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The Three-Step Writing Process in Business Communication

Effective business writing is important to a company because it helps create efficient communication that leads to increased productivity, faster problem solving, stronger decision-making, and increased profits. It also helps boost the organizations credibility.

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10 newsletter writing tips for effective newsletters

10 Newsletter Writing Tips For Effective Articles

Newsletters are still an effective way to communicate your company or brand with your customers. They allow you to position yourself as an expert in your industry as well as promote your products and services. Newsletters, if done correctly, can be a very powerful tool in your marketing communications tool box. This daily marketing tip discusses 10 newsletter writing tips for effective newsletters.

10 Newsletter Writing Tips

This is not a conclusive list on writing newsletters, but I have used these ideas to craft effective newsletters for clients many times. The list of tips is good to use for both printed newsletters and digital newsletters.

  1. Provide useful information: Give your audience valuable and useful information. Teach them something new or give them interesting information about your industry. Consider writing about how to use a new product or service you provide. Avoid a hard sell by filling your newsletter with advertisement and promotions. This is a guaranteed way to lose readers’ interest.
  2. Inject personality into your writing style: Readers are bombarded with thousands of marketing messages per day. So cut through the clutter and be remembered by letting your personality shine with a conversational tone. However, be careful and not use of slang unless your audience understands the slang. Humor is always welcomed, but only in articles where it would be beneficial, but be careful not to be insulting or culturally incecitive.
  3. Research: There’s nothing that kills your credibility faster than an article written with incorrect information. When providing statistical information, be sure to research the information and cite your source directly in the article or as a footnote.
  4. Avoid jargon: If you’re writing a newsletter on cats, and you happen to be veterinarian, you may be tempted to use medical terms relating to the little kitty’s. Unless your audience is a group of veterinarians, do not use technical language, or jargon. Your average reader will not be able to understand your content. So, avoid industry specific jargon (technical speak) unless you are certain your audience will understand it.
  5. Brevity is king: Certainly you have come across individuals who can talk your ear off. These individuals write as they speak, they just ramble. Don’t ramble. Be brief and concise.
  6. Use chunking: Chunking refers to arranging information into small “bite sized” bits of information. Often times it may be a bullet list, a side bar, or numbered list. This breaks up the copy and focuses the reader on the important, information in your article.
  7. Use images: The web is a visual medium and humans are visual creatures. Use images to illustrate your article and attract and keep readers attention. Samples of images could include photography, infographics, graphs, illustrations, or charts.
  8. Write a good headline to attract readers: Headlines are what attract attention. If you write a bad headline, chances are your article will be ignored. Headlines that do well are ones that focus on self-interest and news items. See this article titled, “4 Headline Types that Generate Reader Interest” to learn more about writing article headlines.
  9. Respect copyright laws: It is easy to find an article we like on the internet and just copy and paste it into our documents. However, these articles are copyrighted by the author. The same goes for artwork and photography. Unless the article or artwork states that you may reproduce them, assume they are copyrighted material. Ask for written permission to use them or write your own original work and purchase the photos and art. If you do not, you may find yourself in a legal hot water!
  10. Proof read!: Spell check is great, but spell check does not catch syntax and homonyms. Proof read your work. You will be glad you did and so will your reader. It is a good idea to have someone other than yourself review your work, because, often, it is more difficult to proof your own work since you are used to seeing it. If you do not have someone to help you proof your work, begin proofing it yourself by reading it backwards, beginning at the end of the article. This will help you to pay attention to the words.

Next Steps

Writing newsletters, both digital and for print, are both fun and rewarding if they are done properly. These 10 newsletter writing tips are suggestions for writing good, effective content to engage your reader. I have both written hundreds of newsletter articles and have won several design awards for newsletter design. If you have any newsletter writing tips of your own that have been successful in your own wiring, please share them in the comment section.

marketing-communications-strategic-plan

6 Steps for Developing a Marketing Communications Strategy

Imagine that Apple, Inc. or Microsoft’s approach to marketing communications is similar to many small to mid-sized businesses (SMB’s). That is, they developed and designed advertising, flyers, social media postings, and promotional collateral first, then went back and created the marketing communications strategy to justify these tactical elements. The result would be inefficient and confusing to their target audience and customers. Unfortunately, this is how many SMBs approach marketing communications and most never bother to create the strategy, even after, deploying tactical marketing communications.

