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Summary:

They might seem a little old-fashioned, but newsletters can be a great way to stay in touch with customers and prospects, and increase revenue to your business.

They might seem a little old-fashioned, but newsletters can be a great way to stay in touch with customers and prospects, and increase revenue to your business.

There have been times when I’ve pulled out all the marketing stops and still had my newsletter outperform every other medium. I think there are a few reasons for this.

  1. The people who are receiving your newsletter really want to receive it. I follow a lot of people on Twitter, but I subscribe to very few newsletters. The ones I do subscribe to generally get read quite intensively. Why? Because I’m interested in the message of that particular person or company, and I probably enjoy the format of that particular newsletter (layout, content, regular sections, etc.). When I receive one of these few newsletters, it’s like receiving one of my favorite magazines, and I enjoy browsing it cover to cover in hopes of finding one new nugget of information that might help me in my life or business.
  2. You get their undivided attention. When I read a newsletter, I generally have waited until I have time to focus on it, as I do with my favorite magazines. I don’t want to feel rushed or distracted, so I’ll save it in my email box until I have time to look over it. Even though I may not read every single article, the ones I do read get my undivided attention, which means I’m much more likely to take action on the article than when I’m browsing news and blog feeds.
  3. It’s more personal. Getting a newsletter is a little like receiving a letter in the mail, and even though you know that a lot of other people receive it, there’s just something more personal and inviting about a newsletter over a blog entry, podcast, video or tweet. Maybe because it comes to your private email box, you can read it privately, and then send a somewhat private message back to the sender, should you decide to do so.
  4. The pump has been primed. Anyone who subscribes to your newsletter is already interested in you, your company and its services. If they’ve been waiting on the fence for the right timing to act on your offer, you stand a good chance of capturing their business when they are ready to act.
  5. It feels like an inside scoop. For whatever reason, newsletters seem a lot more exclusive than blogs and other media. Maybe it’s the personal and private thing again, but whatever it is, readers feel like they’re getting first-hand information directly from the horse’s mouth. That provides two opportunities. One, they’re likely to be watching for sweet deals and offers from you and your company. Two, if they do get “juicy inside information,” they’re way more likely to spread it around than if it were in a blog entry “for all the world to see.”
  6. They can be forwarded (and perhaps are more likely to be). While a lot of people understand about sharing blog entries with others, forwarding an email is dead simple, so it’s much more likely that a newsletter will be forwarded onto someone if the reader thinks the recipient will benefit from it.

While I am a big advocate for blogging, I think newsletters are an equally powerful tool that can be used in a slightly different way to leverage your marketing efforts.

Do you have a newsletter? How has it helped you in promoting your business?

Image from Flickr by mpclemens

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  1. I agree with the benefit of this, but I’m taking it in a different direction: to Google Wave. You still get the interactive benefits of a blog, on steroids, plus the benefit of a small(er) distribution list that actually WANTS to hear what you have to say. More here, if you’re interested: http://bit.ly/63TTc9

  2. Philip Hodgetts Monday, December 14, 2009

    Interesting. Unfortunately my experience suggests otherwise. When I was producing a monthly newsletter – fully opt in – that went to about 50,000 subscribers, it was only opened by about 10-12% of subscribers. That was considered to be a much-higher-than-average open rate for a newsletter. Other newsletters from the same organization had open rates below 6%.

    All opt-in subscribers.

    Philip

    1. a low open rate is typical. but were conversion rates of those that actually do open the newsletter were much higher than from other methods?

      1. Unfortunately the conversion rates were never shared with me. :( It would be reasonable to assume they would be higher.

        Philip

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