Your customer's favorite subject?

Take this quick and fun quiz:

Your customer would rather read:

a. something of interest to you
b. something of interest to them

If you answered b., you are correct!

A number of jewelry makers have added me to their newsletter mailing lists. One thing I've noticed is the tendency among some to write more about themselves than they do about what might interest the reader.

This can be a difficult concept to grasp, much less execute successfully. But it's essential to understand it.

The fact that you are hosting a jewelry party to roll out your new line for 2010 before the holidays is a great reason to send out a newsletter or e-mail.

But ask yourself the following question:

Why should the reader care about this?

If you repeatedly send out announcements that don't have any interest for the reader, they will soon stop opening them.

So how do you make them interesting? Here are a few ideas:

1. Teach them something about jewelry in every newsletter. Whether it's the quality of opals, or the value of pearls, or whatever, include useful information that the average jewelry consumer should know and would appreciate you telling them.

2. Write something about that month's birthstone. That gives you something to write about every month of the year, and people generally do not get tired of reading about it. This is a great tie-in if you have jewelry featuring that gemstone.

3. Tell a story about something you did for a customer. People love stories, and the customers of artisan jewelry love learning more about the people they buy from. Feel free to include actual anecdotes that involve you and customers, even if they happened sometime in the past.

4. Answer questions from "readers." In every newsletter or e-mail you send out, solicit questions from customers about jewelry. Then answer them in future newsletters. They can cover everything from whether or not you "can" wear gold and silver at the same time, to what to do if you discover a loose stone or bead in a piece of jewelry you own.

5. Include incentives for them to refer customers to you. If you have a "refer a friend" program, describe it clearly and concisely in every issue of your newsletter or in your e-mails. This is a clear benefit to the reader for sending customers your way.

It is definitely more difficult to write a newsletter that appeals to the reader than one that appeals to you. However, when you successfully engage your readers, you ensure that they will open your newsletters time after time.

If you have additional ideas for making newsletters relevant and interesting, post them as comments!

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