Look, I get a whole lot of email newsletters, but one stands head and shoulders above the rest… and it’s unlike any other.
It’s by my friend and client, Jerry Wistrom, and it’s called “Words of Wistrom.” It about old-school business and enduring values. It’s usually very funny and often brings a tear to my eye.
He writes about growing up, his dad’s job, his home, and his mom’s cooking. His writing is crystal clear without affectation or artifice.
Jerry is in my current Marketing Action Group and when he asked me if he should write an email newsletter, I said, “Of course!” He wasn’t sure what to write about so we brainstormed some ideas and he finally emerged with Words of Wistrom.
Look, most email newsletters are about a business topic. And most of them are deadly boring. I usually can’t get past the first paragraph. Or they are always pitching their next “amazing service.”
But Jerry went in a different direction. He decided to write about his fond memories of growing up in Hartford, Connecticut. His first issue was about his dad’s work as the manager of a big bank.
And it was called “Bullcrap.” That got my attention. Here’s an excerpt:
I think it all started when he got a corporate notice that he had to count the electric outlets on the walls of the bank. Dad being Swedish and being pushed a bit too far – Dad wrote “BULLCRAP” on the form and sent it back. He didn’t hear about counting outlets again.
Since it worked for that problem – he continued. I wish I could remember all the things that he wrote “BULLCRAP” on – but he had a long list. Anything that he considered useless got his handwriting on it and shipped back to the main office.
“You need to replace the brochures at the front door every week.” BULLCRAP
“You have to have all employees at the bank and ready for work at least 20 minutes before the bank opens.” BULLCRAP
“Send us a list of your current level of office supplies.” BULLCRAP
Yeah, that was both funny and inspiring. And for the past 20 weeks he’s continued to tell stories about life and business from a real and sane perspective. I hope he turns these newsletters into a book one day.
What business is Jerry in? Well, he helps companies reduce their credit card processing fees. In fact, he just showed me how I can save $800 per year on my fees. And he saves several clients $1,000 or more per month.
But does he ever talk about credit card processing in his newsletter? Never. In fact, I had to convince him to put a little blurb about his services at the bottom of his newsletter. Check it out here.
I call email newsletters “keep-in-touch marketing.” The idea is to be in front of your prospective clients regularly with something interesting so they don’t forget you and so they feel good about you.
And Jerry is succeeding with that in spades.
Look, I’m writing this to inspire you to also write an email newsletter. But be willing to be different, interesting, and memorable. Find your own voice and let ‘er rip.
P.S. You can (and should) subscribe to Words of Wistrom here. You’ll be glad you did.