Rebounding from the Digital Age Disaster
Your business is your pride and joy AND bread and butter. But when was the last time you truly felt good about your marketing strategy? You might not have a boss‚ but what you do have to answer to are numbers. If you’re like most business owners‚ numbers are constantly circulating in your head. Regardless of how secure your business is‚ you’re likely always searching for innovative ways to get new referrals‚ retain your current customers‚ and increase the frequency and/or length of time they shop with you or use your services. You’re willing to do whatever it takes to increase your sales within your budget. That’s not the problem. The problem is finding the most effective way to market yourself.
Do Any of These Sound Familiar to You?
You provide an excellent service or product(s) and you’re the best in your area/industry. However, the competition continues to grow more fierce thanks to the following:
- An ever–growing number of new businesses
- Social media marketing
- Coupon apps that practically give away services/products
You’re willing to advertise in one or more of the so–called “hot spots‚” but you’re just not impressed with the lackluster results.
You’ve sent out email newsletters or tried blogging in the past. The feedback just wasn’t what you were hoping for.
The average business will lose half its customers within three years.
You lose 10% or more of your customers for each month they don’t hear from you.
(Source: Serial Entrepreneur and Consultant Barry Moltz)
Guess what? You’re not alone. Spending money on advertising and marketing that doesn’t produce the expected results continues to be the number–one concern for small business owners who need to maintain customer loyalty and increase new business. And ironically‚ in spite of the many so–called groundbreaking marketing platforms that continue to crop up‚ the results are ho–hum at best.
Why Is That?
The “new” way of marketing and advertising is incredibly overwhelming and invasive. Many consumers might argue it’s just downright annoying. Let’s consider why:
In its initial stages‚ advertising was far more polite and user friendly. The newspaper and magazine ads of the past catered to the consumer’s leisure time and provided them with a far greater sense of control. Think about it: readers would encounter ads as they thumbed through a favorite magazine or newspaper that they treasured for its content or photographs. Because of the overall value the publication provided‚ the ads didn’t spoil their experience. They provided a brief intermission between stories. If the ad was both effective and relevant to readers‚ it‚ too‚ would get their attention. If not‚ they could quickly move on. So early advertising/marketing encompassed two key features: 1) it accompanied interesting content and 2) consumers could control their exposure.
All that changed when television advertising entered the scene. In many respects‚ ads took away consumers’ control and the more understated charm of print. Instead‚ ads were shoved right in viewers’ faces‚ forcing them to view a freight train of back–to–back 30–second commercial “breaks.” These ads nearly always managed to interrupt the flow of shows’ storylines. And thus‚ the disenchantment with advertising began.
The New Age of Advertising
Remotes and digital recorders eventually provided ways to avoid these irritating commercial disruptions. But as technology continued to grow‚ this same invasiveness bombarded our computers‚ tablets‚ and phone screens via pop–up ads‚ email alerts‚ and even text messages. It was so overwhelming to the average person that new software companies formed just to create pop–up–blocker software.
Consider the last time you had any respite from smartphone notifications‚ pop–up messages‚ or ads. In the car‚ you hear radio ads and drive by billboards. Texts and calendar alerts continuously flash from your phone. The glare of shop now‚ click here‚ save 50% off‚ buy one‚ get one half off‚ call now…it’s everywhere at nearly every moment. As a consumer‚ this advertising clutter is incredibly overwhelming. As a business owner‚ not only does this clutter create an extraordinary amount of competition‚ but you run the risk of exhausting both your current and potential customers. All while getting virtually no leads or follow–up. That’s a pretty costly advertising gamble‚ don’t you think?
A 2014 SJ Insights follow–up on a 1980s study by The Futures Company (formerly Yankelovich) reveals that people encounter over 5‚000 ads and brand exposures per day. What does this mean for businesses?
- It’s not just your imagination. The competition is brutal.
- Engaging existing and potential customers requires more than an ad or social media post.
- To truly stand out‚ you need unique‚ out–of–the–box ways of captivating current and potential customers.
Think about the many advantages a printed newsletter provides:
The Perks of Printed Newsletters
1) Printed newsletters don’t land in a spam folder.
This in itself is huge. We don’t know about you‚ but when we take the time to put something out there for our customers‚ we expect it to be seen so they can at least consider it. If you rely on digital marketing‚ between 76%–99.5% of people will never open your email. Those web ads every online marketing company loves to tout? According to Google‚ more than half of digital ads won’t be seen by a single person.
