7 ways to boost your franchise newsletter: Greg Nathan

By Sarah Stowe | 05 Feb 2019 View comments

Are you spending too much time perfecting the look of your franchise newsletters but missing the mark with the content?

When the Franchise Relationship Institute’s founder Greg Nathan was asked how to improve a franchisor’s newsletter the question reminded him of two newsletters his mother receives at her retirement village: the management’s swiftly binned, glossy newsletter sharing head office achievements and grand plans and the other, a roughly-assembled newsletter full of fellow residents’ tips and stories that is read and re-read until the next edition.

“The differences in the content of the two newsletters is informative,” writes Nathan.

So here are his tips on how to keep your franchise newsletters relevant and interesting.

7 newsletter tips for franchisors

DO make sure you keep your franchisee details up-to-date so newsletters go to the right people. In our franchisee satisfaction survey work, it amazes me how many franchise networks do not have an accurate list of franchisee names, phone numbers and emails. This could be seen as a reflection of the importance you place on your franchisees.

DON’T get so hung up on the branding and image of your newsletter that you neglect the content. Put 80 per cent of your effort into creating relevant, well written information that engages and entertains your readers. This means understanding what’s important to them.

DO consider producing a printed newsletter to supplement your digital communications. Do not underestimate the appeal of paper newsletters that franchisees can flip through at their leisure, take home with them, share with friends and relatives, or leave in their staff room.

DON’T focus on all the great things you’re doing at head office. Focus on all the great things franchisees are doing, and topics of direct interest to them – extraordinary achievements, examples of collaboration, inspiring customer service stories, and case studies of local marketing initiatives.

DO have franchisees involved in contributing to and checking the content for relevance. Also use a panel of franchisees and field staff to contribute information on what people are up to at the front line of your network.

DON’T give responsibility for compiling the newsletter to a junior staffer who doesn’t have a business mindset. It should be managed by someone who understands what keeps franchisees awake at night and what they want to know – such as how to save money, increase sales, manage staff, balance family commitments, and reduce stress.

DO have an editor who can write clear, succinct, interesting copy. Contract a journalist if necessary. Articles should have catchy headlines, be written in a conversational manner, and contain minimal words. And only make it as long as needed – do not fill space for the sake of it.

This is an edited extract of Tip #179, Greg Nathan’s Healthy Franchise Relationship Tips: The key to great franchisee newsletters.