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secretary
11-22-2008, 03:56 PM
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What are you opinions on customer newsletters?

Any of you currently pass out a newsletter?

What are some things you include?

I have a client who is interested in starting a quarterly newsletter. I was thinking of including a section with a referral coupon that can be filled out if they know of a neighbor, relative or friend to refer. If they refer someone who becomes a customer, the referring party gets something special in return. (Either a gift card, or discount off future service)

Tyler7692
11-22-2008, 05:48 PM
Good idea... I'll be making a seasonal newsletter (all 4 seasons).

Roger TheShrubber
11-23-2008, 09:28 AM
I'm putting the finishing touches on my newsletter that'll go out in January. Each issue has something that will help the customer, whether it's the introduction of a new hardscaping product, photo and description of a unique plant, advice on insect control, or Koi pond ideas. Each issue offers a benefit to my clients. Each issue has something to entice my client to call me.

I get great response to newsletters (they're 11"x17" in color by the way). I have past clients call me after several years of quiet when something new in the newsletter catches their eye. Newsletters are the bread and butter of my marketing campaign. I use the newsletter to promote word of mouth / referral advertising.

DLAWNS
11-23-2008, 10:44 AM
I also do something similar. Almost every month along with their invoice I enclose a letter with what is coming up in the season. I get some call backs from it and all it costs is paper and ink because I already have to send out the invoices.

rob7233
11-23-2008, 10:12 PM
Got any good sources for a newsletter template ??

What are you using now and how is it working out for you?

DLAWNS
11-23-2008, 11:58 PM
Got any good sources for a newsletter template ??

What are you using now and how is it working out for you?

was this question for me?

secretary
11-24-2008, 10:03 AM
Got any good sources for a newsletter template ??

What are you using now and how is it working out for you?


There are many templates available online. I've use Printmaster Publishing Suite for some I've done.

Here is a good site, too.

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/templates/CT101043281033.aspx

You can find templates on here for just about anything you need business related.

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/templates/FX102637461033.aspx

Roger TheShrubber
11-24-2008, 01:11 PM
Mine comes from scratch and is reflective of the services that only my company can offer. I've designed mine on Microsoft Publisher. I've seen lots of templates and they're just too generic for me.

PaperCutter
11-24-2008, 06:14 PM
I do a monthly e-newsletter for my clients. Everything I've been told is commit to doing it at LEAST once a month or don't bother. I use Constant Contact, so it even tracks who opened the newsletter, and who clicked on various links. I sell myself as a "green" designer, so it'd be hard to justify the additional paper :)

Joe Shooner
11-24-2008, 07:22 PM
My company produces newsletters specifically for the green industry. You can feel free to send me a message if you'd like more information.

DLAWNS
11-24-2008, 10:16 PM
Mine is just a letter printed out and inserted in with their invoice. I don't go crazy because they get the point.

secretary
11-25-2008, 10:25 AM
I do a monthly e-newsletter for my clients. Everything I've been told is commit to doing it at LEAST once a month or don't bother. I use Constant Contact, so it even tracks who opened the newsletter, and who clicked on various links. I sell myself as a "green" designer, so it'd be hard to justify the additional paper :)

I agree with you that a newsletter can be more effective if done monthly. As long as you can keep it interesting and make it worthwhile for them to read.

I'm interested in learning more about Constant Contact. I see you can get a free trial, and after that it is an affordable monthly fee. I may suggest that to one of my clients for their newsletter. I like the fact that you can track who even reads newsletter.

How difficult was it to compile your email list from your current customers? Did you send out a letter or just ask them for it?

secretary
11-25-2008, 10:32 AM
Mine is just a letter printed out and inserted in with their invoice. I don't go crazy because they get the point.


That works, too if you are busy and don't have time to compile a newsletter.

What about inactive customers that don't receive an invoice? Do you send them your informational letter, too?

secretary
11-25-2008, 10:37 AM
Mine comes from scratch and is reflective of the services that only my company can offer. I've designed mine on Microsoft Publisher. I've seen lots of templates and they're just too generic for me.


Glad you are having such a good response from your newsletters. I agree, the templates are good for beginners if you've never designed a newsletter before. They are a good start and better than nothing at all.

You mentioned that you do yours in color? Do you print yourself or take to a print shop?

secretary
11-25-2008, 10:47 AM
I'm putting the finishing touches on my newsletter that'll go out in January. Each issue has something that will help the customer, whether it's the introduction of a new hardscaping product, photo and description of a unique plant, advice on insect control, or Koi pond ideas. Each issue offers a benefit to my clients. Each issue has something to entice my client to call me.

I get great response to newsletters (they're 11"x17" in color by the way). I have past clients call me after several years of quiet when something new in the newsletter catches their eye. Newsletters are the bread and butter of my marketing campaign. I use the newsletter to promote word of mouth / referral advertising.

The more you can teach folks about your services and the more they learn about lawn care and landscaping ideas will make them a more valuable customers to have. Even if they don't contact you immediately, they will remember you when the time comes! Everyone likes to learn more about what is being done to their home or lawn, but can not always be available to ask questions at the time of service. The newsletter I am working on now has an invite section for homeowners to email a question that may get answered in a future newsletter.

PaperCutter
11-25-2008, 10:56 AM
How difficult was it to compile your email list from your current customers? Did you send out a letter or just ask them for it?

When I send them a proposal, it has their name, address, phone #, email, and alternate address and phone number on it. I used to work in an area with a lot of investment proprties and second homes, and after a few frustrating episodes of being unable to reach an out-of-towner, I just collect as much info as possible up front.

secretary
11-25-2008, 12:00 PM
For anyone else considering email marketing, here is a good article from Constant Contact on getting permission from people first


http://www.constantcontact.com/learning-center/hints-tips/ht-2006-08.jsp

tradeyouraccounts
11-26-2008, 10:33 AM
A quarterly newsletter and a monthly inspection sheet sent with invoices had a good response over the course of a year. Customers became accustomed to receiving these and within the inspection sheet there were monthly specials and referral incentives. This can also build a good relationship with your customers.:dancing:

secretary
11-26-2008, 11:47 AM
A quarterly newsletter and a monthly inspection sheet sent with invoices had a good response over the course of a year. Customers became accustomed to receiving these and within the inspection sheet there were monthly specials and referral incentives. This can also build a good relationship with your customers.:dancing:

That's a very good idea about including monthly specials and incentives on the inspection sheet because most likely they will take time to read over their inspection sheet since it pertains to their home. If they were pleased with your service, most people would hang onto the specials sheet and have it laying around the house to use next time.

Right now, I'm working on designing these little stickers that can be put on all outgoing correspodence, backs of envelopes, business cards, etc. that really stand out. They all have different sayings on them such as "If you are pleased with our service, please tell your neighbors". One is a red heart that says " We love referrals" , etc. I used to work for a DR. office, and the referral stickers worked really well, so a landscaping client of mine is going to try them on his invoices he sends out next month.

Roger TheShrubber
11-26-2008, 02:42 PM
You mentioned that you do yours in color? Do you print yourself or take to a print shop?


When I first started my business, the very first purchase I made was a printer that could handle a 13"x19" piece of paper (hp1220c). I print all office supplies myself.