Printed newsletters‚ on the other hand‚ are delivered to a physical mailbox. People sort through their mail on at least a weekly, if not daily, basis. Hence‚ they are guaranteed to at least see your printed newsletter. The open rates and number of impressions we’ve all been reckoning with in recent years become a thing of the past. You stand a much better chance of getting recognized.
2) Printed newsletters don’t pop–up‚ flash‚ blink‚ gyrate‚ buzz‚ blink‚ or resemble in any way the bothersome ads and messages that just turn people off.
In other words‚ your competition goes from sweltering to practically sub–zero.
3) Printed newsletters have a much better readership and response rate.
When’s the last time you devoted more time to reading an email than a magazine‚ newspaper‚ or printed piece? There’s a reason for that: Study after study shows that people overwhelmingly prefer print‚ including digital natives. One study conducted by Two Sides North America‚ a nonprofit advocate of the Graphics Communication industry‚ revealed that a staggering 80% of people preferred paper to digital reading‚ with 88% indicating they were able to process‚ retain‚ or use printed information better. Another study conducted earlier this year by American University found that 92% of college students preferred “old–fashioned” books to ebooks.
Even better news: print marketing is not only easier to process but also more memorable. When asked to recall the brand name of a printed versus digital ad‚ the recall was 70% higher among those exposed to the printed ad (Source: TrueImpact‚ a Canadian neuromarketing firm). Another study conducted in 2009 by Bangor University and Millward Brown found that print is more meaningful and elicits more response from the brain‚ particularly emotional‚ leading the researchers to conclude that internalization is far more likely with printed material.
60% of people look forward to checking their mailbox (Source: Epsilon Targeting’s Consumer Channel Preference Study).
73% of consumers say they prefer mail to other advertising strategies (Source: International Communications Research survey).
70% of Americans believe mail is more personal than the internet (Source: Direct Mail Association).
The preference for direct mail includes people ages 18–34 (Source: Epsilon Targeting’s Consumer Channel Preference Study).
79% of households say they read or sort their mail every day (Source: The United States Postal Service 2009 Household Diaries Study).
98% of Americans bring in their mail the day it’s delivered and 77% go through their mail immediately (Source: United States Postal Service).
83% of people surveyed noted‚ “What I like about print is that I can keep it for future reference” (Source‚ Appleton Coated’s ROI research).
4) Printed newsletters have staying power.
Did you know that the most opens for an e–newsletter occur within the first hour? After that‚ the number of opens begins to plummet. In other words‚ if you didn’t catch your customers at the perfect time‚ the opportunity is lost. Printed newsletters work differently. It’s a tangible item that isn’t forgotten about if it doesn’t get read right away. It can be placed aside on a coffee table‚ desk‚ or nightstand to be enjoyed at a different time–not sent to no man’s land somewhere in cyberspace.
80% of consumers mentioned authentic content as the biggest influencing factor in deciding to follow a brand (Source: Pardot).
When a customer communicates to you what he/she is looking for‚ we’re guessing you do your very best to meet that demand. Well‚ the same theory applies to how you reach out to them as well. The verdict is in: sales–pitchy content no longer cuts the mustard‚ although it’s not surprising given the number of ads and brand exposure people encounter each day. You’ve seen the quote‚ “Just be yourself: Everyone else is taken”? That’s really the message here. People are over the fake fluff and on the hunt for genuine‚ heartfelt content and, therefore, businesses that they can value and build rapport with.
There’s a fine line to marketing your business. No one likes a pest‚ but at the same time‚ you want to be their first thought when they are ready to make a purchase/call. How do you manage that delicate balance? (Hint: it begins with an N and ends with R).
6) Printed newsletters build your brand.
Building a brand may not be super important to you‚ especially if you’re a small business owner. But it should be and here’s why: branding increases your recognition‚ which considering the staggering amount of competition you likely have‚ is huge. More important‚ branding develops trust. People prefer to buy products or services from businesses they feel are established and legitimate. Not to mention‚ you want them to remember your name when they’re about to give you a referral!
7) Printed newsletters build your expertise.
Nowadays everyone is an “expert” at something‚ right? The problem with this expert phenomenon is that you really ARE an expert‚ but it’s hard to convince the average consumer who encounters an “expert” umpteen times a day. Monthly printed newsletters don’t tell your customers that you’re an expert (a.k.a. boring and unconvincing given the current tsunami of “experts”). Printed newsletters SHOW them over time. You’re the business consistently reaching out with something of value: printed newsletters with interesting topics that both highlight your expertise and provide beneficial information‚ advice‚ and entertainment.
