One of the shifts in business marketing over the past several years is the move away from gushing back-patting. An example: “We’re the best X company, and we have the best products.” It’s an obvious thing to say, and it’s not helpful.

Today, marketing focuses on being useful to potential customers, particularly on the website and in an e-newsletter.  Put yourself in the shoes of your customers or clients: They want to know that you can solve their problem, fill a gap, or ease their frustration. Show them you can do that.

When marketing, put yourself in the shoes of your customers or clients: They want to know that you can solve their problem, fill a gap, or ease their frustration.

I recently worked with Enduracon, a Minnesota small business, on developing a first-time e-newsletter. It uses a simple design, features a recent client project, and addresses actual FAQs the business owner has dealt with over the years. The answers are written just as he would speak them. We’re showing what he knows.

The Strategy

I created a simple content marketing strategy using Mailchimp and LinkedIn. I created a template for the Enduring Performance e-newsletter, and worked with the owner and his son on monthly content. We watched the open rate in Mailchimp to see if people wanted the type of content the owner was sharing. After a few issues, we decided to adjust the production schedule to bi-monthly.

The trick for a new company e-newsletter is to create something sustainable for a two-man shop that knows nothing about digital marketing and design. For instance, they don’t know about

  • HTML, image editing, or e-newsletter services and set-up
  • Legal issues about using copyrighted images and copy
  • Tracking the open and click rates to help focus their content
  • Writing without using jargon

In the end, they must learn to establish their expertise without back-patting and gushing.  The open rate will drop like a stone if they flip the content to “look how great our product is.”

Companies often have someone who’s enthusiastic about learning to produce e-newsletters, and this was the case with the owner’s son. I handed over the e-newsletter project to him, provided training, and he’s off and running.