The benefits of an E-newsletter (and the news it should have in it)

Hands up please those of you who’ve subscribed to a highly anticipated newsletter, to then be let down by its content? Worse still, receive a newsletter with content aimed for a different target audience (FYI: I have often received promotions for women’s wear since subscribing to a very large, online fashion retailer). Both outcomes are frustrating, but both can be prevented.

We encourage all of our clients’ to introduce an E-newsletter if there’s significant benefit in doing so, but time and effort is required to launch and manage one. However, there are a host of individual benefits that a well engineered E-newsletter provides which can collectively meet your commercial objectives. A newsletter is no longer hard copy information that people divert to the nearest bin; it is personalised, compelling content all at the click of a button. So, here are my top 10 benefits of an E-newsletter:

1. It’s an extremely quick, cost-effective way to communicate with your demographic (compared to print)
2. It amplifies your business’s brand and reputation – showcasing your authority on up-to-the-minute industry news
3. It extends the loyalty and commitment of your customer base
4. It offers immediate, trackable results
5. It identifies ‘undeliverables’ which can be rectified and resent
6. It ensures a higher response rate due to the researched target audience
7. It supports your overall marketing, advertising and sales agenda
8. It is perfect for linking back to specific pages on your site or blog, encouraging quality, targeted traffic
9. It serves as a vehicle for promotional content, competitions and news feeds
10. It is similar to an online press release in the way that it can extend your media reach

So, could an E-newsletter do wonders for your business? I’m fairly sure that one of your key business goals is customer retention, so all of the benefits above essentially join forces in keeping your existing customers happy, as well as up-to-speed with company/industry developments – but what about gaining new customers?

Well, this is where I suggest you be controlled and cautious with your mailing. As I mentioned at the start, it’s annoying when a subscriber receives the wrong content, but you will severely lose trust and opportunity if you bombard prospective customers with irrelevant ‘salesy’ emails. Do comprehensive market research, combined with a quality (not quantity) mailing list and you’re almost ready to go.

Give your E-newsletter value and a voice
You know the benefits and your customers and commercial goals, now you need to fill your E-newsletter with, well, news. This is of course your choice, but it’s very important that the content is insightful, educational and fun.

All about the Intro
I would certainly recommend a personalised introduction, for example: “Hi Matt…with the colder months now upon us, we want to make sure you’re wrapped up well this winter. Check out our favourite cardigans and jackets that we think you’ll love…” etc, etc. This personal approach will go a long way, and compel your customer to read on.

Pearls of wisdom
Share any useful tips, advice and ‘How to’s’, as this will enhance your service or product. By incorporating our “top tip of the month’ or ‘five ways to cook with Asparagus’ it will reinforce authority within your industry and create a distinct, consistent voice. And, if you’re producing content in-house regularly, say as bloggers, then that can also be fed into the newsletter.

Look who’s talking
You can go one step further by accommodating a ‘Meet the team’ or ‘Staff Profile’ each month so your customers can put a face to a name. I don’t know about you, but I always like to know who I’m working with, but this will also give you an advantage when mailing your newsletter to a prospective list.

So, I think you’re pretty much good to go. The layout of your E-newsletter will of course reflect your brand and website, but remember that this is an opportunity to be flexible, creative and have a little bit of fun. Every business wants a positive and strong identity that extends to their customers in a refreshing and personal way. An E-newsletter is one the most inexpensive ways to communicate with your target audience, but more importantly, the most effective. So, what you waiting for?

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