Welcome! You’ve Got Mail
If you are older than 35, you can probably remember a time before the Internet, and also the amazement and wonder you felt when you first connected and began receiving electronic messages from anywhere in the world, almost instantaneously! To many, it felt like the future had finally arrived, but what a difference a few decades can make. Email is now perceived to be a necessary annoyance. It can be extremely difficult to complete many ordinary tasks without it, but it no longer holds the excitement and thrill that it once did for both professional and casual user. Social media is now a popular tool of choice for communicating with family, friends and even companies, and a plethora of instant messaging and other types of online services and mobile apps have replaced email as the communication tool of choice. Younger generation now perceive email as old-fashioned as sending a telegram to their parents.
Smartphones Have Leveled The Playing Field
After stating all of this, you may be wondering why we are devoting a set of blog posts to email newsletters – after all, if email is now so staid and boring, why would you devote the time and resources to producing an email newsletter? Well, email is certainly not dead, and relatively recent advances in smartphone usage and technology have restored email’s place in the digital pecking order. Many of us receive digital messages, which include everything from email to text messages, instant messenger and app notifications, the same way on our phones. There are still billions of email accounts and email users, and trillions of emails are sent around the world each day. Best of all, according to MarketingSherpa and other sources, a vast majority of online shoppers still prefer to use email to both receive marketing communications and communicate with companies and organizations, and many have made purchases directly through a marketing email.
Opportunities Still Exists
Email newsletters and marketing in 2016 are far from a lost cause. You may personally doubt the effectiveness of email marketing, especially if you are personally dealing with an inbox besieged by legitimate marketing emails and spam, but not only is email marketing still relevant, but an email newsletter can be an important marketing tool for your small business and an effective way to maintain an ongoing relationship with your existing customers. In 2016, however, throwing together a newsletter and calling it a day simply doesn’t work anymore – you have to create a package of content that is both informative and engaging for your readers, and you have to prove to both new and existing customers, who comprise the readership of your newsletters, that it’s worth it to them to open, peruse and ultimately engage with your content. Not only that, but you have to take your content one step further and give your readers a reason to also engage with the small percentage of promotional content that you should include with each newsletter, encouraging them to click-through and purchase a product or service from your company.
While achieving these goals may initially sound particularly difficult, especially on a monthly or quarterly basis, you have the advantage of having both expert and unique insights into your industry and the products and services you offer, which can be extremely valuable to your existing clients and your target market. By sharing your knowledge, expertise and insights with your readers, you can develop an ongoing relationship and connect in ways that are difficult through other marketing and advertising channels.
In our next blog post, we will discuss a few of the ways that anyone can create an engaging and successful newsletter, even if you aren’t a professional writer or marketer.