Star Bright Business

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Making your company’s blog or newsletter effective drives traffic to your website and gains the confidence of your customers. Drew Zagorski has some great advice on making your newsletter successful. On his “Left Brain Right Brain” blog, he writes newsletters should:

  • Position you as a thought leader
  • Remain in front of your audience
  • Drive traffic to your website
  • Enhance your relevance in search engines
  • Increase your presence in the social network space
  • Promote not only your business but the business of the people who you do business with
  • Present sales offers to drive sales

Zagorski goes into more detail on his blog.

In your mind, what makes a successful newsletter? How do you drive traffic to your site?

Read Newsletters Part 1: Know the audience you’re writing to

Read Newsletters Part 2: Use simplicity to sell your product

Read Newsletters Part 3: Amazon’s product suggestions


While Amazon’s regular emails with product suggestions do not fully qualify as newsletters, they give us yet another example of a simple way to remind customers of your product.

Amazon sends out regular emails to me, featuring products I might be interested in based on my previous purchases. The emails start with a summary of products and their photos and then gives more product details. They get me interested in a product before they give me the details. The summary also serves as a useful way of telling me what I’m in for. All newsletters should make their point clear from the very first sentence to the subject headline.

A quick word of caution based on Amazon‘s emails, however. While the emails are sometimes helpful, they come far too often and are often repetitious, which easily gets on my nerves. Always be careful to avoid annoying your customers with too many emails. It’s usually more useful to pick a regular date on which to send your newsletter and at a rate that will not annoy customers.

What do you add to your newsletters to remind customer’s of your products?

Read Newsletters Part 1

Read Newsletters Part 2

Women of Faith knows how to produce a good e-newsletter. Not only do they provide regular devotionals and other encouraging articles from well-known writers and speakers, but they also make it easy to shop for their products. Several of the emails they send out every year focus on products alone, while other content-driven newsletters include links to the Women of Faith online store.

More often than not, newsletters focus on the public relations goals of improving the customer’s perception of the company and improving customer knowledge of and interaction with the  company, but newsletters can still market or sell the company, as well. The more the customer likes the company, the more likely the customer is to buy the company’s product. And newsletters serve as a facilitator that allows you to make it simple and easy for customers to find and buy your products.

For example, a recent Women of Faith newsletter included the following graphic:

What do you add to your newsletters to remind customer’s of your products?

Read Newsletters Part 1

Newsletters can be a useful method for keeping your customers interested in what  you have to offer. They give customers a gentle nudge and a friendly reminder of your existence.

Whether you use a physical newsletter or an e-newsletter depends on your audience. An older audience might prefer a physical paper, while a younger, tech-savvy audience may prefer an e-newsletter delivered straight to their email.

Last summer, I worked for a theatre company (Sierra Repertory Theatre) that used both methods. They created a physical paper a few times a year that they sent to season subscribers and put on display for audience members to read while they waited for shows to start. SRT also sends out an e-newsletter through PatronMail twice a month. The newsletter provides a quick introductory news blurb written as a personal note from the marketing director. It then goes on to provide articles about people involved in current productions. Theatre goers like to learn about what goes on behind the scenes, and the local audience that SRT serves is an old-fashioned one that prefers reading about people over reading about news. SRT’s newsletter caters to its audience. It also provides sidebars that remind readers of current production dates and of needs for volunteer ushers.

What do you do to make your newsletter successful?

Broadway in San Francisco illustrated the importance of interacting with customers via social networks today. They hosted an interactive session in which Facebook fans could ask Shrek (of Shrek the Musical) any question, and he answered. View the conversation here.

Two interesting opposing viewpoint posts over at HubSpot echo some thoughts and questions I’ve had for a while: Are public relations and marketing two completely different things? Or, do they contribute to one another? Or, are they becoming the same thing?

While many of my teachers and several of those I follow on the web seem to believe marketing and public relations are two separate things, I’ve come to think of them as integrated with the possibility of becoming one thing under the right circumstances, especially when it comes to social media.

Social media networks like Facebook and Twitter can be used to inform, to interact with publics, and to remind publics of a company’s product. For example, at Sierra Repertory Theatre, one marketing person heads the social media efforts, posting links to interesting articles and interacting with customers about theatre, but also linking to ticketing systems, commenting on the success of shows, and reminding customers that they only have a few days left to see shows.

I worked for Sierra Repertory Theatre a little over the summer and found that the theatre company has a one-person marketing department that handles both marketing and public relations. The position basically involved maintaining positive relationships with theatre goers and with theatre reviewers at various area newspapers, but it also involves dealing with subscribers and maintaining subscriptions and donations.

In this case, it would seem that marketing and public relations overlap.

What do you think? Can public relations and marketing work together or become one? Are sales driven by public relations?

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