When you think about Email Marketing one of the first things that comes to mind is a company’s email newsletter. Or in some circles, it’s called an “eNewsletter”. Regardless, a lot of businesses create and distribute them on a regular basis. Back in the early 2000’s, email newsletters became one of the must-have communication tools in a company’s marketing strategy. But with prevalence of real-time marketing and social media tools, I firmly believe that it is time to revamp the traditional format of a company’s email newsletter.
The traditional email newsletter typically leads with a main customer-focused article, followed by secondary articles that marketing or sales deemed important to promote to customers, users, constituents, etc. Each newsletter is focused on getting the majority of your audience interested in what you’re doing and saying – and to get them to take action! Go to this landing page, download this white paper or click to learn more, right?
The second topic for debate is how frequently a company should send out an email newsletter? Should it be weekly, monthly or quarterly? Do we have enough content for a monthly newsletter, or what? Will a quarterly newsletter be relevant or has too much time passed?
Oh yes, let’s not forget about the email newsletter side bar. The multi-purpose area that contains information that never changes, like contact information, as well as links to articles that didn’t make the cut for the main body of the newsletter.
With our status updates, check-ins, blog posts, you-name-it feeds along with a constantly-connected mentality, the traditional email newsletter is not as valuable as it used to be. Today, customers opt-in and want their information delivered to them in real-time. Traditional newsletters are published and once the news is more than a week old, the information seems out of date and, more importantly, out of touch with technology and social networking.
In the new email newsletter format, there isn’t a main customer-focused article. It’s a list of the best-of-the-best published marketing content – blogs, articles, posts and tweets that you have written, promoted and or endorsed. This way, the frequency of the newsletter then depends on the amount real-time content the company aggregates during a certain period of time. Plus, instead of just tracking one-off newsletters articles, the overarching benefit is that each piece of content can be tracked from the moment it’s published in real-time, shared through social media networks and of course, re-published again within the newsletter.
This new email newsletter format is a snapshot of all the great content that was published in real-time, through status updates, check-ins and blog posts. For example, the newsletter would read more like a LinkedIn Network Update with comments such as
“Customer X explains why they like Product Y (Review)”
“Product Z has an update (23 features, 72 Fixes)”
“Company A renewed and upgraded their support contract to Gold”
Newsletters like this would be published when new information is available versus publishing so-so content just to stay on a consistent timeline. The savvy customer/consumer today knows the difference between real content and filler. Maybe we can all apply some good-old mom logic to email communications, “If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all”.
Image courtesy of banlon1964’s flickr photostream