8) Printed newsletters get referrals!
People are social creatures who love to share…if it’s something they deem valuable (a.k.a. they laugh‚ smile‚ learn‚ etc.). You’ll find in time that some, if not many, of your referrals will come simply from your printed newsletters being passed around!
A social media study by Buzzsumo found Facebook posts that link to off–site content 1‚000 words in length or longer produced more engagement than any other type of post–-even images! What does that tell us? People want to read.
They Haven’t Seen the Startling Statistics
Printed newsletters are pretty much guaranteed to get seen‚ so there’s no “opening rate” or visibility factor to worry about. So let’s get to the part that really matters–-follow–up rates.
- Direct mailers are nearly 2.5–12 times as likely to produce a response than an e–newsletter (Source: MailerMailer and Direct Marketing Association‚ 2015).
- The CMO Council reports that nearly twice as many people act immediately on direct mail versus e-mail.
A 2014 newsletter publisher survey reported that over 80% of recipients always read the free or subscribed printed newsletters and magazines they receive from businesses they have established relationships with. These same survey respondents indicated that they only read digital media such as blogs and ezines 20% of the time (Source: Marketing Strategists Dan Kennedy and Kim Walsh–Phillips). This 400% readership discrepancy only further highlights the effects that printed newsletters (not digital) can bring to your business.
Remember when your high school English teacher would ask you to write an essay or journal entry? Oh, the horror. Even if you wanted to translate your thoughts onto paper‚ each new sentence probably seemed more torturous than the last. You racked your brain for the right or most interesting things to mention and how to string these thoughts into well–crafted sentences. The thought of now writing five to eight articles a month for your printed newsletters with the purpose of impressing your clients?? No way.
They’re Stumped for Content Ideas
Even if you enjoy writing‚ generating article ideas for printed newsletters can be tough. You’re not alone on this one. Even journalists and freelance writers with years of experience under their belts struggle with developing interesting topics.
Putting Together Printed Newsletters Can Be a Time–Consuming Process
On average‚ a printed newsletter with six articles would take you approximately 20–30 hours to create. That includes allowing time to conceptualize ideas‚ write the articles‚ and lay out your printed newsletters. What business owner has that kind of time with everything else you have to tackle? Unless you enjoy giving up a few weekends each month‚ that is.
For these reasons‚ most companies do not send out monthly printed newsletters‚ putting the companies that do at an even greater advantage. That’s because not only are their printed newsletters being devoured by clients‚ but they have very little competition. It’s a win–win.
Not having a lot of luck with e–newsletters? It turns out‚ neither are most companies.
After an extensive study‚ MailerMailer’s 2015 Email Metrics Report revealed that emailed newsletters had just an 11.6% average open rate‚ with some industries as low as 3%. If these bleak numbers surprise you‚ hold on to your jaw–-it gets worse.
The opening rate simply reveals how many customers clicked on your email. However‚ unless you spend a lot of time analyzing clickthroughs‚ conversions‚ and forward rates‚ it’s not clear what your recipients did once they opened your email.
Did they glance at it and delete? Did they “click through”? Most likely not. If there’s anything more defeating than the open rate‚ it’s the click–through rate‚ which averages at (are you ready??)…1.55%.
It’s as low as .5% for industries including healthcare; hobbies; nutrition and pharmaceutical; accounting and finance; restaurants‚ bars‚ and nightclubs; architecture and construction; and computers‚ electronics‚ and software.
What If You Knew Someone Who Could Do the Following:
- Generate engaging newsletter topics.
- Write interesting‚ attention–grabbing pieces that create buzz and leave your readers wanting more (and associating your business with this thoughtful content).
- Email you these articles so you can choose the ones you like best at a time most convenient for you.
- Write a lead article for you each month about your specific industry or business.
- Place your chosen articles into a clean‚ professionally designed newsletter branded with your business logo and color scheme.
- Print and deliver these newsletters to your customers/clients.
And all for an affordable price with no hidden costs?
Meet Newsletter Concepts‚ the newsletter experts.
- An eye–catching‚ professionally designed newsletter with your logo‚ newsletter title‚ and color preferences.
- A front–page feature highlighting an aspect of your business‚ ghostwritten as you (for an additional $50 per issue).
