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Starbucks Turns Up the Heat With Cold Drinks — And Customers Can’t Get Enough PAGE 3 INSIDE THIS ISSUE:


For the Love of Retention PAGE 4

Is Your Business Lovable? PAGE 4

Lookin’ Calendly: Our Favorite New Tool PAGE 6

As I write this article, it appears that the election results are finally official, and Joe Biden is going to be sworn in as the next president of the United States. This won’t be a political article or rant for one side or the other, as my political views aren’t relevant to you or your business, but your overall mindset, regardless of your political views, is very relevant to you and your business. I want you to think back to when Obama was elected president in 2008. At the time, Republicans thought it was the end of days and surely the end of America as we knew it. There was a lot of talk about how much Obama was going to change this

country and how he would hurt small businesses. At the time, Obama had probably the most liberal voting record of any senator. With Obama and the Democrats in control of both houses of Congress and the presidency, this must surely be the end of times, they thought. In 2012, when Obama was reelected, the drums beat a little louder about the nearing end. In 2016, when Donald Trump was elected president, the Democrats and the never-Trumpers echoed similar cries about how the world was going to end. Fear of Trump’s policies and claims of Russian hacking and collusion, even impeachment Continued on Page 2 ...

Take a Cue From Burger King and Opt for the Unconventional PAGE 7

Meet the Companies Who Made

‘Secondhand’ a Clothing Trend PAGE 8




... CONTINUED FROM COVER proceedings, soon followed.

Instead of focusing on who is president and the rhetoric both sides engage in — including policies you have zero control over outside of voting or joining an influential group that hires lobbyists — consider focusing your actions on the following three areas:

Fearmongers predicted “yuge” wars on everyone’s rights and maybe even World War III. Now that Biden has been elected, the Republicans are beating the same drum that life as we know it is over. Biden will destroy small businesses and ruin America. Around and around we go. The truth is, with Biden as president, not much will change. Not much will change when the next Republican president is elected either. If you turn off the news for the next four years, you’ll likely find your personal situation about the same as it is today. Sure, as small- business owners, we tend to see and feel the changes more than others. If taxes go up on the rich, we may pay more. If they go down, we may pay less. When there are more regulations, we typically have to deal with them more; when they get rolled back, we get a break. Change is always coming. As an entrepreneur, you have to adapt. If you try to fight against change, you will simply be left behind and are likely to struggle. Modern politics in this country appear to divide us in an effort to keep whoever is in power at the helm. If that isn’t true, please help me understand how a Gallup poll shows Congress’ approval rating from Sept. 30–Oct. 15, 2020 ,at 19%, but according to Ballotpedia, when the dust settled on Election Day the congressional reelection rate was 96% nationwide. In 38 states, 100% of congressional incumbents were reelected. With such a low approval rating in the lead up to the election, you’d think the reelection rate would be drastically lower, but facts don’t lie.

1. Limit news intake so you’re educated but not indoctrinated. 2. Focus on the fundamentals of your business, which are areas you can control, including: • Marketing • Systems and processes

• Sales conversions • Customer services • New products or services

• Referrals • Retention • Prospect and

customer nurturing

• Mindset • Culture • Employee training • Profitability 3. Spend time on personal and family development and goals. As entrepreneurs and small-business owners, we have some really big advantages and opportunities anytime a new administration heads to Washington. For example, we can choose to focus our efforts on the above three areas we can control and see massive growth and improve our quality of life. Or we can be nimble,

study the information about each incoming presidential administration — including their stated goals and the prevailing political winds — and then adjust our businesses and investment strategies or even start an additional business to position ourselves to reap the benefits that are likely to result from policy changes. Regardless of which candidate you supported, it’s not the time to gloat or wallow in pity; it’s time to get to work. Times of change are when fortunes are made! Are you going to sit on the sidelines or get in the game? The choice is yours. –Shaun





