E-mail newsletters have been around since the majority of people gained access to the Internet during the days of AOL dialup. That being said, how does a marketing tactic started in the 1990s and perfected in the 2000s stack up against marketing strategies now?
In a world that turns to social media websites, forums, and blogs to get their news and keep up to date with their favorite companies and celebrities, the E-Newsletter still has its place. In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of using an E-Newsletter to promote your business – and why it may or may not be a great advertising tool for your company.
Easy to read statistics. While a blog might pull readers in based on the keywords you choose for good search engine optimization (SEO), it’s much more difficult to track the kind of traffic your blog receives. You’ll get some data about your visitors and the pages they are reading, but at best you will know that “someone in Coon Rapids, Minnesota” has visited your site. Most modern day E-Newsletter platforms like Constant Contact and MailChimp, however, will give you very detailed statistics about people who engage in your newsletters. You will be able to see exactly who is opening up the email, where they were when they opened the email, and which links they clicked. This information is invaluable as it helps you figure out if the content of your newsletter is reaching your intended audience – and whom you should target in your other marketing efforts.
Directs traffic to your website. E-Newsletters direct your readership to your website, blog, or other social media pages. Since you can specifically mention a new blog post in your newsletter, it’s a great way to cross-market across different venues. Not only that but it helps to keep things like your blog and Twitter or Facebook page active in the minds of your customers. They are now more likely to check out that new blog post because it was mentioned in an email – the post may have gone completely unnoticed if you hadn’t sent it directly to your clients.
Inexpensive. Maintaining an e-mail newsletter list is much easier and less expensive than its traditional postal mailing address counterpart. It costs money to print postcards and letters, as well as to pay for postage to get your message to their mailbox. Research suggests that the return on e-mail marketing is much higher than that of traditional postal mail marketing – and if you are using cost of each to calculate your ROI, E-Newsletters will surpass postal mail every time. E-Newsletters save you both money and time.
Shows your personable side. Having an E-Newsletter makes it easy for the business owner to be more personable. Not only can you give weekly or monthly updates about your business but you can also share thoughts, opinions, or personal stories. People will get a rare look behind the scenes and see that your company is more than just a business. This in turn, will help you to build trust between you and your reader base.
Create your brand. What’s great about E-Newsletters is that you can control the way the formatting looks through the use of HTML emails – especially if you have a professional marketing company design your E-Newsletters. Every time you send something out, the colors, organization, design, and your logo will be standardized. This will help you to establish what your brand is and what people can expect to see. You can then apply similar branding and design techniques to your website and social media pages. This will create continuity and make your company easily recognizable.
Customizable newsletter. Not only can you control the way your newsletter will look but you can also customize your newsletter so that it only goes out to a certain demographic or portion of your e-mail list. For example, people who are interested in hearing about new promotions can receive special incentive coupons over other people who are not. Or if you’re looking to target your message to a certain age group or location you can do that too. This is when having the extra statistical data comes in handy.
Too much e-mail. People are inundated with e-mail from everyone, everywhere. It’s easy to overlook a couple of e-mail items if they are not a high priority, especially if the recipient has a lot of them. Unfortunately your E-Newsletter might be one of those emails that is overlooked and sometimes lost amidst the other newsletters and company briefs that are all clamoring for attention.
Spam filters. If you’re E-Newsletter isn’t lost in the mix of hundreds of other e-mails then probably it may get sent to the receiver’s Junk Mail folder. While spam filters are great for the average user, they’re a death sentence for online marketing strategies.
Inconsistent updates. An E-Newsletter marketing campaign only works if it is sent on a consistent basis. When a blog or a newsletter becomes inconsistent, not only do readers and potential customers forget about you and your company but they may also think that your inconsistency is a reflection of how your own company does business.
Too much online marketing. In order to stay relevant and reach a variety of different people who are at different levels of technology use, you have to use a mix of different platforms. The quality of the E-Newsletters can get lost when trying to market your business across multiple media channels. For example, you are likely already marketing your business through social media websites like Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter, and on YouTube, blogs, and websites. With so many accounts to look after some other areas can suffer. While E-Newsletters are a great way to drive traffic to relevant pages and websites, if not done properly, people will lose interest and stop reading.
Too much information. Since there are a variety of ways to get information out to your audience, it is crucial that E-Newsletters have high quality content. However, it is easy to overstep that boundary and provide too much information. Most people are crunched for time and wading through emails is something that is quickly done in an off-moment. Not everybody has the time of day to carefully go through his or her email and read every single one. If your E-Newsletter has too much information, you are risking the content simply being skimmed and then quickly deleted. Try and keep it light.
Unsubscribe buttons. Just as it is easy for subscribers to sign-up to receive your E-Newsletter, it’s just as easy for them to unsubscribe from it. If your E-Newsletter fails to deliver high quality content, people will begin to see an email from you as annoying and will quickly hit the unsubscribe link at the end of your email.
Accessibility for everyone. A good portion of your target audience may be receiving your E-Newsletters on their smartphone or tablet. Often times the professional formatting on your HTML e-mail newsletter doesn’t look so pretty when viewed from an email app or phone web browser. Most out-of-the-box E-Newsletter templates don’t have the responsive design technique built in – so you may want to enlist the help of a professional e-newsletter designer to deliver a responsive HTML template that will be accessible on every device.
Thinking about starting an E-Newsletter?
Overall, the E-Newsletter is a great tool that you can use to add another layer of effectiveness to your company’s online marketing campaigns. E-Newsletters do have their drawbacks and limitations, but for the most part the benefits of E-Newsetter marketing outweigh the cons.
Are you thinking about starting a weekly or monthly E-Newsletter? Iceberg Web Design now offers full-service online marketing, including e-mail newsletter design and campaign management. We can even help connect you with a professional content writer to generate the content for your newsletter! Contact us today for more information and to get started.