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If it's true that the camera doesn't lie, then Vera Stewart's newsletter, The Last Bite, could make you feel like you've put on a few pounds. Bucking the current trend of e-newsletters, which are inexpensive and text-based, the 48-year-old Augusta, Georgia, owner of Very Vera, a purveyor of confections, instead prints and mails a full-color quarterly newsletter packed with mouthwatering photos and recipes.
Showing is definitely better than telling when it comes to attracting customers, says The Last Bite editor Susan Ely. "We see a significant increase in sales of a particular product when we feature it in the newsletter."
Design maven Kim Brennan of Jackson, New Jersey-based Brennan Graphics, explains why this approach works: "Reading pages of text is more exhausting than looking at pages with graphics and photographs-and it may sound clichÃ©d, but a picture really is worth a thousand words." In Stewart's case, it's worth thousands of bucks, too. Ely says the 30,000-circulation newsletter definitely returns on investment.
The litmus test, according to Brennan, is to evaluate the visual impact of your product. After all, she asks, how well can you sell a gorgeous diamond necklace-or, in this case, a homemade chocolate layer cake-without a photo?
"If how your product looks is a determining factor in the buying process, you want to show it to as many people as possible," Brennan says. "A great-looking print piece can help you do that."
With wireless sales systems from companies like MarketSoft and Siebel, leads, product updates, order status and the like can be sent to a sales force through PDAs. Though setup costs are still prohibitive, it's a trend to keep an eye on.
Gwen Moran is president of Moran Marketing Associates in Ocean, New Jersey, and the founder of BoostYourBiz.com.
- Brennan Graphics, (732) 370-5660
- Very Vera, (800) 500-VERA