19 Jun 2017

How to Make Email Newsletters an Effective Marketing Tool

The problem with the pall-bearers believing that email newsletters are dead is that they’re still thinking of email newsletters in the same class as their tweed-jacketed, pipe-smoking Geography teacher. The email newsletter that is alive and kicking today is not that same old guy: He’s a different beast. And given that a staggering 86% of consumers would actively like to receive promotional emails from companies they do business with at least monthly, if you haven’t got up to speed on what email newsletters are really about, then you’re missing a valuable trick.

The email newsletter is where many smaller businesses can compete on the same platform as the bigger companies - if you use it in its modern form. Good contemporary email newsletters, sent at the right frequency, don’t get sent on a one-way train to the spam folder, and they don’t do more harm than good.

Email Newsletters of Old

The original email newsletter took the pioneering step of saying goodbye to snail mail, but really that’s all it did. It replicated a business marketing strategy that worked in the pre-digital age and attempted to give it a digital make-over. And it worked, for a good few years.

However, a few years down the line we weren’t the excited kids waiting by the door mat for exciting post. Instead, we were jaded with our morning log-in that saw 20 impersonal email newsletters that didn’t reflect us but just added to our click-and-delete over the first morning coffee. Nonetheless, thinking the tool is therefore dead is misleading. In reality, email marketing and email newsletters are incredibly powerful. Indeed, email is far more prolific, and powerful than Facebook or Twitter, so who is really the dinosaur? 

Contemporary Email Newsletters

Yet there are traps to avoid. You cannot bombard subscribers in the way that occurred ten to twenty years ago. These are the emails which switch your audience off. These types of email newsletter account for much of the emails which have caused 78% of consumers to unsubscribe just because you sent too many emails. It’s about balancing quality, value and frequency.

The Powerful Reasons Why Email Newsletters are Effective Marketing Tools

Beyond the fact that they work, plain and simple, there are some additional enticing reasons why email newsletters are effective.

Email newsletters are, when you use a template such as those from Postman, easy to create in their contemporary reader-friendly form, but also importantly, affordable. Your precise return on investment for email marketing will depend on a number of different variables, but used appropriately, you could see a 4300% return on investment with email marketing, and no we haven’t made a typo with our figure there.

Email newsletters also serve a much more subtle purpose than easy to analyse click-throughs. The modern customer, savvy in the digital age and inundated with choice, likes to feel special, and be treated as an individual. Old-school blanket emails damaged relationships therefore. However, segmented and carefully crafted email newsletters on the other hand, serve to bolster and nurture that relationship. With just a few nifty tricks such as personalising subject lines, or simply saying thanks, you nurture a customer relationship which will bring about future gain. Think credibility in your content, and you’ll work wonders.

Importantly, you meet people where they are. Social Media is now hit or miss. You can’t be sure you’ll be even reaching your potential customers, let alone at the right time or in the right way. Email newsletters on the other hand, carefully timed, land right in the hands of your audience. This makes them an invaluable platform for launching new products or services, or making special announcements. In fact, email newsletters make omni-channel marketing so much easier as you can simply use the email as the basis of the blog post, Facebook link, or something else.

An Effective Email Newsletter

An effective email newsletter will balance quality and quantity. Regularity is often important if you want your audience to eagerly anticipate your email newsletter’s arrival, however, frequency should be carefully thought through. Then keep it simple. Contrasting to what you may think, customers actually prefer an email newsletter which isn’t too cluttered with picture and images which mean they’ve abandoned it before it even loaded. Instead well-crafted, well-written content that delivers a few key messages, in a customised way, is the aim. Then ensure it is a transactional email which gives your reader a way to engage.