Something in the world of floating have you stumped?
If you’re running a float center, you definitely have a newsletter. Right? If you don’t, then you should. Most businesses these days have them. Establishing a newsletter can be a daunting undertaking if you’re unfamiliar with the process. What goes in a newsletter? How frequent is too frequent to send it out? Who are you sending it to?
Graham and Ashkahn dole out some wisdom on the importance of this correspondence method. Give it a listen.
Listen to Just the Audio
Transcription of this episode… (in case you prefer reading)
Graham: Today’s question is “what do you put in your newsletters?”
Ashkahn: Good. Newsletters. So, let me start by saying we have a separate newsletter list than just our full customer list, right?
Ashkahn: So I just want to make that distinction up front before we start talking about other stuff is that we’re specifically sending newsletters at our place, in our center, to people who have actively signed up to hear about us from our newsletter. We’re not just blasting all the emails we have from our customers.
Graham: Yep, and oftentimes double opting in as well. Although I think that is changing now. MailChimp’s kind of changing their structure a little bit to a single opt-in by default, which is interesting. Maybe for a different topic, maybe for something that talks more about newsletters, we could discuss that. So our opt-in people, which obviously is much smaller than your full customer list in almost all cases. I guess let’s talk about frequency and let’s talk about general length.
Graham: And then let’s talk about what to include.
Ashkahn: Okay. So every day is too frequent. You probably shouldn’t be sending a newsletter every day. It’s a little bit intense.
Graham: And every other day is too seldom.
Ashkahn: So you’re looking at that sweet spot.
Graham: One and a half days or so. No, so I would say anything more frequent than every month for something like a brick and mortar business feels way too often.
Ashkahn: Yeah, a little too intense. You’re probably gonna overwhelm people, or just not have enough interesting stuff to say.
Graham: Yeah. And a month or longer feels, to me, like the right amount of time.
Graham: Three months, for some reason. I don’t know if it’s that we’re a brick and mortar business, people actually need to physically come into, as opposed to a website where they get a newsletter and immediately they can go and get the new content from it, or something. Maybe it’s just ’cause newsletters take so long to write that once every three months sounds way better than doing it every month, but that, to me, one to three months has always felt a little bit like if you want to have a really regular newsletter, that’s what you’re looking at.
Graham: What about length? How long are you sending things to people?
Ashkahn: How long? I feel like usually it feels good to have about three main points in your newsletter. Kind of three distinct topics is often what I find feels like substantial, especially with the infrequency of when they’re going out, and that’s maybe a one or two paragraphs per topic.
Graham: Yeah, that’s about what I was thinking. I was gonna say the ability to read it and digest, or at least read slash skim it, in under five minutes?
Graham: And get all of the information out of it, feels like the right amount of time in there.
Graham: So I guess if you were to type it out in kind of magazine pages, it’s almost like a spread, is your newsletter. Maybe a couple pages is what feels kind of right to me.
Graham: So what the heck goes in that that you’re sending out? I definitely have my list of favorites. I don’t know if you prepped for this. I was up at night, studying.
Ashkahn: I’ve got some things that I’m thinking about.
Graham: All right, I’ll say one first, and then you can say one.
Ashkahn: Okay, but I hope it’s not mine.
Graham: You only have one?
Ashkahn: Well I’ve got one that I’m excited about.
Graham: Okay, you say yours first.
Ashkahn: All right. So one thing I think is great to include in there is any awesome cool improvements you have going on at your float center.
Graham: That’s good, that was not the one I was excited about, so-
Ashkahn: Okay, nice. Yeah. ‘Cause that’s always just great news for everybody, right? Your center is doing better, your customers’ experience is gonna get better. Oftentimes with a float center it’s things that people might not even know, or notice, right? It’s-
Graham: “We expanded our wall by six inches, and reduced sound by 20 more decibels!”
