Digital Newsletters in Email Marketing

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.

Request permission!

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.

List-Based Money-Making Methods

Essence of the list

A subscriber list is essential to any website or Web-based company, even if the entity is a small venture specializing in a specific niche or a larger, more established general merchant; because such a list – also referred to as an opt-in list – can make a world of difference in the form of extra income (and profit?) generated for an online business, niche-based entrepreneurship or personal cause, even if that cause is non-profit in nature. In today’s business environment, rarely would you come across an eCommerce site – big or small – that is operated without a subscriber list.

The main purpose of a subscriber list is to allow a company, Web marketer or online merchant to promote websites, products and services to “opt-in” subscribers via a email. Such promotional emails are permitted because the subscribers previously “opted-in” to the list thereby authorizing the business or marketer to send email, newsletters and other promotional materials to their inboxes. The benefit of this arrangement to marketers and businesses is clear: they make money from any purchases. But there is also benefit to the subscribers: they can be kept abreast of latest trends, new product offers and industry news so they are able to make better and more informed decisions.

It is because there is mutual consent between the two parties that any email sent to a given subscriber list is not considered as spam mail, which is obviously illegal and unwanted. Overall, the volume of promotional material that reaches subscribers’ inboxes, successfully opened, and read is enormous; and this material includes catalogs, newsletters and other such promotions. But it is sent because the subscribers themselves have signed up to receive it; meaning that they do want it to be sent to them.

Subscription motivation

While building a subscriber list should be an essential task of any business, it is important to point out that only a small percentage of website visitors actually opt-in to a subscriber list because many people find promotional mails annoying; but if you are a business owner or marketer who wish to build a subscriber list you’ll probably have more success in doing so by providing a high quality newsletter or catalog which, in turn, would demonstrate the time, work and care you put into this material and therefore should work to create interest in, and attract more readers to, your content after which you can watch your list nurtured and grow.

You can also achieve such a list-building goal by having good and interesting content on your website, because if visitors like what they see and read on your site they are more likely than not to want more; and a newsletter would certainly be one way to attract them back to your website. Many businesses utilize little teasers, appetizers (in the case of restaurants) and samples to attract customers and your or entrepreneurship should be no different in its approach to building and maintaining a quality subscriber list.

That having been said, keep in mind that a subscriber list can be used for purposes other than marketing your products and services in the sense that, it can be a powerful tool to enhance an already popular and reputable brand, or build an industry brand and create a credible, sterling reputation when used properly in joint ventures (JVs) and community forums. Of course it would be good to first build a successful list with a huge number of subscribers, because the more subscribers your list is comprised of, the more money you can make and therefore the more of a demand that would be created for your list in JV arrangements.

Ads, affiliations & deal-making

The following paragraphs provide an insight into several ways your business can make money using nothing more than a subscriber list.

Place advertisements – There are many corporations who will be willing to pay to put their banners and ads on a list with many subscribers. Selling or renting out lists is not a good idea so rather than doing that, many companies would rather place ads with lists boasting a huge subscriber base, and as a result, your newsletter could be selected by these companies and rewarded with many ads, each of which spells money.

Establish affiliations – Affiliations with other companies that have at least a semblance or similarity to your site’s topic and content will encourage other companies to provide links and brief descriptions of what they offer, or their products and services. With every click made on the link that directs or leads a subscriber from your list to their site, the company will pay you. This is known as P4P or pay for performance.

Make deals with other companies – By asking for a small percentage of sales done through your list with these companies, every sale done by customers that have come from your list and have gone there because of your newsletter would trigger a payment to you by the other company by way of a smal percentage of the sales created via your list. Pursuant to this arrangement, the more members of your list that buy from them, the more money you make.

Creative monetization

Products from other sites – A quality, well-maintained list will help you to get products from other sites on a consignment basis and sell them to your list members via a newsletter, catalog or other email campaign. Simply place descriptions, articles and photos of the product in your preferred medium and when list members express interest in a given product – or even place and order – you can get the product from the other site and sell or deliver it to your buyer.

Sell ebooks or article contentSelling ebooks and compilations of article content to your list is another way to monetize that list. Manuals and how-to articles are usually in great demand and many people will be willing to shell out money to gain knowledge about a certain topic or given subject. With your existing list trusting your expertise in that area, an ebook could be offered and sold or used as an incentive.

Create a network out of your list – Get people to invite more people to view your site and subscribe to your list. The larger your list is, the more people will be able to click on your links and affiliate links as well as make your advertisement rates higher.

Selling information

Selling certain types of informationSubscribers are willing to pay for information if they know that it can be trusted and relied upon. Use your list to get more and more people to subscribe to you as well as browse your site. Lastly, you can use your list to earn money by making them your partners. Your list will be the bloodline of your growth and success.