An old-fashioned newsletter is still important.
Remember newsletters? They’d land in our mailboxes with updates about upcoming promotions as well as local news and events.
And for smaller shops in a close-knit community, sending out a regular newsletter can bring you surprising benefits. It can be a physical postcard or a digital one, that lets your customers know what’s new at your shop.
Customers do business with people they trust. If you’re constantly barraging your market with sales messages, often, your customers don’t really care. But keeping them up to date is different. It creates a different kind of engagement, one that shows your human side and is more personal.
Some of my shops have been sending out newsletters highlighting a few brand products and specials, but also mentioning birthdays, summer barbecues, and local events. They’ve continuously seen all the hits on their custom URLs in the digital letter increasing significantly, so they know it’s working.
Subject matter expert
When you’re including content about the latest tire technology, or a new product that’s going to be on the market soon, it also establishes you as a subject matter expert. You’re not pushing them to buy it, you’re just showing that what you know about tires, and sharing it with them because you care. Newsletters play a vital role in building and maintaining relationships with customers—you’re sharing valuable information while still promoting products.
You’re acting as an educator in this space. Newsletters provide a direct and efficient way to communicate with a specific audience—your customer base. People can also take out a subscription, to help you keep track of who’s showing interest.
It seems so obvious, doesn’t it? But a simple communication like a newsletter can fall off our radar when we’re immersed in social media messaging, and strategizing our more sophisticated marketing channels. The key is repetition, maybe running it the second and third week of the month.
You can include a QR code on the physical newsletter if people want to know more about a certain topic like a tire brand. The QR code can link them to more detailed content on that particular issue. However, don’t put QR codes in emails, it’s not going to work! People are reading their email on their phones, they’re not going to be able to take a picture of the QR code.
It’s nice to have a tool that’s also more cost effective than traditional marketing channels. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, if you Google “newsletter template” you’ll find many free options, like Canva. There’s no need to start from scratch. And after you’ve done it once, you’re able to tweak it and duplicate it every month.
People want different types of connections with retailers, and let’s face it, no one wants to be sold. With newsletters, you’re still representing and growing your business, but on a more personal level. Every time a person goes on Facebook or a Google search, they have to work their way around the ads. With newsletters, customers don’t feel like they have to put up a wall. And if you’re in a close-knit community, it’s actually what they expect.