Ashkahn: Heavy soundproofing is hard. No one just walks in and goes like, “Oh, did you do more soundproofing there?” But it’s great stuff to talk about, because it’s like, hey, you’re making people’s float experiences quieter, and improving the kind of service in that way. So those are always fun. If you have some kind of great upgrade that’s happening in your float center, that’s always one that I think is definitely worth including.
Graham: And another really good one is just other float news that has made it into the media. I really enjoy, especially when there’s a really high profile article or piece that’s come out in Time Magazine or on NPR or anything like that is really cool to be able to link people back to and rather than being solely in charge of getting them excited about coming in and floating again. Now it’s this broader culture at large is responsible for a little bit of their excitement, which always feels like a nice one to put in there.
Ashkahn: Yeah. And what else? What else goes into a newsletter?
Graham: Oh I got plenty more yet. I have two spreads full of information. Customer stories. I love highlighting a customer, or someone who’s gotten a lot out of floating recently. Maybe one of your members, or something like that. And especially if they have a story, where they got a lot out of floating. They’ve been floating every week for the last three months, and it really affected their lives, or they were actually in a car accident, and it helped them recover, or just those really profound stories that we get every single day, I think are great things to share around.
Ashkahn: We do a lot of programs, and things like that, at our float center, too. And those are always rich content for putting out. Almost anything cool you’re doing within your community is a great thing to put in a newsletter because it’s not just exciting about you, it’s exciting that you’re working within the community, and cool things are being developed, and any outreach or community work, or any of that stuff you’re doing is, I think, some of the most uplifting and nice things to read about, when you read a newsletter.
Graham: Yup. So that’s kind of the idea behind some prime examples of content, but the basic idea, here, is this shouldn’t just be a pitch all about why to come in and float with you. If anything, it’s a tangential pitch, in my mind. What you’re doing is the same thing that any magazine does, or that anything like a newspaper where you’re going to it for content every day. You’re just trying to provide content that people are entertained by, and that they want to read. And hopefully that’s exciting for them.
And just that alone, just getting people excited about floating, and having them read inspiring or funny stories, or whether that be from floaters, or in the news, those are the things that’ll make them come back in. Oftentimes, what you’re trying to hit is not the people who are thinking about floating every week, and actively deciding not to come into your shop. You’re trying to get the people with your newsletter who floated a couple times, or floated once, and don’t think about it often, and this newsletter is that thing where they’re like, “Oh yeah, floating! I’d kind of forgotten about it.” And they’re like, “Oh, that helps with PTSD? That’s awesome!” Or whatever it is, right? You’re kind of feeding their dialog, and just giving them a little prod to remind them that floating is out there, A, and that you’re out there, as a specific place to float, B.
Ashkahn: Yeah. So if you have some sort of specific deal, or something like that, it really should be kind of tied into other things. You shouldn’t, ideally, just be sending emails out every month that are like, “Hey, 20 bucks off,” and just kind of those hard sales pitches, or stuff like that, I think tends to be less effective. ‘Cause you’re really not providing a ton of interesting content, or huge value to people, as they read your newsletter.
Graham: Yup. Make it entertaining, make it educational, and just sort of trust the rest of the magic to happen. You definitely, like Ashkahn said, don’t need to pitch a deal every time. Cool?
Ashkahn: Yeah, I mean, do we have a newsletter that they can sign up for?
Graham: If you want to sign up for our newsletter, go to our site. It’s FloatHQ.com. Actually the … and the Float Tank Solutions newsletter is a great example of that, or signing up for a blog, for example. And by the way, the same exact lessons go for making a blog that’s coming out regularly for your center, as with a newsletter. That same educational, make it entertaining, share people’s stories, yeah, same idea.
And if you want to sign up for us to answer a question … you like that segue? That was good one, huh?
Ashkahn: That was an okay one, yeah.
Graham: Then just go to FloatTankSolutions.com/podcast. Type in your question…
Ashkahn: …And we may just answer it.
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