“Millennials and Gen Z-ers under 30 are two times more likely to drink cold coffee,” Rosalind Brewer, Starbucks COO said during a recent Investor Day event. According to the company’s own stats, it’s traditional Pumpkin Spice Latte was not its No. 1 seller during fall 2020. The top spot went to the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew. Now, Starbucks is going all-in on the oat milk craze as well. It seems the company has found a literal recipe for success. So, what can the rest of us learn from this shift in the coffee industry? One of the big takeaways is the fact that Starbucks keeps its ear to the ground. It doesn’t just follow trends — the company listens to its customers and works to meet their needs. It’s something Starbucks has done for decades. When customers were looking for a dairy alternative in the 1990s, Starbucks added soy milk to the menu (1997). Years later, customers wanted alternatives to soy milk, so coconut milk (2015) and almond milk (2016) became options. Starbucks is willing to develop and offer products customers want. There’s a reason why the coffee chain is so popular — and it’s not just because millions of people need their coffee fix every day. It’s because those millions of people can get the exact drink they want at Starbucks. And the chain keeps giving them more to choose from. The company does it because it knows that listening to the customers will drive growth. At a recent Investor Day, Starbucks said it expected a per-share growth of at least 20% going into their 2022 fiscal year. This projection came at the same time the company’s shares hit an all-time high. This approach to meeting customer needs works, just as it works for countless other businesses. And yes, it can work for you, too. –Shaun

O at milk is the dairy-free milk alternative of 2021. Millennials and Generation A (aka zoomers or Gen Z) can’t get enough. Over the past couple years, oat milk has skyrocketed in popularity among people under 40. It’s become the second most popular dairy alternative, just behind almond milk. Why? People like the taste, it’s relatively healthy, and it pairs well with coffee. These are all factors that the world’s biggest coffee chain took notice of. In early 2020, Starbucks introduced the Honey Oatmilk Latte. It's much- anticipated release in January 2020 was all food blogs could talk about. It was even making mainstream headlines. People couldn’t get enough of it. In reality, it was a simple drink: blonde espresso with a little honey, steamed oat milk, and toasted honey sprinkled on top to tie it together. The Honey Oatmilk Latte was something of a test for Starbucks. It was only available in select regions for most of 2020. The company wanted to Starbucks Heats Up With Cold Drinks Giving Customers What They Want

see how consumers would respond. Needless to say, it was a huge hit. But it was most popular with younger consumers, as expected. It was even a hit with Starbucks’ biggest rival, Dunkin’, which also tested oat milk beverages in 2020. In spring 2021, over a year after the introduction of the Honey Oatmilk Latte, Starbucks will release another beverage expected to be a hit with millennials and zoomers. It will be expanding its cold- beverage offerings with the oat milk- infused shaken iced espresso. The Honey Oatmilk Latte was marketed as a hot drink. The shaken iced espresso is a mix of espresso, brown sugar, and oat milk that's shaken and poured over ice. Starbucks says the launch of the Honey Oatmilk Latte, which goes wide this year along with the shaken iced espresso, is aimed at addressing a generational shift in consumer tastes while also addressing the needs of those who are more health- conscious — a segment that represents 26% of the company’s customers.




WAYS TO USE AN FSI (Free-Standing Insert *Hint* this is an FSI!) 8

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UP THE ROI OF YOUR NEWSLETTER Your newsletter isn’t a sales pitch; it’s a way to genuinely connect with your customers. Putting promotional info on a free-standing insert (FSI) keeps it separate from your content and doesn’t compromise its relationship-building power.

HYPE A NEW PRODUCT OR SERVICE Bigger than a one-page ad, your FSI lets you splash out in enough space to explain the benefits of a new product or service to your customers. You can also feature customer testimonials.


Do you have a contingency of customers with unique needs? Speak to them directly through your FSI and show them you are the subject matter expert they need to solve their problems.


One mistake business owners often make is only marketing the next new product or service. They neglect their core clientele and the tried-and-true products/services they love. But if it’s not broken, don’t fix it! Use your FSI to remind your customers why they bought from you in the first place.



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Confused people don’t buy. So you need calls to action (CTAs) in your newsletter, and you need those CTAs to be clear, direct, and repeated often. Use your FSI as a way to further draw attention to your CTA(s).


There’s only one mistake worse than not asking existing clients for referrals. It’s not asking multiple times for referrals from existing clients. It takes a lot for even the happiest of clients to refer. Make it easier for them by using your FSI to showcase a referral template they can mail to you.


Customers who feel valued stick around. Why not feature a discount coupon or gift offer to show your customers some love? Your FSI is the perfect platform to do it.

SHAREABLE CONTENT Your FSI should be educational but also interesting so it gets passed around between friends, family, and colleagues. This is a great way to gain brand exposure and build brand equity.





