E-MAIL NEWSLETTER PUBLISHING: Getting the message across
E-mail newsletters: an introduction
- E-mail newsletters have turned out to be one of the ?killer apps? of the internet because they can offer true personalisation and foster rich dialogue between the sender and receiver.
Why publish an e-mail newsletter?
- The focus for the publication of an e-mail newsletter must be the delivery of information relevant to the subscriber. For an e-newsletter to prove successful, marketing information, advertising or product updates should only be built around this core focus.
- If users perceive enough value in the information or services offered by an e-newsletter, they may pay to subscribe. Examples of successful paid-for newsletters are growing.
- If marketing is one of the aims of the e-mail publishing process, a database of e-mail addresses must be carefully monitored, and targets must be set to measure the success of the operation.
A practical guide
- Content must be created with the medium in mind. This means using all the common tricks to break up the block of text on a text e-mail, as well as using links to a web site for more information. This technique must be used judiciously as messages which are themselves light on content will not be consistently opened.
- Text e-mails, HTML e-mails and PDF attachments all have their pros and cons. The choice of format should be determined by a good knowledge of the subscriber base?s preferences.
- List management can be undertaken by the publisher or outsourced to a third party. Free and paid-for list management is available, offering a spectrum of services and value.
Looks easy doesn?t it? Problems to look out for
- Unrequested mail or ?spam? is one of the blights of e-mail newsletter publishing, since the tactics of ?spam? mailers have forced users to be very suspicious of any unknown entities in their inboxes.
- Spam filters on ISP e-mail services often catch bona fide e-mail newsletters and store them in a hidden ?bulk mail? folder.
- Emphasis in the industry is leaning towards the importance of carefully-collected e-mail addresses, despite the cost and time associated with this process. For this reason, ?double opt-in? techniques are spreading as a standard.
- The phenomenal growth of SMS messaging has encouraged e-mail newsletter publishers and marketers to consider offering their content as text messages.
- For both SMS and wireless e-mail, the creation of messages must be carefully tailored to the medium.
- A new breed of service providers is emerging which offers delivery of newsletters or marketing messages across a range of platforms.