So recently I helped my good friend Billy with a small newsletter project on his end. Often times we will go outside and toss a baseball, or a football, and then the creativity just seems to flow better…
I thought it would be a good idea to share a few of those ideas here on CompanySheep.com as well. Let me know what you think!
Many folks really want to start a company newsletter, but they have trouble coming up with ideas and topics to include.
This brainstorming session was for a local record store (CDs, vinyl, and some apparel). Yes, an actual brick and mortar store! Most, not all, of their clientele is the thirty-five and over crowd.
From the actual email (sometimes poor grammar and all) I sent to Billy:
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Ideas to include with an Email Newsletter
These don’t have to be long – War and Peace – novels, just enough juice to keep folks interested.
** Have regular features each month – then special features once in a while – then very special promos or discounts (once in a while) that are exclusively for the newsletter people.
1. You could feature a local upcoming band every month if you want to appeal to the younger crowd a little more in the future (perhaps).
2. The owner – or the store – could have a 10 things you don’t know about me section. For example, I bet you never knew that I met my wife at a KIZZ concert, or after 3 years in the business I actually wanted to quit… Whatever you want to share – these are PERSONAL things because people like to connect, or relate, on a personal level.
Also you could have facts about the store – Different, Weird, Crazy tales over the years about the store, about the customers, best customer ever, most famous customer, etc…
3. From a small business perspective what advice can u give to people starting a biz / what are the 3 keys to your success / what (if any) mistakes did you make in the beginning, or over the years.
4. Employee of the month – until every one is featured – and have that person answer questions about Rock-n-Roll. This way people learn about the employees and then in a short amount of time they feel as if they actually know the store personnel. Jenny (from the other Block) realizes that – OMG I was at that Whitesnake concert in New Haven in 1987 too! And, this is the point, people BUY from folks who they like, know, and trust.
5. Have a contest. Design a poster or a tee shirt and have a local print shop sponsor it. You can have contests up the waZoooooo… everybody likes them and they are tons of fun.
6. Put out a query – a question – to those on the list (newsletter) asking them to RESPOND. Hey – share your rock n roll stories with us! Pick some big bands, some big events and have people tell their stories: maybe their first concert, the big U2 show in NJ, Bon Jovi or whatever… Post the results on next month’s newsletter / AND there will be a raffle winner – a gift certificate or a tee shirt (have the design contest people do the shirt). You want some participation from your readers.
7. Educate people ( for the older crowd?) – How to care for records, or maybe how to know when it’s time to tune your piano. Did you know we do VHS and tape transfers as well – etc… Things like that; so you become a trusted source not just a record store.
8. Have different Rock genres each month – maybe this month is Hard Rock… and the featured artist is Guns-N-Roses… and this month if you come in the store you get a discount on everything Hard Rock. Or Country music stuff – here are the best ways to care for a cowboy hat / boots / and YOU don’t do the work – you put out ads for the experts. Use Craigslist. The various experts can write content stuff that goes in the newsletter (they will have some ideas as well) and you can include a link to their website or Blog, and that’s why they will do it – to get more eyeballs. This way everybody wins! Think that through…
9. You could have a section called music in the garage / attic (or something) where folks can post Rock-n-Roll tag sale stuff here (items for sale, or just to giveaway).
Heck who has time for Ebay or Clist postings… I am an old lady just give me 10 bucks for my Johnny Mathis albums – whatever! They can simply email you (Billy) and you then can send it out as a part of the newsletter (maybe not every month – it depends). And I am sure folks, who know other folks, would be interested in that as well.
10. Exclusive discounts for the newsletter people – they get a special discount – maybe it’s four times a year or something – or when bands are in CT – Hey RUSH is in CT – everything RUSH is 25% off ONLY for you (the newsletter crowd) and only THIS Saturday and Sunday.
11. You could have monthly in store promotions where the store is a host for Rock-n-Roll events such as guitar lessons or drum lessons.
12. Pimp LRG – hey, you are in a band – and you want to make some waves, some progress – not quite sure what to do but your folks are yelling at you to make some $$$ or get a real freakin’ job!! Enter LRG with a step by step marketing guide to getting your band noticed, heard, and putting your social media presence on steroids. Eternal Rock On…
13. Photo shoots. Bands – get professional photos for your site – or your portfolio. And you could put an ad on CList for photographers to come in and do it at the store or on a different set location. Maybe the camera guys pays a little bit to be featured on the newsletter and then band pays a little bit to the camera guy… and it works. It’s win win win – and everyone is happy.
14. Each month you could have a little sponsor ad (when some momentum kicks in) where folks pay dollars to be on top of the newsletter – like that recording studio in Trumbull. Or, maybe a makeup artist. Hey you are a band OK – but you want to look your best – I do makeup and hair and some freelance fashion design – I Will Make You Look Good so contact me… Things like that.
15. Or just different areas within the music biz… maybe you put out a headline – Calling all Songwriters – we are looking for a few good people to get together on a Friday night and see if we can come up with some ideas to put a couple of songs together. Similar to the music in the attic / garage sale type thing. You have a little mini classifieds section where people in the music biz can essentially “put out” to the List. Once the List gets some traction and has a following that will open doors to many money making opportunities.
Sure it takes a little time. You gotta have 1 before 10 and 10 on the list before 100 and so on…
But let’s just think if the newsletter list was started a few years ago and now had 750 -1500 people on it then sponsors in the music industry, or really anyone music related, will pay just to be featured on the list. WHY? Because their product or service will be directly in front of their target market.
Boom. That’s a winner.
So you try and make it fun, interesting, useful, not annoying, and not boring. The key is to put most of it on an autoresponder so people get specific newsletter articles in a certain order. So Mary, who signs up 5 months from now, will still get all the newsletters that Jimmy received – who signed up today.
Then the special events, or time related things you just send out as a newsletter broadcast to the entire list. It’s easy.
See ya in Hell Johnny!!
(OK that’s my signature sign off when emailing Billy. Can you tell me what movie that is from?)
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That’s the scoop. Hope it helps. Let me know how I can help you.