Here are a few sales and marketing “Scooby Snacks” to help your business grow from the first quarter on! Nibble No. 1: Retention is cheaper. Let’s start with a little reminder of something you probably already knew. It’s better to retain your current clients than go after new ones. Remember, new customers don’t come cheap, and the success rate in selling to them is lower than it is with someone who’s done business with you before. In most areas of business, your marketing should focus on retaining existing customers, clients, or patients, not hunting down new ones. Nibble No. 2: Never guess on anything. Every marketing effort, from a full campaign to an offer email, should be built around a well- designed goal. Everything should also be tracked, whether that’s logging A/B testing results or just crossing off names on a list. The best marketers don’t need to guess, and with access to worlds of information on the internet, neither do you. Nibble No. 3: Eat my shorts! “Eat my shorts” is just a funny way of saying that a good offer should make your stomach hurt. This is something we repeat often in our office (not the “eat my shorts” part, the other part), and that’s because we know it’s true. We help a lot of businesses reach out to their clients with offers. Some offers are great, but some of them— not so much. If you want customers beating down the door for a month trying to get in on the deal, you have to offer something of real value. Otherwise, it’ll be no surprise when nobody is interested. So make an offer, but make it a good one. Make it a really good one. May your first quarter be filled with prosperity and promise!



The most beloved businesses bring in referrals left and right. They shine when it comes to word-of-mouth marketing. Their customers do all the work, and those same customers are more than happy to do it. They want their friends, family, neighbors, colleagues, and even the weird guy down the street to know how amazing this business is. This could be your business. But first, you have to understand how to become SHARE THE LOVE! Inject a Little ‘Lovability’ Into Your Business

Schedule a Call With Us! Visit or call 208.297.5700.




the business that people can’t get enough of. This is the subject tackled by author and entrepreneur Brian de Haaff in “Lovability: How to Build a Business That People Love and Be Happy Doing It” — a book all about how you can develop a business that your customers genuinely love . As the co-founder and CEO of Aha!, a product road map software firm, de Haaff dives into the product side of things more than anything else (though much of the advice applies to service providers as well). First, he asks the question, “What is a product?” Sure, it’s the thing that people buy from you, but there’s a reason behind that product, not to mention an entire business. He encourages readers to look inward to understand what matters within your business. Is it What do you do to let your customer know you have a crush on them? You tell them, of course. Much like how crushes can turn into mutual affection, customer relationships, when cultivated properly, lead to customer loyalty. Keeping your loyal customers makes for a profitable business, too, though not everyone knows it. According to research by Invesp, retaining an existing customer is five times cheaper than acquiring a new customer. Yet, over 44% of companies admit that they focus more on acquisition than retention. Focusing your budget and energy solely on finding new clients may be a big mistake. Research shows that increasing your retention rates by 5% can increase your profits by 25%–95%. If that doesn’t convince you, think of how hard you have to work to get sales from cold calls and constantly making first impressions. The success rate of selling to a new customer is often between 5% and 20%. The success rate

really the product, or is it something more significant? When you understand this, along with how to develop a business strategy that customers truly connect with, you get to the heart of the matter and can better develop a business and brand that customers will adore. But more than that, you can also build a business that your employees adore because you can’t have a business that customers love without a business that employees love. While “Lovability” does have a product management slant, there’s more than enough content for all types of readers, and de Haaff hits a lot of crucial points that just about any business can use in upping their lovability. importance of the customer service experience. Over 82% of consumers in the U.S. say they switch products or services because of poor customer service. Don’t be that person who makes your customers feel ditched and alone after they buy. Second, communicate clear customer expectations. You need a high standard for what customers will experience while engaging with your business. It’s hard to make everyone happy if of selling to a customer you already have is 60%–70%. While gaining new clients is important for growth, a significant percentage of revenue comes from existing customers — and that gets you more money and stable growth that’ll boost your financial planning ability. This can make your anticipatory budget decisions much easier to make. So, how do you keep your customers happy? First, never underestimate the

you don’t know them, but you can certainly give everyone a clear idea of what to expect. It’ll also give you plenty of ways to happily exceed the expectations you set. Second, overdeliver on your promises and surprise your customers. It’s healthy to set a good routine, but don’t get used to the motions. Try to keep your customer relationships fresh and exciting and go the extra mile wherever you can, like providing surprises just for that customer. Surprises help your customers remember your business. A classic, yet exceedingly rare, way to say thank you is by sending a handwritten note. Other times, it means sending a great birthday offer they can’t say no to. The costs can range widely, but even small surprises that are unique and interesting will help boost your retention rate.

Continued on Page 6 ...

Have You Heard the Good News?

