This article originally appeared as part of Bright Ideas Event Coordinators’ Winter 2013 newsletter. If you want an easy way to build a recurring point of contact with your client base, an informative email newsletter should be one of your priorities. Here’s some basics to get started.
Email Newsletters Equal Results
by Chris Keam
Archer Media Services
Email has been a feature of the Internet since its beginnings. Email newsletters have been around almost as long. Combining the ability to contact a person directly, without the big expense of traditional direct mail costs, email newsletters can be a durable solution to many companies’ PR/marketing requirements. But, what’s changed and what’s the same as email marketing evolves and SEO demands quality original content? Here are three essential first steps for getting started:
1) Pick the right program – There are a number of programs that let you create, send, and track your email newsletters. Some are powerful and flexible, but require a designer or writer within the team to know enough HTML to create and update layouts as required. Others offer existing templates and a ‘point and click’ way to create your newsletter, with some trade-offs regarding customization and features. Each one has its strengths and drawbacks. Talk to your team and find out what they recommend, before choosing solely on price or feature list. You may save yourself money and headaches!
2) Cross-purpose the content – Look for ways to recycle your newsletter in other areas of your online presence. Turn articles into blog posts (or vice versa). Will a featured new product or service end up needing its own web page? Re-use the copy or images. As well, make sure you are using your social media channels such as the company Twitter account and Facebook page to publicize the newsletter and attract potential subscribers. Don’t forget to include LinkedIn – it’s a rapidly growing channel and the easiest way to plug into your professional network with content that’s relevant to your industry.
3) Use the data – One of the best things about email newsletters is the useful data you can gather after each mail-out. Typically you can track big picture statistics such as open and click rates, but dig a little deeper and you’ll find out which links are the most popular, which recipients might have visited important links such as ‘request a quote’ or similar, and the most popular times that people are reading the newsletter. All those indicators can help you refine and fine-tune your email newsletter for maximum exposure to your existing clients and prospects.
The geography of the Internet is always shifting. Popular sites arrive, make a splash, and disappear. But email keeps chugging along. And despite claims social media and other channels will rule the web, email newsletters are still effective tools. In-boxes are valuable real estate in the business world. Connect with customers and clients. Offer content they can use. Make sure 2014 includes the reliable email newsletter.