Friday, November 28, 2014

Do Email Newsletters Still Work?

altDo Email Newsletters Still Work?

Email marketing, to the outside observer, may seem like an antiquated form of connecting with potential customers. In the earlier days of the internet, email lists and newsletters were seen as the premier way to let people know about new products, release dates, and other information that could generate interest in a product or service.

These days, with so much of email marketing being associated with spam, it can be difficult to see the value in this underrated and mistakenly dismissed form of communication.


Staying Strong

Despite the changes to email marketing's reputation, there are constants that remain at play:

  • Newsletters require an “opt-in” to receive, or at least they should. That means that the people who sign up to receive it do, in fact, want to read it. That's good news for you, and a great way to gauge feedback and interest in a company.
  • Many professionals still regularly read and check their email, both at work and at home. With an increase in the usage of mobile devices, you actually have far more opportunities to send a newsletter that will be both read and well received by your audience. Newsletters which have mobile-friendly links are even better.
  • Newsletters build a rapport with your audience. They allow you to communicate information that will be relevant to their interests, and to do so in a form that could quickly cover a few key topics that you feel are important with links to pages where that information can be read or viewed in long form.

Value is the Key

newsletterWith any newsletter, whether in physical print or electronic format, the key to getting a positive reception is to offer something of value. Remember that you're asking someone to take a moment of their time and read what you have to say. For some people, that time may be incredibly valuable, even if it's only a few minutes. That means that you have to give them something that is going to be worth those few minutes.  When I think about all the emails I get, and all the email newsletters I get, it becomes obvious to me that I usually don’t have the five minutes to read each one – and so they get deleted without ever reading them.

According to Constant Contact©, (international email newsletter service), they report the national average for email newsletters actually being opened is at 15.2%.   With that number so low, you really have to evaluate the time invested in creating a monthly email newsletter, and the actual return on that investment of time and energy.    Several of the restoration contractors I work with, tell me that if they get just one water restoration job a year, then the monthly newsletter is worth the effort and money.

For most newsletter readers, that value comes from newsletter-specific information, updates, and offers.  Most people that actually do read your eNewsletter are looking for useful, helpful, educational, informative, or entertaining material – and most likely a combination of all of those.  Although a newsletter should be treated differently from your general concept of email advertising, they still require many of the same qualities, which include brevity, clarity of message, and a hook to engage the reader and generate further interest.

No Email is an Island

One of the challenges facing eNewsletter marketing is the competition that it gets from other forms of marketing, especially from social media, but the two don't need to be mutually exclusive; you can offer value by adding social media links, and opportunities for further networking and information, in a very limited amount of space inside of the newsletter itself. These links can also contain mobile-friendly content as well, which helps you to expand your reach to important demographics and increase your reader base by significant percentages in many cases.

social mediaSince the search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing) factor in your active use of social media as part of their page ranking algorithms (SEO), a well prepared email newsletter with good links to your social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, google+, and others, you can (potentially) improve the page ranking of your web/blogsite.

By looking at the whole picture, and considering that newsletters can actually be a valuable asset to the reader, it's actually much easier to see how and why email newsletters are still relevant in your marketing goals.

Since so many contractors still want to take advantage of eNewsletter marketing, our sister company offers monthly eNewsletters for those clients, with content that appeals to a broad cross section of your client base.  This enables the contractor to focus on what they do best – disaster recovery – and leaves the newsletter to experts in newsletter writing.  




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