The other day, I was at home watching Disney Channel cartoons with the kiddos. We were watching “Jake and the Neverland Pirates,” which is a cartoon based around the Peter Pan universe. I had seen different spin-offs of “Jake and the Neverland Pirates” over the years, but this version was different. It was called “Jake’s Buccaneer Blast” and it was done with Jake, Captain Hook, Mr. Smee and the rest of the crew as Legos.
I have seen this done before with Marvel and Star Wars, but this was the first time I had seen a “Jake” version. At the end of the cartoon, there was a commercial for a “Jake and the Neverland Pirates” Lego playset. As I watched this commercial and listened to my kids asking me to add the playset to their birthday list of toys, I thought about how smart Disney was to create a Lego version of their cartoon and then offer the inspired Lego set for sale after the show. They really were using their media well to drive sales in other channels.
Having media you own, like Disney owning The Disney Channel, is a tactic that is used by many smart companies and entrepreneurs. Having many different types of media promoting your products or services is an advanced tactic.
For example, when your company runs a promotion, in order to get the best results, you want to use email, direct mail, Facebook, etc. to advertise. If you’re only using email, your results are going to be far less effective than using all three. One way you can have your own media while advertising your various products or services, is to have a monthly print newsletter and an FSI (Free Standing Insert).
A print newsletter is one of the most powerful customer retention and referral tools on the market. Add in an FSI and you have your own media and advertising platform.
Here’s the rub, though: Most people use newsletters and FSIs incorrectly.
One common area I often see people screwing up in with their newsletter is putting coupons on the bottom half of page 4. Page 4 may be the single most important page in a newsletter when you are mailing the newsletter as a self-mailer (not in an envelope). Page 4 is the page that determines if your recipient is going to open and read the newsletter. Putting coupons on page 4 makes the newsletter look like junk mail, instead of a publication.
Another HUGE mistake I see is not personalizing the front page of the newsletter with an article from the owner. If you open up a magazine and read the letter from the editor, you’ll notice most of these are stories from the editor, not information about the magazine business.
Like with any media, there is a right way and wrong way to use it. Many times, simple mistakes can make or break the success of any media or campaign.
A properly executed newsletter will increase customer retention, increase referrals, increase sales, and give you celebrity status inside your own niche.
Add in a properly executed FSI and you can put the above growth into overdrive, by making direct offers either via copy or graphical ads. The way we use our FSIs is to support our primary promotional offering for the month.
Another way to use FSIs is to data mine your own list to find out who would be most interested in other products and services you offer and then use various other media to sell them those products or services. The correct way to do this is to offer free information that would be of interest to someone who is looking for your additional products or services. Once they respond to the free info, you can follow up and close the sale.
Having your own media — in this case, a newsletter — and using that media to grow your business is an advanced tactic, but one that doesn’t have to be complicated to execute.
At The Newsletter Pro, we are experts at creating and mailing custom newsletters and FSIs. We can provide this service to your business very easily, and only takes about an hour of your time (or your team’s time) every month. To get a detailed overview of how a newsletter would directly benefit your business and help you achieve your goals, all you have to do is call 208-297-5700 or click www.TheNewsletterPro.com/Schedule for a no-obligation, no-cost discovery call with one of our marketing consultants.
Here’s how it works: You’ll get two hours of design/project management time for your FSI creation, as well as free printing and postage for a single-sided FSI. As an additional bonus, for the first eight people to get started, I will personally review your FSI sales copy that you provide to us and give feedback. I will also take a look at the final FSI shortly before it goes to print, just to make sure everything is 100 percent spot on.
Everything we do here at The Newsletter Pro is custom and unique for each of our customers, so as I mentioned, the first step is to have a discovery call with a member of our consulting team, so we can find out more about your business and see how a newsletter may fit into your current strategy. Once we know more about you and your business, we will be able to provide a custom quote that is as unique to your business as your newsletter will be.
To get a discovery call, either call my office at 208-297-5700 or go online to www.TheNewsletterPro.com/Schedule.