- Interesting articles on the kinds of topics that peak your customers’ interest.
- Other fun‚ engaging newsletter content‚ such as puzzles‚ photos‚ quotes‚ etc.
- Access to our on–premise printed newsletter services‚ including printing‚ folding‚ and direct mail.
Newsletter Concepts: Your Single Source for Printed Newsletters for Marketing
How It Works…
Each month‚ we write the authentic content your current and potential customers are pining for. This includes a personalized, front–page article we write specifically for your business‚ after a brief phone interview with you.
We email you these fresh new articles on a monthly basis (in addition to puzzles‚ quotes‚ photos‚ jokes‚ etc.). We also send a simple form on which you can indicate the content you’d like included in your personalized printed newsletters.
You email that form back to us‚ and we get started. If we don’t hear back from you‚ no problem…we know you’re busy. We’ll just make the selections for you.
We design your personalized printed newsletters‚ using any logos‚ photos‚ etc. that you’ve sent us for branding purposes.
We proofread your newsletter to make sure it’s 100% error free (we have veteran proofreaders and former English teachers on staff‚ so nothing‚ and we mean nothing‚ slides past them).
Thanks to our on–premise digital printing operations‚ we print the number of copies you’ve requested. Above our minimum order of just 50 copies‚ you’re only charged for the exact amount of copies you need.
We mail these copies directly to your provided list of customers and/or deliver them to your doorstep. Your choice.
Full–color printing‚ folding‚ color envelopes–-our expert printers do it all‚ allowing you to stay as simple or get as fancy as you want. Our state–of–the–art digital printers always mean quick turnaround time. We never charge you for more than the exact number of copies you need.
Customers love us for our friendly customer service‚ efficiency‚ and low prices.
As a subscriber to our newsletter‚ you are entitled to heavily discounted printing prices‚ based on the number of copies you order:
65 cents per copy for 50 to 500 copies
50 cents per copy for 501 to 2000 copies
40 cents per copy for 2001 copies and over
Yes‚ those are the incredibly low prices for full-color, 11 x 17 newsletters folded and ready to mail. Interested in mailing services? For just an additional 50 cents per copy‚ we will label and mail your newsletters via first class mail to your customers. The ultimate in convenience for incredibly low prices.
The kind that people want to read:
- One personalized, front–page feature covering whatever you’d like to highlight for the month‚ which can be anything from new products‚ services‚ or employee spotlights to plans for expansion and other positive news‚ “insider” tips for your customers/clients‚ customer success stories‚ Q&As‚ or even a more personal story you’d like to share.
- Feel free to include your own content in place of any of our articles in your newsletter. We strongly suggest a “Thoughts from the Owner” column on the front page and a sales promotion on the back page.
- Articles that appeal to other business owners, such as marketing, social media, finances, sales strategies, etc.
- Life improvement themes that focus on top priorities like family‚ relationships‚ money and savings‚ health‚ home decorating/improvement‚ work/life balance‚ etc.
- Feel–Good Stories
Wait—How Will Articles That Have Little To Do with My Business Help Grow My Business?
Great question. Initially‚ you may think that a collection of human–interest stories‚ inspiring quotes‚ and laughs has nothing to do with your industry. But these topics actually have everything to do with your overarching goal: establishing trust and goodwill with your clients so you immediately come to mind when they require your products or services. Think about it: how else do you really accomplish that in so few hours with so many customers? Coaching little league or scooping ice cream at the town social can help‚ but it will only get you so far. Printed newsletters are an optimal way to reach out‚ make a real connection‚ establish the trust factor‚ and make a long–lasting imprint–-all on a consistent basis.
You could say that the Newsletter Concepts team really enjoys what we do‚ just like you. When you do what you love‚ it’s hard to break away. And we rarely do. Other than major holidays‚ we’re here thinking‚ writing‚ proofreading‚ designing‚ and printing away.
We’ve done a lot of business with a lot of people‚ both our own clients and B2B businesses that help our process run smoothly. We understand the inherent value of open communication. So we’re available to answer your questions or provide feedback‚ however you like to communicate. We operate from a real office located in Metro Detroit‚ Michigan‚ with real people answering the phone or responding to your email or chat.
If you call between 9 and 5 (eastern time)‚ you’ll talk directly with one of our friendly‚ knowledgeable team members‚ ready to answer any of your questions. It’s that simple.
If you just don’t have time for a phone call‚ we get it. Just shoot us an email from wherever you are‚ and we’re on it.
