E-newsletters – why you should have one, Part 1
One of the jobs on my “to-do” list is to write the first Purple Chameleon newsletter for 2010. It’s something I was going to get started on during the Christmas break but the holiday season slowed me down…
Why should you have an e-newsletter? There are a number of reasons why businesses should engage in creating e-newsletters and some useful principals to follow in order to ensure you get it right.
Firstly, they are an excellent direct marketing tool because they allow you to communicate with your audience directly and at a much deeper level than standard e-mail messages. Secondly, they are cheaper to produce and distribute than printing and posting a hard copy version. Thirdly, you can include interactive links and therefore involve your reader to a greater extent than an offline version, enabling you to build a two-way relationship. Lastly, it’s quick – you can distribute an e-newsletter simultaneously to thousands of people at the click of a mouse.
One main reason e-newsletters can be effective is because they combine ‘push’ and ‘pull’ marketing techniques. You ‘push’ the newsletter to your subscriber’s email address and they ‘pull’ the information towards them because they have subscribed to it. As a result of this ‘push-pull’ combination, e-newsletters are a great way to:
- generate repeat traffic
- build brand awareness and increase visibility
- enhance your reputation or authority in your business area
- increase a customer’s “lifetime value” – subscribing to your e-newsletter effectively means they will engage in some form of long-term relationship with your business
- compile a mailing list
- conduct market research
It’s important to carefully consider content for your newsletter. Write on topics that are relevant to your audience and not just your business. Provide useful, practical information readers can learn from. If you are going to write about your business, only include it where it is of direct interest to the people who buy your products. You can turn your e-newsletter into an informative and valueable resource by doing the following:-
- including links to other relevant sites and web pages
- incorporating content from your website
- providing a question and answer page
- encouraging contributions from subscribers
I’ll shortly be contacting all subscribers to the Purple Chameleon newsletter asking them what they would like to read about in future issues. There may be certain topics they want more information on and asking what your audience wants to read about is much better than pushing out content that could be dull or irrelevant.
Remember that you should only send your e-newsletter to people who have subscribed to it. Don’t send it to a mailing list you have created because you will really annoy them if they haven’t requested to receive it. I know, it’s happened to me before.
I’ll be writing more about e-newsletters soon including some useful tips on length and frequency, suggestions on formatting your e-newsletter and distributing options. If you have any questions, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Until next time.