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Direct Response Marketing Tips – Offline and Online Strategies

In a world where marketing and advertising messages bombard consumers at the rate of several hundred or more per day, gaining a competitive advantage seems like a battle. Direct marketers understand this battle all too well, especially those on a budget. The direct response marketing tips below should help you gain traction over the competition and develop a competitive advantage setting you on a course for increased profits.

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Short Attention Span

7 Content Creation Ideas for Short Attention Spans

A recent study by Microsoft reviled that humans have less attention span than goldfish. In 2000, the average person’s attention span was 12 seconds as compared to 8 seconds in 2013. Goldfish have a 9 second attention span.

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5 Customer Complaint Management Tips Every Marketer Should Know

Anyone in business can tell you that customer complaints are all part of doing business. After all, you’re dealing with people who have needs and wants and when those needs and wants are not met, the potential for a complaint increases. To survive and thrive as a business owner, you’re going to need a customer complaint management procedure.

Companies may believe they have a good handle on customer satisfaction by tallying customer complaints and responding to those complaints. However, research has shown that 25 percent of dissatisfied customers who buy from a firm, only 5 percent register a complaint.

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Writing Marketing Communication Objectives

A tutorial for understanding and writing marketing communications objectives, with examples.

 

What Are Marketing Communication Objectives?

Found in both the marcomm plan and creative strategy statements, marketing communication objectives are determined by problems the target or product category may encounter and any market opportunities the product has to solve to overcome these problems.

Your marketing communication objective should describe what you want your target audience to think, feel, and do after they are exposed to your marketing message. It should answer the fundamental question, “What’s in it for me?”.

Too often, marketing messages fail to deliver the benefits the target audience will get if the target uses the companies product or service. People make purchases based on what they will receive out of the purchase or service. This is why it’s important to include the benefit the target receives in your marketing message.

Every marketing communication strategy, regardless of delivery method; print, broadcast media, e-mail, online, or any other method, has three major objectives:

  • To Create a brand awareness or, in other words, to inform your target audience about your brand.
  • To define a fulfilling need for your product or service, or to persuade them to use your product or service.
  • Encourage action from your target audience, or, in other words, to remind them through various marketing channels about your product or services.

A great way to remember all three objectives is, Inform, Persuade, and Remind.

  1. Inform your target audience about your brand
  2. Persuade your target audience to purchase your product or use your service
  3. Remind your target audience about your brand and encourage them to make the purchase

Explanation of Communication Objectives

Below is a break down of each communication objective and an explanation of why each objective is important. Additionally, I have added some marketing communications objectives examples to help drive the concept into memory

1. Create Brand Awareness (Inform)

Creating brand awareness is to inform your target audience about your brand of your product or service. Creating brand awareness does not necessarily apply to a new brand, but often applies to an existing brand which might be trying to penetrate new markets. The brand message can be delivered via several types of communication channels, such as direct mail, radio, television advertising, environmental advertising (billboards, bus stop signage, and vehicle wraps), or online video and social media. Your delivery method is contingent upon your budget, target region, and product or service, just to name a few communication channels.

Examples of Marketing Communications Objectives

Let’s look at an example for creating brand awareness of a fictions company I made up. I’ll name the company Western Financial Credit Union (WFCU for short). WFCU has two other branch locations in different cities within the state. They are opening a new branch in a smaller town, I’ll call Watsonville, about 45 miles from their two other locations. While few people in Watsonville may have heard of WFCU, the majority have not heard of the credit union, so the marketing department has some work to do in order to inform the new community about WFCU’s brand of financial services products. The marketing department needs to write a few measurable marketing communications objectives as part of their marketing communications plan; something like the following:

  • To successfully penetrate the Watsonville banking market by generating awareness and brand building preference by 30%
  • To stimulate new member accounts by 25% and new financial loans by 15% by offering incentives that offer brand switching
  • To gain a 7% share of the Watsonville home and auto loan lending business by the end of one year.
  • To establish WFCU as the new and preferred financial institution by 8% of eligible Watsonville residents
  • To introduce our HELOC (Home Equity Line of Credit) loans to qualified Watsonville homeowner residents by 10% using loan bundling packages for first time lenders.

