Not so long ago, getting an e-newsletter was a novelty. These days, our inboxes are inundated with them. Sometimes we can’t even remember subscribing to them… or can’t work out how to unsubscribe to them. Which can be pretty annoying!
In fact, spam laws, junk filters, our delete-happy index fingers, and the rise of social media should have spelled the end for e-newsletters. Instead, it’s made us sit up and pay attention to what our readers want. And that has to be a good thing.
E-newsletters are an excellent communication tool because they help you build relationships.
In 2004, global chairman of DDB advertising agency, Keith Reinhard, said “companies need to turn consumers into friends and lovers if they want to grow their brands in the 21st Century… Many consumers don’t have time to examine lots of brands and use ‘information shortcuts'”(The Australian, Friday April 2, 2004). A lot has changed since 2004, but I can safely say that looking for information shortcuts hasn’t.
E-newsletters can also:
- Keep your business or organisation in people’s heads (hopefully, in a good way!)
- Build credibility and establish you as an expert in the field
- Allow easy feedback – it’s simple to hit the reply button (you can always tell when an article appeals to people – and when you get it wrong)
- Allow tracking – so you can find out if your html e-newsletter is being opened and which links are clicked on
- Force you to plan more than just your production schedule – it will help you think about your expertise and how you can share this with your readers (because the idea is to give value to your subscribers, not to aggressively market your services)
- Reach beyond the people you know – it’s easy for subscribers to pass an e-newsletter on to friends and colleagues.
E-newsletters also make it possible to respond to reader interest and feedback quickly and easily. Unlike print newsletters, where printing and distribution take time, you can make changes to an e-newsletter up to the moment you hit the send button.
If you know the value of e-newsletters but haven’t had the time to launch one yet, you’re not alone. You may be wondering how you’ll manage your databases, what you’ll write about, and even who you are writing for.
More on e-newsletters: Tips for releasing (and managing) the beast – without needing a team of zookeepers on standby…