What Has The Newsletter Ever Given Us?
Benefits, Dear Boy, Benefits
From a paper-printed sheet tucked into an envelope and made available to the reader some day or two later courtesy of the friendly postie, today's electronic newsletter exists as an easily edited and instantaneously transferred message, almost cost-free, with greater impact than its hard copy predecessor.
Having said that, the benefits of the newsletter to the professional have remained largely unchanged. Such as...
The Personal Touch
Well, for a start, it directs information to the individual reader. If you have researched the characteristics of those persons or businesses that make up your client base, you can select information that is of particular interest to targeted segments. By doing so, you more accurately and efficiently disseminate that information.
We are talking here about your firm's success - the areas of expertise that your professional staff specialise in, the flexibility with which your clients can make use of those services and the degree of attention you give to individual clients that distinguishes your firm from your competitors. The newsletter has always possessed that peculiar, distinctive and personal characteristic.
Swim with the Big Fish
Thanks to the email's inherent egalitarian nature, every newsletter delivered to an individual inbox has an equal chance of being read. Neither size nor wealth of business will give an advantage. Content is the key. Every newsletter compiler will be judged upon the quality of his writing - it must be relevant and it must resonate with the reader. The sole practitioner ranks along side the macho city firm when it comes textual performance.
As every newsletter is identifiable in respect of the target reader, the effectiveness of each can be easily and accurately assessed. The newspaper ad and promotional radio broadcast are like scatter-guns aiming at a mass audience. The newsletter, by contrast, is the equivalent of the sniper's rifle. What is more, every hit by the sniper can be identified and analysed.
If a reader has responded to an invitation contained within the newsletter, the reader's details are known and conclusions can be drawn about what items are of interest to that reader. Collectively, readers' responses can reveal in more general terms what topics should be covered in newsletters, and the amount of space each topic should occupy. The extent and detail to which newsletter responses can be scrutinised are pretty well boundless.
Probably the most significant benefit for the professional service provider, in the long run, is the opportunity of establishing and retaining a business relationship with the firm's clientele. To some extent a website will perform the same function. But the content of the firm's website will tend to remain more static than that of the firm's newsletter.
A newsletter should be published not less than once a month. Each issue will contain fresh information on topics not recently covered. Thus the newsletter acts as its name suggests: it is a regular, current and vibrant medium by which the professional firm can present itself; it aims to attract new clients and to underline to existing clients the strength and quality of its services.
The extent to which the newsletter succeeds in these aims will be gauged by the degree of reader interest. Relevant, informative, clearly written content is the best means of generating that interest. Readers who comment on the content, who take up offers or who give feedback are interested and engaged. It is those people who will want to hire the services of your professional firm, and who will become your clients.
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