Top 10 article ideas for your
customer or marketing newsletter
by David Kandler
Editor’s Note: The author of this article, David Kandler, is founder, owner and president of CompanyNewsletters.com, an Internet firm that produces newsletters for companies throughout the United States. Learn more about how his firm can help your company produce printed and electronic newsletters.
If it’s difficult for you to come up with enough articles to fill your customer or marketing newsletter, or if your publication is not getting the type of results that you were hoping, consider the following “top ten” article ideas. These types of articles are commonly found in the customer newsletters that Company-Newsletters.com produces for its business clients, and the articles are always well received by readers.
1. Current events and how they impact your business and customers: Let your readers know how current news events are impacting your company and its clients. For example, a company that builds or remodels homes may want to use a newsletter article to warn customers that recent hurricane damage is causing increased demand for lumber, so material prices are expected to climb higher. An accounting firm may want to use a newsletter article to explain how recent changes in a tax law will impact its customers. Chances are great that current events are impacting your company’s business, so keep your customers informed through your newsletter articles.
2. New or little-known uses for your products: Ask or survey your customers, and you’ll likely find that many use your company’s products in new or innovative ways that you may not even be aware of. If you discover and publicize new uses for old products in your customer or marketing newsletter, you will likely increase sales of these products. Plus your customers will enjoy reading about how your products can be used in new and different ways that will benefit them. For this type of article, interview a customer that uses your products in a new or different way, and quote the person regarding how exactly he or she uses your product, how the person benefits from the new use of the product, how the customer is impressed with the quality of the product, etc.
3. Customer profile: This type of newsletter article is similar to a lengthy customer testimonial that you might find in a marketing brochure. Interview one of your best customers and quote them as to: why they prefer your company’s products and services; the various ways they use your products and services; why they remain such a loyal customer of yours; how they’d recommend your company to others; etc. See a sample customer profile article that CompanyNewsletters.com wrote for a client. If you feel uncomfortable interviewing your company’s own customers and feel like you’re “fishing for compliments,” consider having a third party, such as CompanyNewsletters.com’s highly experienced business journalists, conduct the interview and write the article.
4. Making a difference in the community: A good corporate citizen always gives back to the communities it serves, through donations and/or employees who volunteer for worthy causes. Publicize your charitable contributions — whether they are monetary or product related — in your customer newsletter. Also write articles about how your employees are actively volunteering in the community. Your customers will feel good knowing that they are doing business with a company that gives back to the communities it serves.
5. Employee profile: This type of article is meant to inspire your customers’ confidence in the qualifications of your employees, and thus your business. An employee profile article is also a good tool to demonstrate how your company is staffed by dedicated employees who believe strongly in serving and pleasing customers. To write this type of article, interview a key employee and the person’s supervisor. Quote them as to how the profiled employee has gone “above and beyond the call” to serve customers. You could quote the supervisor as to how dedicated the employee is and list all the positive traits that the person brings to the job. Also, you can quote the employee as to the person’s philosophy on serving customers, how the person loves working for your company, etc. Employee profiles are also an excellent way to “personalize” your company in the eyes of your customers. These articles show customers that they are not just dealing with a sterile, faceless, large corporation. Employee profiles demonstrate that they are dealing with a vibrant company whose success is due to its many highly qualified employees who are dedicated to uniquely serving each customer.
Readers love it when customer newsletters include helpful articles that give them free tips and advice.6. Tips in your area of expertise: Readers love it when customer newsletters include helpful articles that give them free tips and advice. Undoubtedly, your company has worked hard to establish itself as a leading, respected company in its industry. There’s no better way to capitalize on this than to give your readers free tips and advice related to your area of expertise. For instance, a security company may want to publicize personal safety tips in its customer newsletter. A car dealer may want to give general vehicle maintenance tips in its marketing newsletter. A shipping company may want to give guidelines on how to safely package flammable materials. A financial planner may want to give free tips on how to save for your children’s college education. A general law firm may want to give tips in its customer newsletter on how to respond to a police officer’s questions if you’re pulled over for speeding. These types of “tips” articles are usually the most-read stories in a customer or marketing newsletter.
7. Product or service profile: In each issue of your newsletter, try profiling a different product or service that your company offers. Your customers are probably not aware of all the different products or services your company offers, so educating them about each one is a good way to cross-sell your products and services. Also, if you have a new product making its debut, you can use your newsletter to build excitement for the product and announce the new offering.
8. Changes in your business practice that will impact clients: Use your customer or marketing newsletter to keep readers informed of recent or upcoming changes that will affect them. For instance, if your company’s prices are changing, use a newsletter article to tell customers about it. If your company is offering new financing plans for its customers, be sure to write about it in your newsletter. If your business is changing its hours of operation, let customers know about it through a newsletter article. These types of articles will help your readers stay informed about your company, and can be a strong component of your newsletter.
9. Positive customer letters: Companies that receive complimentary customer letters should reprint them in their customer newsletter. You could call the section “From the mailbag,” or something similar, and reprint several positive customer letters in each issue.
10. Deals, specials, coupons and discounts: Although customer and marketing newsletters are traditionally thought of as providing a “soft sell” to readers, there’s no reason you can’t directly promote your products and services in your newsletter like you would in any other advertising medium. Many businesses run coupons or product or service specials on the back page of their newsletters. Another good tactic is to tie in these deals and discounts with a product or service mentioned in an earlier article within the newsletter. For instance, if you have one article that is promoting a new use for one of your products, put a sentence at the end of that article saying, “For a limited time special offer on this product, see the coupon on the back page of this newsletter.” Tying in a special offer with an article about a particular product or service is an excellent way to generate customer interest in the product and increase sales.
So when it’s time to plan your next set of newsletter articles, consider these 10 types of articles. They are staples of the customer and marketing newsletters that CompanyNewsletters.com produces for its business clients, they get results and readers love them.
To learn more about the author’s firm and how it can produce printed or online newsletters for your company, see http://CompanyNewsletters.com or call 952/892-6943.