Are you one of those contractors who believe that if you service a customer once and do a great job, they’ll remember you forever? I wish that was true. Instead, studies show that 55% of the customers you lose leave you because you paid them no attention.

This means that you are asking these customers to either forget your name or go to the Yellow Pages to find it. Either option is a poor one. That’s why newsletters exist.

A newsletter gives you a chance to step beyond the sales role and into the relationship role. You’ll find newsletters build loyalty, referrals, and sales far better than screaming advertising messages do.

There are 3 options for producing your newsletter:

  1. Let the professionals handle it. Syndicated newsletters are mass-produced, semi-customized with certain parts that a company will customize with their own material. These are great because you can produce a quality product without having any editorial and design experience. Plus, the overall cost is usually lower, benefitting from the economy of larger print runs and spread out production costs.
  2. Do it yourself. There are some advantages to producing the newsletter yourself. Your own publication has a personal touch. By self-publishing, you have complate control of content, can set your own schedule, and change the size, length, or graphic design to fit your needs.
  3. Combine the two. You can use a syndicated newsletter, butpersonalize it by enclosing a note. You might include an insert page of news unique to your organization and clients. Some newsletter vendors will let you customize their syndicated newsletter, perhaps the easiest approach.

For added sales, put an advertisment in your newsletter, or at least print a story about different services you offer. You can push the maintenance agreement sales directly through your newsletter and openly ask for referrals. Why? Because they know and trust you. Your closing ratio with them will always be higher than prospects.

Use newsletters to keep your customers buying from you instead of your competition. You’ll achieve higher loyalty, referrals, and sales — as if you were making a personal visit to your customers two to four times a year!

Adams Hudson is president of Hudson, Ink, a marketing firm for contractors. Readers can get a free marketing newsletter by faxing their letterhead with the request to 334/262-1115. You can also call Hudson, Ink at 800/489-9099 for help or visit www.hudsonink.com for many free marketing articles and reports.