Newsletters are effective at every stage of the Onboarding process. They raise awareness when they’re shared; they increase desire by demonstrating the benefits of our service. They provide a clear path to integration, and keep our existing clients engaged.
Newsletters follow a “good-better-best” delivery continuum:
Good: you send out a newsletter once every month with a good story.
Better: You send out one newsletter each month with a good story and an offer
tweaked for different groups, and including a clear call to action.
Best: You send out multiple versions of the same email in a timely strategy (see below.) You include clear calls to action, and demonstrate the benefits of your services. People look forward to receiving your newsletter.
Here’s how to start with #1, and get to #3:
Use “News” or “Stories” in the title. You’re attracted to stories. Ask a question when possible: “Are You Wasting Your Time in the Gym?”
CONTENT – GENERAL
- Client Story #1. Write a short intro paragraph: “I remember Carl’s first day…” Post a great picture, and then link back to Carl’s story on your site.
- Offer #1. Make the offer relatable to the story: “Carl started with our new OnRamp program. Here’s how:” Include a clickable link to sign up for OnRamp.
- Client Story #2: Keep the reader scrolling down the page. Use the same format as Client Story #1.
- Offer #2: Mention a service that existing clients might like, or list upcoming specialty groups and events. Include clear links to sign up.
- Client Story #3: Follow the same format as above.
- Personal note: though all of the above should be written in professional language (third-person, active tense) this section should be in the first-person and typed the way you speak.
The ‘General’ newsletter will go out to everyone on your list who isn’t in a “special interest” group. For those folks, you’ll edit the original email to include relevant content for them.
CONTENT – PARENTS OF KIDS WHO PLAY SPORTS (example)
- Client Story #1. Use a kid from your CFK program ONLY if you have express permission to do so. Make sure you have a photo release on your waiver, but ask their parent if you can feature them. If not, use the same client story from your GENERAL newsletter.
- Offer #1: explain the BENEFITS of your CFK program (or sport-specific training program.)
- Education #1: Parents need reassurance that your program is: a) safe; b) a good fit for their schedule (relevant); and c) fun for their kid. Link to CFJ articles with a one-paragraph lead-in. Even better: write blog posts about youth training, and link to those.
Debate rages about how often to send your newsletter, but I prefer this schedule:
Tuesday morning (around the 20th of the month) at 10am. This provides enough time for clients to check their schedule for next month, but not enough time to forget to register (a bit of urgency.) Inboxes are jammed on Mondays, but readers’ brains are still fairly fresh on Tuesdays, and they’re likely taking a break around 10am.
You use different versions for different interest groups (i.e. Weight Loss, Sports Performance, Parents, etc.)
Offer unsubscribe links. Readers who ‘unsubscribe’ can always resubscribe later, but people who hit “spam” will probably never get your emails again, even when they’re ready for them. Use the “Check for Spam” option to see the likelihood of your email being bounced. Include only one or two pictures, since many servers will filter out emails with large attachments. MailChimp and Constant Contact will usually prompt you to do these automatically.
The best software won’t work unless you USE it with consistent good content. Many clients pay hundreds each month for software like Aweber or Infusionsoft, but fail to use the software at a level that will give them any return on their investment.
Also, don’t spam people. “Drip” campaigns make me shudder. What’s YOUR first reaction when you get an unsolicited email? How about one that doesn’t give you anything of value, but tries to sell you on a service?
FORMATTING DEMO: Watch our voice-over screencast by clicking here (members only)
Download a Newsletter Template and add it to your staff handbook:
Sample Newsletter Template