Romans 5:5–6 — "And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us ... For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love." Psalms 25:20–21 — “Guard my life and rescue me; do not let me be put to shame, for I take refuge in you. May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope, Lord, is in you.”





Third, ask yourself: What can I do to earn 5% more of my customer’s trust right now? Trust isn’t instant. With time and constant work, you'll earn a little more trust through each interaction. Remember, trust isn’t about control; it’s about empowering your consumers. According to Harvard Business Review, “Customers want to be empowered, not controlled. You have to act with empathy.” Fourth, consider how automation, like communication calendars, can help make your company feel attentive and receptive to your customers. Using AI to improve your customer service might sound counterintuitive, but the truth is, even if you hired a great customer service team and trained them very well, there’s a chance a few customers will slip through the cracks and not get your special offers or other communication intended for them.

An AI-run communication calendar, for example, can ensure you don’t miss a single person on your list. This will also free up your amazing team to create more memorable and personal customer service interactions. Fifth, if you’re still not sure how to improve customer retention, take a closer look at customer complaints. Customers always have a reason for leaving. Are you considering their complaints seriously enough? You might even want to consider calling a few customers who have left to understand their complaints and figure out how you could have improved their experience. Never take your current customers for granted. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that everything can change in a flash. This Valentine’s Day, take time to show your customers that they’re loved, valued, and will always be your No. 1 priority.



How an Easy Scheduling Tool Can Keep Your Team on Track

You feel amazing — you just scheduled an exciting meeting with an investor that could lead to new opportunities for your business. But when the day finally arrives, interruptions throw off your focus completely. Suddenly, you can’t remember if your meeting was

friendly way, your Calendly will only display times and dates you set as available, and it’ll adapt those times and dates to the time zone of the visitor. That way, there’s zero confusion about when you’ll be calling or meeting on Zoom. However, Calendly can do so much more. After a client confirms a time to meet, you’ll get an invite sent to all your calendars (Google, Outlook, Office 365, and iCloud calendar), so you’re never double-booked. Also, you can set buffer times between meetings, prevent last-minute meetings, create secret event types, and much more. It’s even cross-compatible with your existing apps like Salesforce, GoToMeeting, Zapier, and more. Whether your invitee is scheduling a one-on-one meeting or a meeting with several team members, Calendly can do it all and makes it look easy. It works great for individuals, departments, or your whole company! Although you might still double-check the time zone now and then, you won’t have to do it before scheduling another meeting. If this calendar sounds like it could save your life, you can start using it for free at

scheduled in Eastern or Pacific time. Fear sets in as you frantically search through a disastrous inbox of emails to find out. This can all be avoided with one virtual scheduling assistant: Calendly. Coordinating meetings with people outside your company, in different time zones or around the world, is stressful, but it can be easier. Why spend so much time worrying when you can skip the paranoia and those long email chains with a virtual scheduling tool. Here’s how it works. Instead of offering a static list of available times that could change before the email is read, all you have to do is send a link to your Calendly. In a simplistic, user-




MARKETING TIP THE ROTTING FOOD PARADIGM How Burger King Cut Through the Noise When Announcing a Big Change

and other major food and beverage companies, like Budweiser and Kraft, have done the same thing. It could have been easy for Burger King’s announcement to get lost in the noise, but instead, its clever marketing

man had mistakenly left in his pocket — we have so many questions — said it looked fresh and didn’t smell. Clearly, there was something more than meat in this burger. Burger King’s decision to use moldy food to make a poignant yet common announcement proves that in order to stand out and create a discussion, you actually have to do something different. Burger King took an unconventional — albeit gross — approach, and the campaign has sparked many discussions, creating powerful messaging for the brand. So, take a lesson from Burger King. Don’t be afraid to take a risk with your marketing and use unconventional campaigns, like rotting food, to show your brand in a brighter, positive light. Burger King thought outside of the bun and recognized that to prove its point and stand out, it needed to show that if you left a Whopper in your pocket for 20 years, you’d find a soupy, stinky mess that was once all meat and bun — nothing else.

team had bigger plans. Burger King released the

“moldy Whopper” campaign, which included videos and photos showing how much its burgers mold in a 34-day period. No one expects to see moldy food in a restaurant advertisement, but in order to prove that its food was now fresh, Burger King had to show it was just as susceptible to mold as the food in your fridge. The campaign also served as a subtle dig at its biggest competitor, McDonald’s, which recently made headlines after a Utah man unveiled that a McDonald’s burger he purchased on July 7, 1999, had barely changed. In fact, his wife, who found the burger the

