Email Newsletters: 90s Dinosaur or Crazy Effective Tactic?

Like blogs, email newsletters have been around about as long as the Internet itself . And much like blogs, people have been lining up for about years to declare the medium dead or dying.

Yet here we are in the year 2015, and email newsletters are still alive and well – and in some cases, kicking like the Rockettes.

Email marketing isn’t a magic bullet. What works well for one business might not work at all for another. So if your decision not to integrate email newsletters into your marketing is based in data (“We ran a campaign from 2011-2013, and just didn’t get enough results to justify the investment”), that’s one thing.

But if you aren’t considering newsletters because you believe (without supporting evidence) that the tactic is:

– Outdated…
– Inherently ineffective…
– Or because we “did it a long time ago and we don’t really remember if it did anything for us”…

…then you may want to re-think and re-consider. Here are a few reasons why:

Email newsletters can grab attention in a manner that’s not possible with other marketing tactics.

One of the chief benefits of newsletters is that they’re delivered right into a customer or prospect’s mailbox. Compare that to a tweet or a Facebook post, which is typically only seen by a fraction of your fan base, or a website article, which won’t be seen until a customer or prospect comes to your site.

Newsletters, on the other hand, offer a way to walk right up to people and tap them on the shoulder, so to speak. Whether or not they turn around (open the newsletter) is a different conversation, of course – that depends on things like the effectiveness of your subject line, your content, the quality of your database, and so forth. But even with the “make ‘em open it” hurdle to overcome, there’s really nothing that beats the ability to go up to your customers and drop some marketing in their lap.

Email newsletters give you control over your own content.

You can publish whatever you want in a newsletter. Other than CAN-SPAM issues, there aren’t really any terms of service-type compliance to mess with. Even better, your content will go to EVERYONE who asked for it, not just the fans who happen to log on at just the right time, or who have somehow managed to make it past the barriers of a mysterious social media algorithm.

Email newsletters have plenty of opportunities for sharing.

Most email marketing platforms (Emma, Constant Contact, and so forth) offer functionality that allows end users to forward to others and share on social media. The same type of functionality also makes it easy for them to opt-out of future communications, too – but that’s not a bad thing. If your customer or prospect truly isn’t interested in what you have to say, you don’t need to waste your time trying to have a conversation.

Newsletters create a sense of personality and intimacy.

Because of the fact that it’s delivered straight to person’s mailbox, emailed content has an intimate feel to it that social media posts and website articles sometimes lack. Your customers and prospects are more likely to feel that you’re speaking directly to them – especially when you employ features like personalized direct address (“Juan, we want to talk to you about…”), or customized content (where the customers who are in one category have a different Newsletter Story B than the content in that same spot for other types of customers.) Other tactics that can up your intimacy quotient include first-person content, team-member penned content, and use of customer comments, quotes, and customer-provided images.

We’re all about crazy effective marketing at MindEcology. Let’s talk.