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The Green Sheet Online Edition

March 09, 2015 • Issue 15:03:01

Boost Your Biz
Use newsletters for customer retention

Given how much more expensive courting and signing new merchant accounts is than retaining existing ones, payment pros striving for longevity in the business always devote time to fostering sticky relationships with their merchant customers.

One tool used for this purpose is a periodic company newsletter sent via email to a list of valued customers. As with all business tools, newsletters are not a good choice for everyone, but if you are interested, have a creative spark, and have the resources to devote to the task, here are some tips for creating a newsletter that will attract your merchants' attention:

  • Before you write one word, spend time planning. Consider what your company's unique mission is and how your newsletter can help foster it. Decide what the common thread and purpose will be for all issues, and stick with that.
  • Pick a realistic publication schedule. Then commit to it and be consistent. Monthly newsletters can work well; some ISOs include them with merchant statements. Others choose to publish every other month or quarterly. Don't publish too often because that could annoy your customers.
  • Give your newsletter a name that is easy to remember and in keeping with your company's culture and style. Retain the name from issue to issue, but experiment with creative subject lines to see which ones get the best results. Keep the content short and simple. Don't try to cover every aspect of your business with this one tool.
  • Devote 90 percent of your content to education and 10 percent to promotion. Ask questions to encourage merchants to interact with you. And include only one call to action per issue.
  • Pick a clean, uncluttered design. Use photos and other graphics in moderation to augment the text.
  • Make your newsletter an opt-in publication. This will necessitate contacting your existing customer base and obtaining their permission, but thereafter, newsletter opt-in can be included in the merchant boarding process. Also, make it easy for merchants to unsubscribe, and find alternate ways to convey information to those who opt out.
end of article

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