In the past year, consumers have been swarmed with messages like “We are in this together during these unprecedented times.” These messages in commercials and marketing campaigns became so commonplace that many customers tuned them out or used them as jokes for their Twitter feeds. Burger King decided to do something different — and it had nothing to do with the pandemic. The fast-food giant announced that they were going to remove artificial preservatives, colors, and flavors from the Whopper. This is a common trend,




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BUSINESS PROFILE How Poshmark and thredUP Captured the Eco-Friendly Millennial Market Once upon a time, it was considered bad taste to rock the same outfit “sustainable badge of honor” patch. The company estimates it has conserved 2.7 The Clothing Trend of the Year Is ‘Secondhand’

With the help of their smartphones, shoppers can access both online thrift stores from their pockets. But that convenience is just one reason the concept succeeds. THE ECO-FRIENDLY ADVANTAGE According to Newsweek, 73% of millennials claim climate change is “personally important” to them. It makes sense, then, that they choose Poshmark and thredUP to opt out of the traditional fashion industry, which is the second most polluting industry in the world after oil. “I started selling clothes on Poshmark in college as a side hustle. The money was nice, but decreasing my impact on the environment was another big motivator,” says Alexandra Nelson, a millennial and “Posh Ambassador” (top seller). “I wanted to keep clothes out of the landfill.” Nelson operates under the name @rosebudthrift and has made hundreds of dollars a month catering to 66,000 followers. Learning about the connection between fashion and climate change pushed her to buy secondhand, and she’s not alone. Millennials and Gen Zers are the fastest-growing demographics in the secondhand market, and GlobalData Retail predicts secondhand goods will make up 17% of everyone’s closets by 2029 (up from 3% in 2009). “I’d say 75% of my wardrobe is second hand, and a lot of it is from Poshmark. I even bought my wedding shoes on the app,” says Nelson. ThredUp uses its eco-friendly status to hook young customers. “Have More, Waste Less” is front and center on its website, and it recently released a

several Instagram posts in a row. But today, it’s trendy to wear the same outfit again and buy secondhand. Credit for that about-face goes, in part, to resale clothing companies Poshmark and thredUP. Over the last decade, both companies have carved out a niche with cash- strapped, eco-friendly millennials and made resale shopping cool. Each has its own origin story, but their advantages are the same: They offer a greener, cheaper, more social shopping experience. THRIFT STORES IN YOUR POCKET Harvard business school student James Reinhart founded thredUP, “the world’s largest online consignment and thrift store,” in 2009 after a local thrift shop rejected his bag of old clothes. He realized a resale website could kill three birds with one stone, reducing clothing waste while helping people clean out their closets and pad their pockets. Today, millions of people mail their clothes to thredUP’s massive warehouses for redistribution. thredUP has shuttled more than 65 million pieces to new homes. Poshmark was the brainchild of Indian immigrant and engineer Manish Chandra, who launched the app in 2011. Chandra dreamed of creating a fashion-focused social network for resale clothing, a cross between eBay, Facebook, and Vogue. Today, more than 60 million “Poshers” buy and sell clothing on Poshmark. They follow each other’s “closets” and connect at virtual fashion parties. Unlike thredUP users, Poshers buy and sell directly to each other.

billion kilowatts of electricity, saved 6 billion gallons of water, and kept 1.4 billion pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere. DISCOUNTS MAKE THE WORLD GO ‘ROUND Forbes reports, “9 in 10 shoppers buy from discount stores, and 75% are looking specifically for deals on clothing.” Poshmark and thredUP both ride this wave, offering massive discounts on trendy brands. On Poshmark, sellers set their own prices, and buyers can make competitive offers. This approach appeals to millennials, who have less household wealth today than those in earlier generations had at the same age. HOW CUSTOMER EMPOWERMENT PAYS OFF Last but not least, thredUP and Poshmark profit by getting their users involved. On Poshmark, buyers and sellers “meet” each other virtually and exchange messages. The platform doubles as a social network that can become as addictive as Facebook. Both sites also empower people to buy and sell from home. This became a vital asset during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to GlobalData Market, online secondhand shopping soared last year and will grow 69% between 2019 and 2021. This ensures Poshmark, thredUP, and their competitors will see continued success. To hear more about thredUP’s origins, check out interviews with Reinhart on the “How I Built This” podcast.




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