Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Should YOU Bother With E-Newsletters?


In the age of social media, should you bother with e-newsletters?

Many marketers view e-newsletters as a kind of interesting relic or an outmoded stepping stone between newspapers and social media.



They may pull their writers away from the weekly or monthly newsletter and focus them instead on social media.

After all, you can post that same information online and reach your audience instantly, right? However, when used correctly, e-newsletters can still be a valuable marketing tool, especially in the age of social media.

In an almost mythic way, the greatest strength of social media marketing is also its greatest weakness. Social media is instant communication, but it is also fleeting. Your carefully written post about the latest development in your industry may reach thousands of people in a second. But by the next second, it is drowned out by a dozen other posts.

An e-newsletter allows you to gather up all the interesting information about your business or industry and deliver it in a neat, simplistic package to your customers or clients. You can bring up all those interesting points that you pushed out to your social media audience and then expand on them a little -- bring in a new perspective or add an extra thought.



At MediaSmack, we primarily handle legal marketing, which adds a whole extra challenge to newsletters.

Still, an informative and well-written newsletter can create new opportunities and generate business for nearly any industry, and many of the same best practices apply.

The thing about newsletters is that first impressions matter a lot. If the first email a client or potential client reads is spammy or full of useless information, that person will more than likely unsubscribe or delete all subsequent emails.

Therefore, you should take your time and make sure that you follow these tips for writing a solid newsletter.



Write For Your Audience

For attorneys, newsletters can be a great way to reach potential clients, but they can also be a way to reach out to other law firms. An attorney-targeted newsletter can increase a firm’s chances of getting referral cases. However, you should never send the same newsletter to both clients and attorneys. If you are reaching out to regular people who may need a lawyer, then write in plain English, and choose topics that are relatable. Save the legal jargon and think pieces for the attorneys.

This same concept of audience segmentation applies to other industries. For example, a nonprofit organization may send one custom newsletter to donors (and potential donors) and another to customers or individuals who benefit from its services. Alternatively, a technology company might create a newsletter highlighting guides and learning opportunities for customers who are not tech savvy. The same company could then have an additional monthly newsletter that discusses industry news or more technical topics for customers, clients or industry peers who are more in the know. This segmentation allows you to specifically target separate groups that can build your business in different ways, instead of throwing out a wide net.



Keep It Short And Sweet

The best newsletters touch on a couple of interesting topics succinctly. You may even position your newsletter as a recap of important stories or developments over a given period of time. It’s easy to miss stories on social media -- that’s why Twitter sends out recap emails that include tweets you might find interesting. Have a longer article? Include a snippet in your e-newsletter with a handy link. A great headline, question or joke can draw in your audience, too.

Try to find a balance between too many topics or talking points in each newsletter and too few. Depending on your industry and the layout you choose, five to 10 topics is usually best.

A Creative Layout Goes A Long Way

Color and images can grab your audience’s attention. Plus, adding some design elements and organizing your text into boxes or another format can give your newsletter an organized and professional look. If your client has signature colors, a stand-out logo or other branded design elements, then incorporate these into your design, if possible.



Finally, adjust your layout to fit your target audience, just as you adjust your content.

For example, a legal newsletter targeting attorneys should probably not use a whimsical font or more than one or two photos. However, if your client is a local retailer targeting millennials, then a fun font and multiple pictures may be just what you want.

Don't Make It All About The Company

While it can be a good idea to include info about upcoming events, don’t focus your entire email on company news. People tend to ignore newsletters that push for the hard sell. Instead, write about something interesting in your client’s area of law, for example.

A newsletter that includes the top newsworthy stories from the last month works for virtually any industry. A doctor's office could highlight some of the latest (and coolest) developments in medicine. If your client is a local gym, then include information about upcoming fun runs or other athletic activities. No matter your industry, something interesting happens every month -- find that information, and share it with your readers!



Include Your Contact Information

Even though you shouldn’t be pushy, you should still invite readers to contact your clients to learn more. Generally, this works best at the end of your piece. Consider blending your call to action smoothly into the rest of the e-newsletter by writing a short lead that's based on the rest of the content. When in doubt, something simple like, "To find out more, call us today!" can be the most effective. If you can, include a handy link to your email, too.

At the end of the day, a great newsletter is only one piece of the puzzle. What matters is how you integrate newsletters into your overall strategy. You can use them to support your social media outreach, drive people to your well-designed and optimized website or recruit customers directly. And, as always, be ready to adapt your strategy to whatever comes your way.

Guest Authored By Zach Thompson. Zach is president of MediaSmack, a legal marketing firm, where he oversees the strategic vision and growth of the company. Follow Zach on Twitter.





"An e-newsletter allows you to gather up all the interesting information about your business or industry and deliver it in a neat, simplistic package to your customers or clients.." -ZachThompson


    • Post Crafted By:
      Fred Hansen Pied Piper of Social Media Marketing at GetMoreHere.com & CEO of Millennium 7 Publishing Co. in Loveland, Colorado. I work deep in the trenches of social media strategy, community management and trends.  My interests include; online business educator, social media marketing, new marketing technology, skiing, hunting, fishing and The Rolling Stones..-Not necessarily in that order ;)
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