This email landed at the tail of the horrible wind and rain storm that hit northern Boston last week. Cutting power, downing trees, and creating rivers on roads – but not a flake to be found. You got to love targeted email, but this made me smile.
If you use email on a regular basis, you’re probably already receiving eNewsletters from some of the companies you do business with. And while there’s a tremendous amount of variation out there regarding what constitutes an eNewsletter (or “electronic newsletter” or “E-zine” or “email newsletter;” they’re all the same thing), they do have certain elements in common.
First and foremost, eNewsletters arrive in your inbox as email messages. The sending company writes the newsletter, drops it into a predetermined email format, and sends it to a list of people who receive it on the other end.
There’s a fair amount of technology that runs in the background to do this efficiently and effectively, but when you boil it all down, it’s just an email sent to many people at once.
To dig a bit deeper, think of an eNewsletter like an electronic magazine, with three principal pieces:
The words themselves – what you write and how you write it.
- Formatting and Layout
Like a magazine, an eNewsletter has a consistent look from month to month for organizing and laying out the content. Fonts, graphics, sections, headings, links, etc., all come together to create the design and layout.
- Delivery and List Management
Once the newsletter is assembled (content + layout), there needs to be a “machine” for sending it out to a predetermined list of people (your subscribers). The machine takes care of the logistics behind delivery. In addition to sending the newsletter out, that includes things like adding/removing names; managing bounced emails; sending automated messages to readers as they join your list or make changes to their personal information; and collecting and reporting on response data regarding reader behavior and preferences.
Taken together, these three elements make up an eNewsletter.
Why Publish an eNewsletter?
“ The cost of acquiring a new customer can be as much as 5 times the cost of keeping an old one.” (source: Peppers and Rogers)
“ A 5% increase in retention yields profit increases of 25 to 100 percent”
(source: Bain and Co.)
“ Permission e-mail campaigns are ten times more effective than direct mail campaigns.” (source: IMT Strategies)
The results of this research and dozens of other studies add up to a simple conclusion: It’s a lot more cost effective and profitable to grow your business by increasing revenue and referrals from existing customers, than it is to keep chasing strangers. If you’ve got a “house list” of business relationships, you’ve got an extremely valuable asset. An asset that a quality eNewsletter is perfectly suited to take advantage of.
- An eNewsletter Increases Lead Generation And Cross Selling.
As your newsletter arrives month after month, it keeps you top of mind with customers, prospects, partners and others, and provides an ongoing, low-key mechanism for highlighting your full range of products and services.
- An eNewsletter Increases Customer Lifetime Value.
Competitors can buy their way into your market by matching your pricing, matching your products and even matching the look and feel of your company. What they can’t buy are your relationships. Every newsletter that you send serves to solidify the connection between your company and your customers.
- An eNewsletter Provides A Low Cost, Instantaneous Channel For Sending Messages.
Your database of email addresses gives you instant access to your customers and prospects. Once the machine is set up, in addition to sending an eNewsletter, you can send alerts, advisories and messages as frequently as you wish.
- An eNewsletter Opens Up A Two-Way Dialogue With Customers And Prospects.
eNewsletters allow recipients to easily and immediately interact with you. Comments are made, information is requested, an exchange of ideas between you and your customers flows easily in both directions.
- An eNewsletter Hypercharges Your Existing Marketing Efforts.
Your eNewsletter doesn’t compete with your web site, print newsletter or existing marketing materials. It leverages them. It creates a steady pulse and focus that ties your other marketing efforts together.
- An eNewsletter Provides Instant, Measurable Results.
Advertising, sponsorships, and many other traditional marketing tactics offer few options for measuring the return on your investment. E-based tactics on the other hand, are instantly trackable. With each eNewsletter you send, you’ll know how many people opened it; how many links were clicked on; who clicked on which links; and more. Fact-based, real time metrics.
If you already send printed materials out to your contact list – whether as a print newsletter or in some other fashion – the most immediate and measurable benefit of switching to an electronic format is a savings in time, printing and mailing costs. With a variable cost per newsletter of nearly zero, you will never again have to weigh the benefits of printing more materials or agonize over whether or not person X is “worthy” of the cost of sending information.
Now is a better time than ever to launch and email marketing campaign. Find out about our FREE newsletter and subscriber setup. If fact, you are only charged when you send out an eAnnouncement, eNewsletter, eCatalog, or ePress Release. Within a few hours you can have your email marketing campaign running and reaching your audience for pennies.
Ask me how I can set up your FREE email marketing account today!
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Different types of email marketing
To a lot of people, the term “email marketing” automatically conjures images of an email intent on one thing – selling, selling, and more selling. In actual fact, there are a number of types of email communications you can use, some of which are not directly sales related but can certainly contribute to their bottom line in other ways. Here are a few ways that I have found email marketing to be effective in communicating and yes, selling, your products or services.
eAnnouncements – Quick Announcements
Often called postcard emails, these are simple, brief announcements to inform customers of a special offer, a popular new product or quick fire sale. These types of emails are typically restricted to a single call-to-action and should be easy for the recipient to scan in a few seconds.
Email Newsletters or eNewsletters
The primary purpose of an email newsletter is to build upon the relationship you have with your customers. Of course, this might (and should) indirectly result in an increase in sales, but the focus should be on providing relevant, useful content your subscribers might be interested in.
Often the content isn’t directly related to your products either. For example, an online grocer might send a monthly newsletter featuring a few recipes, a story on the benefits of organic produce and a column with exercising tips. To get the creative ideas flowing, here are two quick examples of great looking email newsletters and there are plenty more that we can create specifically to match your brand or advertising strategy.
A catalog based email is fairly self explanatory, being an electronic version of a print brochure listing particular products, with the primary goal to encourage customers to purchase. You may here catalog emails referred to as as newsletters or e-newsletters, and admittedly the lines can get blurry sometimes. But, catalog emails typically list a product or service and may include a price.
If you have a list of media contacts that have given you permission to contact them, email press releases can be a great way to attract news coverage. Of course, there are a number of services that can distribute your press releases to the media, but maintaining a specific list of media contacts can be a great way to send targeted, personalized press releases only to those contacts who will be interested.
One size does not fit all
When considering which types of email to promote to each of your clients, it’s important to remember that you don’t need to take a one-size-fits-all approach. Some clients will be much more suited to email newsletters than one-off announcements, while the reverse might apply to others.
The best thing about email is that it’s so measurable. Try a newsletter for next marketing campaign for a month or two and then look at the results. Mix up the the topics you cover to see which garners the most interest. Try a different layout for each issue. As long as you stick to the expectations you set for your client’s subscribers, you can use your marketing creativity to find what works best.
If you are thinking about launching an email marketing campaign, and now is a better time than ever, ask me about our FREE newsletter and subscriber setup. That’s right, FREE, and their are no monthly fees. If fact, you are charged only when you send your eAnnouncement, eNewsletter, eCatalog, or ePress release. Within a few hours you can have your email marketing campaign running and reaching your audience for pennies.
Contact us and we will set up your test email marketing account today!