When people claim that e-mail marketing is dead, it makes our marketing hearts hurt. The truth is, there are more e-mail newsletters in circulation now than ever before. No, that doesn’t mean that they are working. It means it is vital to be intentional with your email marketing strategies and the content you are creating. There are a lot of dead newsletters out there, but not all of them are dead. Because most people sync their e-mail with their smartphones, wherever they go, their email goes. You have the perfect opportunity to connect with your audience in an authentic way if you put your energy in the right place.
It's true, e-mail newsletters have gotten a bad rap.
For many businesses, e-mail newsletters have not performed optimally and are seen as a waste of time. With low open rates and high unsubscribe numbers, you can imagine why some business owners quickly run in the other direction.
If you take a closer look, you will find that most of the newsletters that are under-performing have one thing in common - they lack engaging content. Many newsletters are corporate regurgitation that is filtered down and not personalized, making the content boring and a bit self-promoting. Beyond that, these newsletters tend to lack focus, are designed poorly, and are sent far too often. Not exactly the type of email that will get your readers excited.
There are many factors to consider to assess whether you are doing your newsletter justice. Do you have a strong, action-oriented headline? Is your content easy and enjoyable to read? Are you providing value and a perspective or information that no one else is providing your customers? If you are being lazy with the newsletter strategy, following the status quo, and putting forth minimal effort, don’t expect a high ROI. Don’t let this lack of direction cloud your vision and make you think that newsletters are dead. E-mail is still a great way to connect with your customers - make sure you give yourself a chance to succeed.
E-mails are a great way to connect with your current/potential customer
When done right, e-mail newsletters provide focused, detailed information that is specifically targeted to a particular audience. In other words, newsletters are a platform for PROVIDING VALUE. A newsletter can answer the questions your customers have by providing a wide variety of useful information, tips, and resources. Offering your audience valuable solutions helps your company build trust and credibility over time.
E-mail newsletters are also a proactive way to remind people of your business and encourage repeat sales by giving them a reason to stop by. And since the newsletters are delivered right to your customers’ inbox there is no need for them to search for the content elsewhere online.
The key is to provide content your audience actually wants to read, making your newsletter something they are excited about and look forward to seeing in their inbox. And that means scrapping the old way of doing things and giving your newsletter the refresh it desperately needs.
The anatomy of a quality newsletter
- It has a clear focus/goal in mind. Your readers should know why they are getting the e-mail and see immediate value from it.
- It is designed in a clean, professional, and appealing way that allows functionality as well as cosmetic appeal.
- It has a clear call to action. Make it easy for your customer to get in touch with you, comment, share, and so on.
- It is consistent. However, be sure your timing makes sense. Don’t feel like you have to send a newsletter every week, especially if you don’t have much to say. You don’t want to make your readers feel bombarded with e-mails 24/7. At the same time, you cannot send out a newsletter once in a blue moon. Have a set schedule that makes sense and works for you.
- Break up written content with high-quality photos, ideally original ones you took yourself or had professionally done. If you are limited to stock photography, try to pick images that complement your existing brand.
The key to getting the most out of your newsletter
Treat your subscriber list like VIPs. Offer them exclusive access to extra valuable content that they can ONLY get in your newsletter. Don’t limit yourself to simply resharing your blog. While this isn’t a bad idea, a VIP deserves a little something more. Perhaps it’s early access to your video blog or a special offer only available to them. Give your readers free resources. Make it worth their time.
Most of all, provide real-life, super obvious value. Identify the problems your customers are having or what information they are interested in and include answers, insight, and powerful, educated opinions. Your readers want solutions and you’re the best resource to provide them. If you’re feeling stuck, think about what kind of newsletter would you open? Then try to put yourself in your customer's shoes - or better yet, ask them!
When done right, e-mail newsletters can help your company connect with your customers in a meaningful way.
The key is to reevaluate what you’ve done in the past and implement the necessary changes to make your newsletter worth reading again. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to connect with your customers just because someone “claimed” that e-mail newsletters have little value. When done right e-mail newsletters can be a great tool to help your company grow and succeed.
Would you agree? Share your thoughts on the pros and cons of e-mail marketing in the comments below. We love discussing these topics with you!
Did this blog post motivate you to revamp your newsletter? We’d love to help you through this process! Want to discuss ways to make your content worth reading?