The above examples are just a few marketing communications objectives that can be included in your Marcomm plan. There’s a lot more research that goes into the numbers and percentages for increasing brand awareness. For example, knowing the population of Watsonville, the percent of qualified residents who can open an account, and the percent of residents who are banking within the city with other financial institutions. However, you should already researched this information prior to writing the marketing communication objectives.

2. Define a Fulfilling Need for Your Product/Service (Persuade)

Staying in step with our previous example, let’s discuss how WFCU plans on defining a need for their financial products; how they plan on persuading Watsonville residents to switch from their current bank to the new credit union.

In the marketing communications strategy part of your Marcomm plan, you will outline the creative strategy for positioning your company, product, or service in the target audiences mind in order to convince them to use your product/service. In the case of WFCU, they may approach the residents as the “new kid” in the neighborhood who cares about their community. Being new, they would need to really be creative on how they tie their newness into caring for a community they hardly know. They may do this by painting a dismal picture of the current banks in the city. WFCU may highlight not only their friendly service, but showcase their line of financial products at lower than normal interest rates, at least lower than the current competition, and easy loan qualification for new members.

There are several methods marketers use to persuade and define a fulfilling need for their products. A few are listed below:

  • Provide a money-back guarantee
  • Competitive pricing
  • Low interest rates
  • Easy qualifying
  • Easy return policy
  • How the product or service will make life easier for the purchaser
  • Bundling services and products at a savings when the competition is not doing it
  • A buy one get one free
  • Show how the product or service will save the purchaser time

3. Encourage Action from Your Target Audience (Remind)

While encouraging your target audience may seem similar to persuading them to make a purchase, it goes further. It’s certainly true that using a buy one, get one FREE offer is encouragement, however, if you only advertise using one communication channel and only for a brief period, for example a one week period, you will see a drop in consumer interest and purchases. Remember, out of sight, out of mind. If the target audience does not know you exist or is not reminded often about your product, then chances are they will not remember to use your services.

Conclusion

The marketing communications plan consists of three important key objectives, create brand awareness (inform), define a fulfilling need for your product or service (persuade), and encourage action from your target audience (remind). While these three key objectives are important in defining your marketing communication goals, there’s a lot more that goes in to the Marcomm plan. More in depth research has to be conducted on your target audience prior to developing any marketing communications plan and message delivery. While the cost of informing your target audience about your product or services can be high, there are more affordable solutions, like social media and web based marketing that can help reach your target group.

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How to Design A Coupon for A Sales Promotion

Coupons are an all time favorite among consumers. A coupon is the most basic form of a sales promotion, and often part of a retail store or restaurants marketing communications strategy. If used effectively, coupons can help generate business. This article focuses on how to design a coupon, as part of your sales promotion.

You do not need to be a graphic designer, but it is assumed that you have working knowledge of design programs, such as Adobe InDesign or Adobe Illustrator, or QuarkXpress. For the most part, you could use Adobe Photoshop as well.

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Five Important Factors of Marketing Communications

This blog posting will give you a brief, yet insightful list of the five important factors of marketing communications. Before you begin any marketing communications strategy, I suggest you first begin with a plan that includes an analysis of the five factors of marketing communications and how these factors will be part of your strategy.

You can look at these five factors as your blue print for marketing communications success. Without understanding and implementing them, you are diminishing your chances of a focused and successful marketing campaign.  The five important factors of marketing communications are, persuasiongoal directedcontact pointsstakeholders, and message. Read on to learn each of these factors.

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