Our newest communication forum‚ online chat, is a fast‚ efficient way to get your questions answered right from your computer or smartphone without having to pick up the phone. Simply click on our pop–up chat window in the right bottom corner of our website. A member of the team will be with you ASAP.
Our Points of Pride/The Newsletter Concepts Advantage
While we don’t like bragging‚ here are just a few reasons we’ve endured for over 30 years in the newsletter business:
As a family of voracious readers‚ we have a strong sense of what captures people’s attention and an innate curiosity that keeps us generating the best article ideas.
Just getting the job done doesn’t satisfy us. We want perfection! And perfection is what we get.
We Follow Our Own Advice
People crave authenticity and the value of staying in touch. We like to reach out‚ whether it’s the old–fashioned way (via phone) or a simple email‚ just to make sure all is well.
It’s sort of a passion around here. Well‚ okay‚ fine. We’ll admit it. We’re Obsessed. With. Efficiency. What does that mean for you? We have a smooth‚ streamlined process to make your experience as seamless as possible‚ and we follow clearly established deadlines. Which we don’t miss. Ever.
We Offer an Extraordinary Iron-Clad, Risk-Free Guarantee
We truly believe you will quickly find that your newsletter is one of your most effective marketing tools. How convinced are we? So convinced that we offer the ultimate Iron-Clad, Risk-Free Guarantee. Try our newsletter service for 3 months. Let us do the printing and mailing for you. If you aren’t completely happy after 3 months, we will refund every penny you spent on the newsletter, no questions asked. That includes our monthly newsletter fee of $249 plus all printing and postage charges. You won’t find a better guarantee—anywhere!
We’re a Family
Here’s the honest truth about what goes on around here. Mom launched and oversees all business operations. Grandma manages the office. Son manages the printing end. Our adopted family members all have a specialty‚ whether it’s writing‚ proofreading‚ designing‚ printing‚ working directly with our many customers‚ etc. We’re a close–knit bunch‚ with a team small enough to gather around a 15–chair table for our weekly meetings. But that’s just how we do things‚ so we stay in communication at all times.
Newsletter Concepts: Your One–Stop Shop
From our experience (and we’re guessing yours too)‚ the more people involved in a project‚ the more room for error‚ miscommunication‚ and missed deadlines. That’s why we pride ourselves on offering our clients a full–service solution.
If you hired individuals to create your newsletter‚ you’d need the following:
Fast‚ Affordable Printer
That’s five people or companies to hire‚ pay‚ and hope that the process runs seamlessly.
Or‚ you could hire the experts who know how to do it all and have been doing so for 30–plus years.
For monthly installments of just $249‚ you get great content‚ designed in a clean‚ polished newsletter just for your business‚ with the option to print the exact amount of copies you need.
One call. One bill. One affordable price.
So What Are You Waiting For?
You’re a numbers person and the numbers clearly point to five key strategies:
Maintain Constant Contact
Offer Something of Value That Doesn’t Feel “Salesy”
Give Them What They Want…CONTENT!
Stick to Print (Not Digital)
Give Them Something They Can Save AND Share
Send them printed newsletters. What do you have to lose? With our iron-clad, risk-free guarantee, you can try our newsletter service for 3 months with absolutely no risk.
Call Now: 1–800–338–4329 or click here to get samples of our newsletters!
96% of people are not ready to buy from you the first time they click on your website (Source: kissmetrics).
There are a variety of factors involved in whether a potential buyer is ready to make a purchase‚ and many of them have nothing to do with you personally. They could be low on discretionary spending for the month‚ or perhaps they just made a large purchase they’re still reckoning with. Maybe they need more time to research options. They could not need your product or services at this time. Maybe they are just be in a bad mood. We’ll never fully know all of the reasons behind the approximate 4% buyer readiness at any given time. What we do know is‚ we want you to be the first thing that comes to mind when they are ready to make a purchase.
That’s the key.
Customer Needs X + You Immediately Pop Into Mind = Winning Formula
Think about it. You can’t control when your existing or potential customer is ready to buy/commit. You’ll drive yourself crazy (spending a lot of wasted money in the interim) trying to take that kind of control. But the chances that 4% of your prospects are ready to make a purchase right now is great news‚ providing you’ve maintained constant contact in a friendly way that’s established trust and goodwill. It means half your work (and the hardest part) is done.
All you have to do is be available when they book their appointment or express interest in your product(s).