E-Newsletters Provide Value, Results

Companies sending targeted online newsletters to their customers and newsletter subscribers are realizing dramatic returns. Because they are cost-effective ways to provide news and information, e-newsletters are an important tool in establishing long-term relationships with existing customers.

Generating stronger results than straight e-mails, HTML-based personalized e-newsletters combine timely delivery with the information readers crave. Establishing your company as a resource for personalized news and content is the key to developing positive brand identification among your target audience – ultimately retaining and increasing your subscription base.

E-newsletters are not one-size-fits-all. Savvy publishers of online newsletters are taking advantage of dynamically generated content based on readers’ individual tastes and preferences. For example, publishers are using enterprise marketing automation technology to analyze which articles readers read, how long they spend on a certain section and where readers abandon them.

The results of this analysis are used to determine the content that is sent in the next issue, specific to each individual. In essence, companies that create these member profiles of their customers can personalize and address the specific interests and needs important to each reader.

In addition, it is important to develop a comprehensive online testing strategy to understand fully the overall response and return on investment generated from e-newsletters. Tests were done on the results of HTML online newsletters compared with a text-based version. HTML newsletters generated click-through rates as high as 600 percent more than text versions.

While not all HTML online newsletters produce results this dramatic, it has been consistently demonstrated that click-through rates for articles sent in HTML newsletters achieve higher results.

If you sell products or services within an e-newsletter, serving up links within the content related to the product or service offered generates significantly higher response rates. “Contextual selling” generated results that were up to 68 percent stronger than links outside the context of useful information.

Successful online newsletters begin with a targeted list of prospects or current offline members. Using demographic data to segment lists is important to understanding the effectiveness of your list – even before leveraging how readers interact with your e-newsletter. And there are tactics to build your internal database of marketable names and e-mail addresses.

Viral campaigns are critical in building a database of opt-in subscribers. For every new member that a current subscriber refers to a specific e-newsletter, the recruiter is entered into a sweepstakes, for example. This “refer-a-friend” strategy proves to be a perfect means for obtaining a high volume of new and interested members.

Then, it is up to the value-added content and personalization of subsequent e-newsletters to retain these new members and keep them engaged for the long term.

Relevant and personalized e-newsletters enable you to create a one-to-one relationship with your customer. Contact information and content can be specified for each individual user and, at the same time, a group of users can be served personalized images, such as logos, graphics and colors.

E-newsletters are a powerful medium to build your online/offline brand by providing useful, individual and timely information to your members, customers or prospects. E-newsletters are fast becoming a critical component of many companies’ overall marketing medium mix.

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