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One of the biggest challenges in business today is building strong relationships with customers and contacts. How do you establish and cultivate relationships while maintaining integrity and credibility? It’s important to share the success of your company, new products or ventures, while remaining sensitive of others’ time and interests. Even keeping your own employees in the know can be a challenge. So how do you keep a steady stream of information flowing without monopolizing everyone’s time?

Whether you’re targeting customers, employees or investors, newsletters are an excellent tool for keeping people informed. Sure, some may consider newsletters passé, but if designed and written in an engaging manner, a newsletter can be an un-intrusive way to stay in touch while building credibility in your expertise. Even older issues can be archived on your Web site, so the information is continually available to those interested – creating a continuous flow of information about your company and its history.

Newsletters provide an avenue for sharing:
• Detailed information on your products/services.
• History of your organization.
• Industry trends.
• Upcoming events.
• Special promotions.

E-Newsletters
Technology has allowed us to take the traditional newsletter one step further. Electronic newsletters and services that provide contact management, eliminate the need for printing and postage costs while also providing instantaneous delivery to a infinitely customizable lists. If you can gather a database of a target audience’s email addresses (of course with them opting-in, but that’s another post) you can get them your newsletter with the click of a mouse. Email newsletters are great for quick information or special offer blasts and linking to other Web sites, blogs or articles. And remember, just as having a visually pleasing print newsletter is important, so is having an e-newsletter that is easy to navigate and skim.

When contemplating the creation of a company newsletter, consider the following:
• Who will receive your newsletter?
• Do you want print newsletters or electronic – or both?
• Do you have a writer on staff or should you hire it out?
• Who will design it?
• How often will you send it out?

Keep it simple, stupid (K.I.S.S.)
We’re all familiar with the K.I.S.S. theory in marketing. I actually wrote about it The Brand Chef’s inaugural post. With attention spans ever shrinking and the Internet’s information-on-demand, the day of the eight to 12 page newsletters is gone. Today, the more abbreviated, yet informative and engaging your newsletter can be, the better. This gives the recipients something from your company that they can to look forward to and feel like they have a personal connection to your brand.

Newsletters take some planning and creativity, but can be a powerful tool for engaging your audience and employees in your brand – building trust in your services. How are you fostering relationships with those most important to your business? It may be as simple as sending a periodic reminder of what your business is about.

Food for thought…

Keep Cooking,
Andrew

Photo credit: istockphoto.com

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