We live in the digital age where everything is changing rapidly. People who aren’t willing or are unable to embrace internet communication are being left behind. Is there still a place in your marketing for print media outreach?
Previously we’ve discussed the continued viability of direct mail marketing and using business cards to increase your customer base. Many older methods of communicating with people still work, and there is a segment of the population – who still have vehicles that need servicing and are reliable customers – that can only be reached in this way. What’s more, if you include enough useful information or coupons, your customers may hang on to your newsletter, either by leaving it on the counter or pinning it to a corkboard, and see your name again and again.
A newsletter is, of course, the old-school equivalent of social media, so if you’re doing your social media right, you’ll have all the material you need to put together a quarterly or monthly newsletter and mail it out to your existing direct mail list. What should you include in your newsletter? When trying to determine that, remember that a newsletter doesn’t function as an educational tool. Instead it’s a way of connecting, building trust, or establishing community. Only put in things that will promote your business’s goals. These would include:
An Owner’s Column – This is your opportunity to get your customers see you and any staff you choose to highlight as people who don’t just fix cars and charge for it. Highlight anything you’re passionate about that’s interesting (and appropriate) – things like grilling, gardening, or camping. Don’t forget to tell stories either. People love stories and they love people who can tell a good one.
Useful Information – Give away tips that people can actually use. It may require a little time or picking your employees’ brains, but including a list of good apps for road trips in your summer or how-to directions on essential car care in your newsletter will build some goodwill. It’s worth the trouble.
Coupons – Not everyone likes getting coupons in the mail, but the people who like them really like them, and it’s a way of giving out something of value that most of your customer base will not exploit.
Local News and Events – Including things that are happening around your business and in your area will cement the idea that your business is a part of the community too.
If you want to reach your older customers or you want to flesh out the human side of your business in your customers’ minds, a newsletter is a good way to accomplish that. If you are already doing social media, make sure you connect the two to minimize the work and maximize the results.