Why Your Business Needs an E-newsletter

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A strong e-newsletter is an essential component of any successful business’ marketing strategy. No matter what type of organization or industry you belong to, e-newsletters are a crucial form of communication between your business and past and prospective customers. With the immense popularity and convenience of smart phones, iPads and other electronic devices, email marketing plays a critical role in maintaining contact with customers and clients. Maintaining a consistent e-newsletter program will prove to be a very important marketing asset for your company.

This article will explain the importance of e-newsletters in regards to lead generation, keeping in touch with your audience, content distribution, the importance of providing incentives and capturing contact information.

  1. Generate Leads — Most importantly, e-newsletters can generate leads for your business. Even if your business provides a service or product that people only need at a certain time, by sending them an e-newsletter, you’ll be able to keep your name on their minds. This way, they’ll remember to reach out to you when they do require your services. It’s important to include your contact information in every e-newsletter to ensure that viewers can easily reach you.
  2. Stay in Touch with Your Audience — E-newsletters are the best way to keep in touch with past customers or clients and keep them informed. At least once a month, you should nurture your audience with an e-newsletter. Depending on your industry, you can include articles, press releases, holiday greetings, upcoming events, tips, photos and more.
  3. Distribute Content — The quality of your content is the most important element of any e-newsletter or marketing material. Remember: an e-newsletter that doesn’t contain any valuable or informative content is merely an advertisement. Make sure to develop content that meets your audience’s needs and provides them with information that is of value to them. It’s equally important to include hyperlinks that lead to more specific information, your main website and how readers can take action. For example, a non-profit organization can include a link to “Donate now!” while a law firm may include a link to “Click here for a free consultation!”
  4. Provide Incentives — In order to build your e-newsletter subscriber list, it’s important to give people a reason to sign up. It’s vital to entice your audience to give up their contact information in exchange for some kind of incentive, whether it’s a free download, consultation, special offer or coupons. Those who subscribe to your e-newsletter should be able to receive special tips, news or promotions that others do not. When your readers see something of value, they’ll want to share it with others.
  5. Capture Contact Information — On your main website and blog, make sure that there is a clear box to “Subscribe to our e-newsletter here,” requesting the person’s email address and any other contact information that you require. When people subscribe, you’ll be able to build your network of potential clients. It’s important to keep this contact information in an accurate, organized and up-to-date database.

How Do I Begin? — To send out e-newsletters, invest in an email marketing service such asStreamSend or Constant Contact. These programs provide HTML and text options and will allow you to send professional e-newsletters, alerts and messages to your audience. Using one of these third-party vendors will also increase the likelihood that your email will reach your intended recipients. Another benefit of using a professional email marketing service is that you will be able to identify and track recipients who open your email and click through.

Keep in mind that consistency is key! Ideally, you should be in contact with your audience via an e-newsletter at least once a month. Each e-newsletter should contain unique, current and informative content that is clearly branded with the name of your organization, the date of publication and a strong title. Most readers will choose whether or not to open an email based on the title alone.

It’s also important to honor people’s wishes on whether or not to keep receiving your emails. You must provide a clear opportunity for recipients to unsubscribe since failure to do so is subject to fines.

For any further questions, please contact The Public Relations and Marketing Group at (631) 207-1057 or johnzaher@theprmg.com. To take a look at our past e-newsletters, and to subscribe, please click here.

Web Ads, E-newsletters, and Takeover Emails

With the continued rise in the value of social media and the resulting ability to hyper-target ads, many publications have now realized the gold mine on which they are sitting.

When newspaper subscribers or website visitors give their email addresses to these companies, they often “opt in” to receive certain emails. Maybe it’s a weekly sports update, or daily business headlines; these subscribers have now opened themselves up to be advertised to in a whole other way. Because the reader can choose what emails he wants, based on his interests and preferences, he effectively self-selects his demographic. If he indicates an interest in local restaurants and entertainment, proprietors of such goods may rightfully believe that this reader will be likely to take an interest in their offerings as well.

Some news sites have even gone so far as to offer their subscribers “opportunities from our advertisers.” These emails are completely taken over by an advertiser and go out to the site’s opt-in list on the advertiser’s behalf. I wanted to go over some of the ways that advertisers and news sites are working together to bring relevant content to interested consumers locally.

Newsday has three such opportunities. There are eight themed enewsletters that go out either Monday through Friday, or once a week. All of these newsletters allow for a 3.5×3” cube ad near the top of the email. They can be targeted to subscribers in specific zip codes and paid for by the thousand. Newsday also offers an email message called AdMail, which allows advertisers to completely take over an email with their own text and images. Though the advertiser will never be given the subscriber list, they will receive a click-through report informing them of who and how many took interest in their ad. Newsday AdMails can only be targeted by county and go to about 60,000 subscribers in Suffolk and 45,000 in Nassau at $50/thousand.

The third option for advertisers looking to reach Newsday subscribers is the new Daily Deal program. This is a collective buying opportunity, similar to Groupon. The advertiser offers a product or service for at least 50% off and splits the resulting proceeds with the email agent. Newsday’s version goes to over 10,000 subscribers and includes a free half-page print ad and banner ads on the website during the day their deal is scheduled to run (only one advertiser deal per day). There is no up-front cost to the advertiser, though the program is what is known as a “loss leader,” since vendors end up only receiving roughly 25% of the usual price for an item.

The LI Press also offers banner ads in their weekly KIOLI (Keep It On Long Island) newsletter, which goes to 50,000 subscribers, and takeover AdMail messages that can target specific groups of people. The AdMail groups can be customized by zip code, gender, age and interests. Depending on the specificity of the list, the cost per thousand can be as high as $100 or more, but this price is supported by the quality of the targets. Unlike the Newsday AdMail, which is sometimes wasted on too broad a demographic, the LI Press AdMails really target those likely to have the greatest interest. Of course, these ads also include the valuable click-through reports.

The LI Pulse offers their Executive Eblasts, which go to the “über consumer[s] and VIPs of the region,” but are, in our opinion, overpriced at over $1,500 per email to a single list of about 7,800 subscribers ($192/thousand).

Any of these options provides a cost-effective way to target the consumers most likely to become your customers. For more information, or for help structuring a comprehensive marketing plan, contact PRMG.