There’s been a lot of talk lately about whether e-newsletters are dead.
People are overwhelmed with too much e-mail, there’s a ton of competition for “eyeballs”, Gmail now streams newsletters off to the Promotions tab, and even the word “newsletter” can be enough to trigger the spam filters.
So maybe a return to old-fashioned printed and mailed newsletters is what we need to get attention these days.
Today’s guest, Jim Palmer, who calls himself the Newsletter Guru, argues that print newsletters have never gone away, and that to be an effective marketer you need to use both print and e-newsletters.
Which Type of Newsletter Should You Use?
In an ideal world, using both is probably a good idea. Especially if you are marketing to traditional, older managers and executives who would rather read print than electronic formats.
But to produce a high-quality printed newsletter is not cheap, nor is mailing it. So if the traditionalists are not your target market, you may be able to get away with just an electronic version. But…
How to Get Your E-Newsletter Read
Assuming you make it through the spam filter, here are a few important tips for e-newsletter effectiveness:
1. Weekly is Best
To be fair, there is some debate about the frequency. The “internet marketing” gurus will usually bombard you with emails several times a week. They do this because it works.
But is it worth the price of turning off a whole bunch of other prospects? If you are focused more on quality relationships than a numbers game, I’d say, weekly or even every two weeks is tons. (With apologies to the gurus!)
You might be able to get away with monthly, but there’s a serious risk that people will forget who you are if you only send monthly. However if the list is mainly for existing clients or others with whom you already have a pretty strong relationship, monthly might work.
2. Use Great Subject Lines
As Jim Palmer pointed out in our interview, subject lines that evoke curiosity are among the most effective. If you really want to get good at subject lines, I strongly recommend you check out Copyblogger‘s subject lines articles. (They’ve got a new one on the results of an email subject line contest.)
3. Be Consistent
I confess that I’ve fallen down on this one, but, as with podcasts, it is best if people learn to expect your email at the same time on the same day every week.
4. Get Personal
If you’ve followed me for a while, you know that I still struggle with this. What can I say; I had over two decades of strict separation between work and personal life before the social media era changed all that! But I do, now, include a little something personal in each newsletter (check out my newsletter archives here, and sign up for the newsletter here).
I should really do that in my blog posts and podcasts too. I’ll get there someday!