that one of the top client desires is personalization, the truth is, the digital world of online shopping and pop-up ads are leaving more of a cold impression than we business owners may want to admit. And it’s that lack of personal touch that leaves clients just longing for someone to reach out to them on a one-on-one basis. So much so that 86% of them say personalization affects their purchasing decisions (Source: Infosys). The problem is, if you’re like most small-to-medium-sized businesses, you don’t have the budget or technological capacity to take on things like 24/7 customer service via pop-up chats and more personalized digital communication tools like past purchase and wish list databases or saved shopping cart reminders. But what you can do is something very few businesses are considering thanks to the digital preoccupation: print newsletters.
Talk about a personal touch in the most tangible of formats. Print newsletters carry a number of features that come with a personalized connotation:
We continue to mention this game changing statistic because to us, it’s such a silver lining to what often seems like an ominous cloud of digital doom: you lose 10% of your clients every month they DON’T hear from you. In other words, your clients want to hear from you. And print newsletters let you reach nearly all of them—not 3.61% (the average Twitter post reach) or 21% (the average email blast reach). Forget the bleak “reach” and “click-thru” numbers. Your newsletters are pretty much guaranteed to find their way to your recipients’ hot little hands…it’s just up to you to use stand-out designs and great content to hold their attention.
Seriously, though, what better way to say hello on a monthly basis than a number of helpful or entertaining articles, quotes, recipes, jokes, and more, packaged in a tangible, crisp, neatly folded newsletter? (that’s a rhetorical question, fyi).
Sending monthly newsletters to your recipients is sure to impress by showcasing your business expertise, highlighting important new trends and information your clients and prospects can benefit from immediately, and providing your readers with something unique they can hold onto and even pass around. Once they realize that they’ll continue to receive your valuable print newsletter on a monthly basis, the sky is the limit as far as client retention, client referrals, and reaching new prospects. But don’t skimp on your other communication platforms. Once you create a buzz with your newsletters, it will be more important than ever to keep your website, social media channels, online reviews, and any email communication you send consistently updated, with revolving content.
What does this mean? Make sure that your website has updated events, hours, images, and sliders if you use them. Keep your blog page fresh by posting at least monthly (and remember that the articles in your newsletter can be a great go-to source for blog content). Each time you post a new blog, remember to link it to your Facebook and other social media accounts such as Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, or Snapchat. If your goal is to boost social media engagement (which followers absolutely love when done correctly and on a consistent basis), you might even consider creating trivia-style games or asking questions that directly involve your newsletter content. For example, “Who’s made the butternut squash ravioli recipe featured in this month’s newsletter? We made last it last night, and as always—delicious!” or “Tell us your plans for incorporating tip #3 featured in the money’s savings section of this month’s newsletter? Share your feedback in the comments below for a chance to win ___________” (gift = something related or valuable). If you really want to get ambitious, you can also build even more on tips from your more general articles to keep your followers and prospect engaged.
If brainstorming article ideas (let alone writing) puts the fear of bejesus into you, don’t panic. Our one-stop-shop newsletter group does the brainstorming, writing, designing, and even printing and mailing for you. Check out our current offerings here.