It might seem really strange but most commercial printers don’t use a printed newsletter to communicate with their clients. I’d say that around 90% of those that I have met in my sales role don’t, which is pretty scary when most of those printers are quick to let me know how tight business is.
Well maybe I can change a few minds here with my
5.5 Reasons to have a newsletter if you are a printer.
- You’re a printer, it shows people what you do. Most printers when you ask them why customers do business with them the number one answer they tell me is their quality is the best. Printers are very proud tradespeople, they love producing high quality print that’s better than their competition and better than what their customers can produce themselves. What better way to show it off than in a newsletter where you control the content, you specify the paper and you print it with your ninja printing skills.
- Nobody else does it. Want a way to stand out from the pack of discounting vultures in the print game. Take the time and effort to produce a quality printed newsletter and send it out to your customers and potential targeted customers. Immediately, you’re doing something that the competition isn’t doing(unless of course they’re reading this and they get inspired to make their own) and you stand out.
- Show off your business. This is a great opportunity to talk about some of the other print related things your business does. You may be surprised but most customers out there know that printers print things like business cards, or letterheads or brochures, but they may not be aware that you do design, or your posters, or your banners, or your speciality finishes, about variable data, about QR codes etc etc etc. Don’t swamp them, just trickle feed via each issue.
- Make an offer. The newsletter can include a coupon or a voucher to help promote a new component to the business or to refresh an old product that you do that seems to be slowing down in sales. Maybe you have embellishment services like varnishing that you can make an offer on. Your accounting system can help you segment your audience into existing customers, past customers you no longer do business with and try and include some potential new clients you’d like to bring on board. By segmenting you can make a small variation in the newsletter to create a more specific offer to those customers, nett result more sales, more customers.
- Stay in focus. Do you think your clients are thinking about you when they’re not doing business with you? Of course not. However, if you were to send a printed monthly or quarterly newsletter to them, you bring yourself to the centre of their attention. They may take it read with them when they take a lunch break or they might pass it on in the business, when you do it regularly and communicate genuinely you’ll find they begin to look out for it’s arrival and chase you when they’re late.
5.5 Use the newsletter to help educate your customers about things like the need for bleed, or why you want them to design in Adobe instead of Word. You’re the expert, share some of your knowledge with your clients via the newsletter and you’ll be reinforcing your status as an expert and subsequently they’ll turn to you when they want to do business.
Newsletters don’t have to be complex documents that take months to prepare. If you have designers on staff, make this a regular process and have them create a template that gives your newsletter standardisation. During the month, have a scrapbook that you can write in ideas for the next newsletter. Use applications like Evernote on the web (free) to clip articles and ideas that you can utilise. Look to Twitter and Instagram for trends.
If you don’t have a designer and are all thumbs with design, use a newsletter template from applications like Apples Pages or Corel Draw. Can’t believe I’m going to say this but you could even make something in Word or Publisher (you control the margins, fonts and tabs so it should be OK). There are lots of options these days.
If you can create a 4 A4 page newsletter then it’s a simple task to print this digitally using A3 or SRA3 (if you need to bleed) and have the digital press half fold it for you. Once you get in the groove it will just flow. You’ll be really energised when you get clients calling you once they’ve read what you’ve written.
Either print the mailing label (personalised of course) or if you have one of our newer colour production printers the envelope or hand write their mailing details. You could even design your newsletter so it folds into the envelope.
Extra Bonus Tip – I just thought of this as I was typing the last paragraph
6. Links. – If you’re thinking of linking back to more detail on your website, maybe a good idea would be to point them to a landing page rather than the main site. That way you can get some analytics around response rates to the newsletter. Alternatively, you could use a URL shortener like bit.ly to let you track individual editions. Get in touch directly if you want to learn more about this. I may put a 30 minute webinar together if there is enough interest.
NOTE: If you can think of some other benefits, let me know in the comments, I’ve got a few more but since I’ve already called this 5.5 reasons and I’ve given you 6.5 I might just hang on to those for another day.
Best advice, have some fun with it, you don’t want creating newsletters to become a chore. Remember these are sales documents, they show your company, show your skills, show your quality, show what you can do for your clients and it gets your business past any gatekeepers. Try it out for a few months and see what comes of it. Worst case scenario is you spend a little on postage and materials plus some time. Even if you bring one new client on board each month it’s a tiny investment with a potentially massive return.
By all means let me know if this inspires you, I’d love to see what you are producing (even if, dare I say it, it’s not printed using a Konica Minolta Production Press)
Till next time
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I’m responsible for Konica Minolta Production Print solutions which include our Award Wining Digital Colour Production Printers, Our amazing innovative Monochrome Production Printers, Digital Embellishment Systems and Production 3D Printers in Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Emerald, Gladstone, Sunshine Coast and Toowoomba regions. By all means get in touch if you’d like to discuss digital production print or anything else.
Happy for this to be shared, but would appreciate a link back