Email Marketing – Not SPAM
Email marketing is not about unsolicited emails with advertisements which make outrageous claims, although so many online operators actively promote products and services in this fashion without regard to the wants, needs or preferences of the recipients of such emails. Unfortunately the abundance of spam that inundates Internet users each day has caused many to formulate a negative opinion about email marketing, but savvy Internet (Web) marketers who understand how to market successfully enjoy an advantage over their competition by turning to eNewsletters (digital newsletters) to reach more potential customers. This article will discuss digital newsletters and how they can be used effectively as part of an email marketing campaign.
A digital newsletter is very similar to traditional newsletters which are printed and distributed via snail mail, newspaper inserts, supermarket racks and other such methods, whereas the most significant distance is the method of distribution. While traditional newsletters are typically mailed to the recipients or distributed in person, digital newsletter distribution is restricted to the Web. These digital newsletters may be sent either in the body of an email message or included as a link in an email which directs the recipient to a particular website where s/he can access the item. In either case the recipient can read a digital newsletter while online, or print it out and save it to their hard drive for future use.
The contents of a digital newsletter may vary somewhat drastically, depending on the type of business that particular newsletter is promoting and the purpose for which it is being published, including personal preferences of the business owner and those employees involved in its production. However, the general format of a digital newsletter should be such that it includes useful information in the form of full length feature articles or shorter pieces offering usable tips. The digital newsletter should also contain at least some subtle advertising for the products and services offered by its owner/publisher. These pieces of advertisements should not be blatant and should allow readers to formulate their own opinions regarding product or service offers.
Valuable and useful content
Any digital newsletter should be created and designed in such a way that interesting and useful content make up the major portion (bulk?) of the document. Such content may include full length feature articles that provide information for the readers, as well as shorter pieces which may offer tips and product reviews or offer advice to the reader.
The key to providing high quality content in these digital newsletters is to have it written by a capable writer who is knowledgeable about the subject matter. A digital newsletter writer should have an understanding of the subject matter or have the ability to research a topic and learn enough to write accurate and informative articles about it. In either case the distributor of such a newsletter should carefully review the content for both quality and accuracy before publishing.
Distributors of digital newsletters should also consider including graphical elements in their document. Such graphics may depict product pictures, employee photos, company headquarter pictures or other relevant graphics that provide meaning to the text of such newsletters. A graphic designer can be called on to assist in this endeavor by giving advice or actually helping in the creation of said graphics, including such tasks as cropping them appropriately and placing them in a prime location on the layout of such a digitally-based newsletter.
Consider the audience
In conclusion, it is of critital importance that distributors of digital newsletters carefully consider their audience before using email for marketing purposes. The primary consideration should be whether or not the target audience is likely to be receptive to marketing in the form of emails – whether those emails contain digital newsletters or not. If they are likely to respond to this type of marketing it is worthwhile to pursue an email marketing campaign.
However, care should be taken to ensure that emails sent to a given target audience are designed specifically to appeal to those recipients, and that such recipients had previously consented – via an opt-in form – to receive emails, offers and newsletters notwithstanding. The type of specialization that must be considered when attempting to appeal to a given audience should include language (type used in the copy), layout (of email or newsletter) and graphics, if any (color and placement).
Additionally, the copy should be packed with information that recipients will find useful – if not valuable – to them; and always keep in mind that sending any kind of emails to a large group of recipients who have not requested information from you, and have no interest in your products and services is, among other things, a waste of time.
It is a better idea to ask customers and potential customers if they are interested in receiving more information, and having them join an email subscriber list if they wish to receive that information. Sending your emails to this subscriber list ensures the majority of recipients will have an interest in your products/services and are not likely to automatically delete your emails as spam or report you to the authorities for violating the CAN-SPAM Act.