You have a website with a blog you update regularly, and you are building conversations online through social media, so why do you need a newsletter as well? Remember the good old days when the online marketing mantra was “listing building, list building, list building”? This was before the days of Facebook Fan Pages and Twitter, and when LinkedIn was used mostly to pimp your CV to find your next job. So with all these social media tools available is the good old email newsletter dead? I’d suggest not, and here is why…
Hard though it is too believe, not everyone is using social media
How do you reach your network who are not engaged with social media? They may not even regularly read your blog – and would have no idea what an RSS feed was if it landed in their cereal first thing in the morning. (Just in case you are unfamiliar with RSS feeds – they are a way to subscribe to updates from your favourite blogs. Either to be read in an RSS reader which is simply a webpage where you get to see all the blogs posts you like in one place – or, even easier, you can opt for subscription by email).
These folks are used to email (they are not quite dinosaurs after all) but would think social media was a “waste of precious time”. A beautifully branded email newsletter (matching your website) with useful content is therefore the best way to keep them updated with what you are doing.
Building a free “membership” list makes people feel special
A newsletter is not just about great content, it is also a way for you to market your service with offers that won’t look like you are pushing your business in everyone’s face (which, let’s face it, no one really likes). Treat your newsletter subscribers like the gold dust they really are (after all they have chosen to sign up for your content) and give them priority notice on new services and special offers.
No-one likes to feel they are being “spammed”
Should you use a newsletter email marketing and list management service (which is highly recommended) you will avoid being accused of “spamming” people with your message. Today alone I received email messages from two companies that were at networking events I attended recently. Neither of which I subscribed to receiving updates from, they simply took the liberty of adding me to their list as we had swapped business cards. Now this is definitely not the “done” thing to do as far as email newsletters – and using a service such as MailChimp (an added bonus is that it costs you nothing) prevents you from ever falling into this trap. They adhere to a strict “double opt-in” policy which means subscribers not only click on the sign up box you provide (either on your website or via an email link) but they then have to personally “opt-in” when an email from MailChimp is sent to them.
What do you think about email newsletters – do you read them, send them to your own network, are subscribed to so many that you have “inbox overload”? I’d love to hear your experiences – drop me a line in the comments box below.
All my Bespoke Website Package clients get their MailChimp list set up and a sign up box added to their site so that prospective clients can connect and find out more about their services.
Photo credit: Adria Richards