U-C WEBS' founder Nardo KuitertBy Nardo Kuitert, U-C WEBS
[Published in The Wellington Advertiser, January 2014 for the Centre Wellington Chamber of Commerce]

It is important to think of sales as a cycle, not just one fixed moment in time. A sale can have a long history – one that you can cultivate. One way that you can do this is to offer an email newsletter.

I know, email newsletters have a negative ring to them. Probably because we all receive so many spammy ones in our inbox. But there will likely also be some emails that do provide you with some valuable insights from time to time. That’s the type of email newsletter you should be sending out to your clients and prospects.

You may wonder what to put in these emails? Think of the things you enjoy receiving yourself: useful tips, something that will make you smile, some unique discounts perhaps? To make these discounts even more effective you can link them to a loyalty program: this will reward your frequent customers and draw in new people who are drawn to good bargains. Problem-solving Questions and Answers will also be greatly appreciated by your readers.
Try to keep in mind that people want to read things that they find important (tips, discounts), not what you find important (promoting and selling your products and services). So make sure you keep the balance right; 80/20 seems to work well as a mix.

How to get people to sign up to your newsletter? First you should put opt-in boxes on your website. You can then promote this with banner ads, articles, newspapers ads, printed versions of your newsletter on your counter or in the waiting room, or maybe a QR code in your window. You can also post a sample issue on your website. Or you can do it the old fashioned way, by offering sign-up sheets at your place of business. Whatever works for you!

Remember to clearly post a Privacy policy, though, so people know that their precious email address is safe with you and that you will not spam them, and that you will not sell or lease it to a third party.

For more information: contact your web developer, or website optimizer Nardo Kuitert at nardo@ucwebs.com or 519-787-7612. Nardo has written this column on behalf of the Centre Wellington Chamber of Commerce since 2006.

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