In my business, I see the value of a good email newsletter. It's helpful, thought-provoking and drives the publication to the top of readers' minds. These are benefits vending, micro market and office coffee service operators can also gain by using targeted, topic specific eNewsletters to communicate with their customers.
First, let’s start with helpful. How can an operation-to-location eNewsletter be helpful? First and fore-most an eNewsletter should announce new products and services as well as special deals. Most consumers belong to corporate social media sites or sign up for retail newsletters in order to be notified of sales or receive coupons. While you might not be giving away "vending bucks," announcing the new product (especially healthy product) your route driver is trying this month in the vending machine, can make you look conscientious as well as draw attention to that product at the point-of-sale. OCS operators have told me they often use Websites to notify customers of coffee sales. Putting these discounts in an eNewsletter is a natural extension to placing them on the site.
Establish thought leadership
The email newsletter should also help establish your business as forward-thinking and contributing positively to the community. That might be the new micro market you're trying (innovative) or the cashless payment options you're adding (forward-thinking). It might also be sharing upcoming events that you're hosting or the community events you’re sponsoring. Locations like knowing their service providers are good people.
Even bad news, such as a price increase, is something better shared in an eNewsletter. It gives locations a heads up and gives you an opportunity to tell your side of the story. Better they hear bad news from you first, before they hear about it from mainstream media.
Let others tell your story
In publishing, the most effective way to tell a story is through someone's personal experience. Sharing your message is no different. Ask customers who have given you praise if you can use their comment on your newsletter. If that's not possible, then explain your own story. For example, share how adding a few VendingMiser devices to vending machines saved the local school $X/month in energy costs or how you helped location X find affordable single-cup options and now employees stay on location and drink twice as much coffee.
Regularly receiving news from your company will keep customers thinking about you. They will know they are partnering with a company that cares about the community, the future and getting them the best service. And it's generally less expensive than advertising. It's a great marketing tool, so toot your own horn electronically, and be better for it.