I know that the last thing you need is more work, but creating a newsletter for your business is a great way to stay connected to your customers. Each year dance schools are faced with the challenge of customer retention. One issue is that they lose contact with their customer base. Sending out a regular newsletter is a great way to stay connected with your customers.

I know that the last thing you need is more work, but creating a newsletter for your business is a great way to stay connected to your customers. Each year dance schools are faced with the challenge of customer retention. One issue is that they lose contact with their customer base. Sending out a regular newsletter is a great way to stay connected with your customers.

Now take it to the next level: a newsletter can also successfully connect you with other business owners.  Your newsletter could and should include special money saving offers from businesses in your area—this networking encourages these other businesses to include your information in what they send out. 

Think through how to send out this communication. The most cost-effective way is to do it digitally to your database list. I recommend that you use an online email service like icontact.com. This way you can upload your email list and then send them your newsletter, announcements and special events.  If you are concerned about your newsletter ending up in spam folders, you can contact a local printer to see if you can work out a deal on printing it at a discount in exchange for an ad in the newsletter.

Remember that a newsletter is part of your marketing plan—include it in your overall marketing budget. The key is to create content that is exclusive to your school: Have your teachers, parents and students submit articles about their experiences at your school. You can send it out bi-monthly, quarterly or, if you feel ambitious, every month! The more often you send it out, the better your connection to them will be.

How To Get The Most From Your Newsletters

1. Stay in contact with and continue to market to your current customers.

Abandoning current customers is a mistake made by businesses everywhere.
Ignore your customers and they just go away, never to be heard from again. Sometimes the pace is a slow trickle. Sometimes it's a mass exodus. But the bottom line is they found a competitive offer elsewhere and took it.  Why wouldn't they—YOU weren't there for them! Remember, people don't buy from businesses. They buy from people. That means you must establish a relationship with your customers and then continually nurture it.  Obviously, great service, dance curriculum and convenient schedule are required to get the relationship rolling. But what comes next is where most businesses drop the ball.  Once they get what they want—the customer's money—they figure that they do not have to continue to show their customer that they made the right decision by keeping in contact with them.

2. Send a well-designed newsletter to rekindle your relationship with customers.  

It reinforces the friendly, professional competence you first displayed. Sending out newsletters will increase the LIFETIME VALUE of your clients. This means you will get more value and more money for the same costs.   

2. Aim to get the 'best of the best' customers.

Referrals are generally not price shoppers. Referrals have pretty much decided they want you. In fact, they're relieved to discover you!  Why? Because you come recommended by someone they know and trust. You calm their fears of dealing with someone new. In short, they are 'the best of the best' clients. Always keep in mind that the best form of advertising is word of mouth.

Virtually everyone gets some word-of-mouth business, but few understand how to produce a steady stream of referrals. Why wait for referrals to come to you?  Just go and get them! When you send your clients an interesting newsletter, you can count on getting referrals. Here's why:  First, you teach your client to give you referrals by telling them in the newsletter who has recently referred you.  Plus, when you send them a dynamic newsletter that's fun to read, they will most likely talk about it to their friends. You are giving them a reason to talk about YOU! Be sure to include a 'tell a friend' feature in email newsletters that allow your clients to forward your newsletter to interested friends.

3. Keep your name in front of your customers.

Repetition is critical. No single ad will ever bring in enough customers to keep a business thriving and successful.  In fact it's been proven repeatedly that most prospects will not respond to a marketing piece until at least the seventh exposure.  This same principle applies to newsletters sent out to your customers. It may take some time to get the response going. But once your customers start to receive them they will be eager to read the information sent. The format we use starts off with an opening paragraph about the coming month’s activities and some insight into the general progress of the students. Then we alternate between content (articles) and special offers. Remember that when you approach businesses for their special offers to include you will need to explain to them that you will promote their business to your list of customers if you receive a great offer to present to them. You could charge businesses a fee to promote them, but I have found that you have more bargaining power if you offer it to them for free. You just want to stress that you want to have a great money saving offer that you can present to your customers.

Newsletters work…if you take the time to generate them. Think of them as part of your overall marketing strategy rather than as another item on your to-do list, and you’ll be more likely to get them written and sent.